Pat Weaver, with the Goddard Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, put it simply at the Goddard Center Patron Dinner: The Goddard is a product of those who have cared to give support.
“Who are those special supporters? Well, it’s each and every one of you. You might have decorated a table, sponsored a program … or maybe you’ve supplied a scholarship to young people,” Weaver said. “The Goddard Center isn’t a building. It’s an idea that’s come to life and tended by all of you.”
The event Thursday evening offered cocktails and fine dining to donors, which framed the dedication of the center’s theatre to the Westheimer Family Foundation.
The Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation has provided “substantial financial and fine art donations” in support of the Goddard Center since 1986, as well as support for programs, exhibits and workshops, Weaver said.
Jerome Max Westheimer, Sr. was described by the Goddard as a “humble, private man who made a tremendous impact on the geology profession in southern Oklahoma.” Westheimer, Sr. was a prominent geologist in Ardmore who, according to Weaver, has left a lasting impact beyond his death in 2004.
His son, Jerome Max “Bruzzy” Westheimer, Jr., president and CEO of the family foundation, joined Weaver for the unveiling of a bronze plaque in front of the newly dedicated theater, complete with the words “Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation Theatre” installed above the theatre’s entrance.
Lorena Lowenstein was also honored with a bronze plaque of her own next to the plaque for Westheimer. Lowenstein avidly attended Goddard Center programming with a particular flair for opera, said Bebe Bridges, who aided  Weaver in the unveiling of her plaque.
Lowenstein made a “substantial donation” to the Goddard Center in a bequest for the enhancement of the theatre arts relating to performances and educational related activities.
“She was someone who understood the meaning of pay it forward,” Weaver said.
Moreover, gratitude was extended to the dozens of donors who consistently support the Goddard Center on a regular basis, be it large or small.
“As supporters, you are an inspiration,” Weaver said. “Whether your contribution may seem small or large, that contribution is immeasurable in its example.”