Volunteers are an important part of The Smith Center, and it’s doubly important when a husband and wife combine forces to help the performing arts.
Lyle and Malinda Wheeler are a retired couple who moved from Tucson to Las Vegas in June of 2012. The Smith Center opened in March of 2012. This became a timely connection that couldn’t miss.
“We both love performing arts. We love dance, theater and music and the Broadway shows. When we got here, we heard about The Smith Center. It had just opened and we just thought it was a beautiful facility, a great idea, something that Las Vegas had really needed and something that we were really interested in,” Lyle recalls. “It was something that we were very interested in that we could do together.”
It wasn’t just their interest, but their commitment to help the community, working the shows as ushers, being out with other people, “interested in seeing it not only succeed, but operate at the highest level, at a world-class level for all of those folks who live in Las Vegas,” Lyle notes.
“With every community that we move to, we try and do some type of community volunteering. We are advocates of performing arts,” adds Malinda. “We feel that we’re contributing to the success of The Smith Center by helping out.”
They originally signed on as ushers for Reynolds Hall, Myron's Cabaret Jazz, and Troesh Theater, but also applied for other administrative duties. Lyle also became a docent, leading public tours (sign up here) and explaining the theaters, the artwork, the architecture, and the Carillon Tower to visitors.
The couple also appreciates the educational programs of The Smith Center. “It’s really rewarding to see the school children, the kids’ first experience to see a live play or to be in such a beautiful facility. Some dress up,” Malinda recounts. “It’s just wonderful to have them exposed to that. “And we hope they come back with their parents or family. And, many do.”
One thing The Smith Center counts on is the Wheelers coming back. It’s a family affair!