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Pen Chance, left, Devin Medley and Cody Hunt, right, of the Merry Go Round Youth Theater perform "Aseop's Fables" during the open house Saturday for the new West End Theater in Auburn.

Charley Hannagan, Special to The Citizen

HIT: To the launch of the West End Theater in the former West Middle School building on Auburn's Genesee Street.

The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival held an open house Saturday to introduce the community to the theater's new concept. The festival is leasing the auditorium space from the company that has been redeveloping the old school building into an apartment complex. The idea is to use the auditorium for the festival's youth theater programming, and to offer it to other area performing arts groups to use.

This project is a great example of historic preservation combining with arts and cultural development in the community. The strong turnout at Saturday's open house is a reflection of the support that's there already.

MISS: To the death of Ruth McCarty O'Hara, the matriarch of an agricultural family that has positively influenced Cayuga County for decades.

Ruth, 96, was the wife of the late Ward O'Hara, for whom the county's agricultural museum in Owasco is named. The O'Haras ran a dairy farm and an equipment dealership, and then donated time, money and equipment for the museum. Ruth was instrumental in the museum's development and continued success over the many years it's been open.

"They've just been terrific," said Gary Duckett, superintendent of the county's parks and trails and buildings and grounds. "They've donated so much of the exhibits in the museum. It's just wonderful what they've done, and it's just very sad she (Ruth) had to pass."

HIT: To the exciting capital project being unveiled this week by the E. John Gavras Center.

The center is kicking off a major fundraising effort to help advance a $1.5 million project that will help improve classrooms, update equipment, build a new playground, update the building and grounds, and improve overall branding. It's an ambitious project that is getting a boost with a special fundraising event featuring former Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.

The Citizen Editorial Board includes publisher Rob Forcey, managing editor Mike Dowd and executive editor Jeremy Boyer.