Rialto Theater owner wins grand prize raffle award
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
An award from an organization highlighting the good deeds and work of police officers will help keep top movies rolling at the Rialto Theater in Grayling.
A member of the Grayling AuSable Lodge Fraternal Order of Police #189 sold the second-place winning ticket to Jordan Stancil, the owner of the landmark Rialto Theater.
The raffle is a statewide effort by the Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge of Michigan. The fundraiser is called the “Super Raffle.”
Each month, tickets are drawn for $25 and $200 prizes. All tickets are returned into the drawing box, giving people multiple chances to win. In December, five grand prizes are awarded. Kellie Mielke, of Shelby Township, won the first place award worth $20,000. Stancil received the second place award of $3,000.
“The Rialto Theater has been in operation continuously since May 29, 1915. The theater’s original building was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1930, and the current structure was built a few months later,” according to an Internet page associated with the theater. “The Rialto’s founder, George Olson, hired the architecture firm of C. Howard Crane, which also designed the famous Fox Theater in Detroit. Grayling’s new theater was adorned with many historically significant Art Deco features – decorative molding along the high cove ceiling, murals on the box office walls, and stencils on the columns lining the auditorium.”
Stancil, Olson’s grandson, spearheaded a successful campaign to restore the theater and transform its equipment to a digital format in 2015 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the business.
Stancil purchased the ticket before he left the community in May to work in Brooklyn, New York.
Rialto Theater Manager James Jones accepted the ticket on behalf of Stancil.
Jones said the $3,000 would support the theater through the winter months, especially since it brought Star Wars The Last Jedi to Grayling for moviegoers to enjoy.
“It will help us out a lot in this winter season with the expense of running Star Wars and everything,” Jones said. “With everything we’re doing it helps.”
Tim Coe, the secretary for the Grayling AuSable Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, said about 7,000 raffle tickets are sold statewide. The local lodge sells 200 tickets, which can be purchased for $25 each.
Jim Boylan, the president of the Grayling AuSable Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, said proceeds from the sale of the tickets come back to support community organizations and projects the lodge supports.
“That’s how we finance the money we give away locally,” Boylan said.
The ticket Stancil purchased was among an outreach effort to support the lodge and local businesses.
“This was a ticket which we try to promote among the local businesses to buy a block of tickets to hand out to their customers or employees,” Boylan said. “This was one Mr. Stancil bought and ended up being one of the winners.”
Causes the lodge support include the community dinners served at the Michelson Memorial United Methodist Church and the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center. Criminal justice scholarships through Kirtland Community College are also funded by the lodge. Project Graduation for the Grayling High School and Roscommon High School receive donations. The Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center, which is based in Roscommon and conducts forensic interviews with children who are victims of abuse and neglect, also receives funds from the lodge. This past summer, the lodge provided manpower and funds to bring the Vietnam Moving Wall to Grayling.
Boylan, who is a retired Michigan Department of Corrections employee, said the overall goal of the lodge is to support local law enforcement.
“We’re just promoting the whole positive image of law enforcement in the community,” he said.
The raffle is the primary fundraiser for the lodge. It also has a wooden memorial wall, which lists all officers killed line of duty in the State of Michigan, that is taken to law enforcement and community events for donations.
Coe, who retired from the Grayling City Police Department, said the lodge has 34 members. Organizations and businesses can also be involved with the lodge through associate memberships.
“You don’t have to be an active police officer or a retired police officer to join the Fraternal Order of Police,” Coe said. “We can have associate members and it’s $10 a year for an associate membership.”
Lodge members are receptive to other organizations which need financial support.
“We’re open to the wants and needs of the people in the community,” Boylan said.
Jones praised the lodge for supporting community organizations and businesses.
“This is a great surprise and they support a lot of organizations with this raffle,” Jones said. “I think more people should buy more tickets from them. It’s a good idea.”
To purchase tickets for 2018, contact the lodge by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Coe can be reached at (989) 370-4053, while Boylan can be contacted at (989) 348-2745.