July 8, 2008
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
Pocatello philanthropist Beverly Bistline got the chance June 26 to reach across generations and meet the very future for which she has provided so much.
That afternoon, Beverly, 85, walked onto the stage of the theatre that bears her name – the Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre – and accepted two heavy No. 10 envelopes. Inside each was $50 in cash, much of it quarters.
It was the boys' contribution to the L. E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, a donor-funded complex that includes the Bistline Theatre.
Dirk Stahlecker, 14, and his brother Kip, 11, save a third of their allowances for charitable giving. Their gift of those savings was their answer to the fundraising challenge that Beverly recently issued to help pay off some $5 million in remaining costs for the Stephens Center.
Beverly had already given $3.5 million to the Stephens Performing Arts Center, the locale of the Bistline Theatre and a centerpiece of Idaho's cultural life. In her recent challenge, she committed to matching donations up to $250,000.
The two young Pocatellans, sons of ISU alumni David and Sue Stahlecker, have already honed their stagecraft with performances in the Bistline Theatre. That's the kind of opportunity that Beverly, and every Idaho State University benefactor, strives to provide.
"We've been saving for a while," Dirk told her as he presented his envelope, "and we just feel this is a really worthy cause."
"Thank you," Kip added, "for making the Bistline Theatre possible."
The dollar value of the gifts from Beverly and the Stahlecker boys differ, yet the spirit behind each is equal in value. We extend heartfelt gratitude to them, and to all who are responding to Beverly's call.
Before the trio left the stage, Beverly told the boys that she wants other young people to find the same enrichment that they are experiencing through the performing arts.
She hopes, she said, that others will see a live performance one day and say to themselves: "Hmm. That looks pretty cool! Maybe I want to try something like that."
Isn't that what giving is all about?
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University