Save the Phoenix: Sprinklers & Roof

$36,126 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 538 people in 6 months
Phoenix friends and family,

20 years ago, the Phoenix Theater almost closed permanently due to the high cost of seismic retrofitting work required by the state. A group of community members teamed up to gather the money required because they didn't want to live in a Petaluma without the Phoenix. The work was completed and the Phoenix was able to continue carrying out its mission. We now face a similar moment and could use your help.

We recently received a notice from the City of Petaluma in regards to the fire sprinkler ordinance in downtown Petaluma. They are asking that the Phoenix have fire sprinklers installed by April 2019. Failure to do so will result in fines and potential closure.

The price of the sprinkler job alone is $185k - this does not include the construction costs to repair the building after the sprinklers are installed.

The building has also been in need of a new roof for a long time ($90k for the three levels) and has reached the point where leaks could could cause structural damage if further delayed.

We have raised $140k so far for these jobs - $50k from Lagunitas from their Beer Circus events, $50k from Petaluma Market and an incoming $40k from a community member who wants to help. 

In all, our goal is to raise another $250k to safely get both projects done. Any additional amount raised will go toward other building improvements.

This is a moment of great need for the Phoenix - the most pressing one since the Phoenix nearly closed for good in 1999. 

The Phoenix has been everyone's building since it was constructed as the Hill Opera House in 1904. We want to make sure it can continue serving the community for generations to come. Every every dollar and every share helps. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for being a friend of the Phoenix.


The Petaluma Phoenix Center, known to most simply as the Phoenix Theater, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in support of local youth.

The mission of the Petaluma Phoenix Theater is to foster the emotional, physical and social development of the young people we serve by enabling them to create and engage in programs for music, the arts, and health and wellness, while preserving and improving the historic Phoenix Theater as a resource for youth and the community at large.
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Phoenix fundraising update: together we’ve raised over $270k, replaced the roof and began the sprinkler job! The custom build on the sprinkler system has been a messy process - we’ve encountered some major plumbing setbacks (and related cost increases) but are continuing to move forward.

The Petaluma Fire Department has extended our deadline as we continue to fundraise and work towards installation. We’re about $60k short of where we need to be to fully fund this project. Donations continue to come in behind-the-scenes and, thankfully, we’ve been given more time to keep spreading the word.

The Phoenix continues to serve the community on a daily basis thanks to the support we’ve received from all of you. We’re having another fundraiser on Saturday 3/30 (Onstage podcast live show) and will be announcing more events/developments in the coming weeks. There’s still work to be done but together we’ve made an incredible amount of progress since we began this fundraising campaign. The Phoenix is everyone’s building and it gets to continue serving that purpose because of the work we’ve done together over these past few months.
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We’re at over $200k pledged/received toward our fundraising goal! We've still got a ways to go but the support from our community has been incredible.
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It’s been two weeks since weeks since this campaign was launched and we’ve made some incredible progress together. Here are the latest numbers:

Pledged amounts
$23,710 through GoFundMe (not yet received)
$23,710 pledged matched by donor
$40,000 pledged by donor

Amount on hand
$50,000 Lagunitas Beer Circus 2017/2018 proceeds
$50,000 Petaluma Market

That brings us up to $187,420 so far! We’ve got less than $100k to go to hit the quote costs from our two contractors.

We’ve had a few people ask if these two projects are related. They’re related in that both are hugely expensive jobs and that failure to complete them will threaten the Phoenix in unique ways.

The roof is badly in need of repair. Tom has been up in the attic with an array of tarps and buckets during every rainfall over the last 15 years. This job needs to get done to preserve the structural integrity of the Phoenix.

The sprinkler system is a PFD-enforced (Petaluma Fire Department) mandate that could lead to our doors being closed by the city if we don’t comply. The deadline that we’ve been given from City of Petaluma for this project is 3/31/19.

We’ve thankfully received a lot of support both on and off GoFundMe. Because of this, we’re going to adjust the target goal of this crowdfunding campaign to $100k.

The generosity and support of the community has been an amazing thing to behold. This campaign has been shared online 5200+ times and the message has been clear: people don’t want to live in a world without the Phoenix (h/t Nick Grizzle).
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We’ve raised $41,328 together as of this morning! ($20,664 through GoFundMe + $20,664 matching donation)

There are some larger donations being discussed behind-the-scenes (separate from the GoFundMe) and there have been an unbelievable number of people offering to help in other ways. Thanks for spreading the word and for all the love you’ve shown the Phoenix in the last week. Let’s keep it going!
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Read a Previous Update

$36,126 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 538 people in 6 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Petaluma Phoenix Center Inc
Certified Charity
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Petaluma, CA
EIN: 680482910
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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