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DFT expands community support through Family Entertainment Series sponsorship

This season, the Family Entertainment Series Community Appreciation Tuesday Nights are sponsored by a company that feels giving back to its community should be just as emphasized as business integrity.

DFT Communications, a local telecommunication organization, is sponsoring all Tuesday night Family Entertainment in Smith Wilkes and Elizabeth S. Lenna halls this summer.

“This is our first year that we’re doing this on the Institution grounds,” said Dan Siracuse, marketing and public relations manager.

Ellen Ditonto, DFT’s director of sales, had originally spoken with Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund, Siracuse said. He and Ditonto then brought the proposal to the president and COO of the company.

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The Gizmo Guys

Gizmo Guys juggle their way to Chautauqua for Family Entertainment Series

Clubs fly back and forth, shooting through the air between the two men.

They are the Gizmo Guys, a professional juggling and comedy duo. They perform at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall as part of the Family Entertainment Series. The two have been juggling and clowning together professionally for 25 years.

Chautauqua is one of the few places they try to visit a day before their performance, so they can enjoy the peace and beauty of the Institution.

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Photostory: A walk on the wild side

Peter Gros, co-host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” shared stories and short videos of his travels in the wild while presenting animals to the Amphitheater audience, including many young Chautauquans, during Wednesday evening’s Family Entertainment Series program. Above, young audience members meet a porcupine, and at right, Aaron Stackpole, 9, volunteers to join Gros onstage to handle a snake-like reptiles.

Photos by Lauren Rock.

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Emphasis on family time leads Penders to sponsor Family Entertainment events

Because of their longtime participation in family activities at Chautauqua, the Penders choose to sponsor events in the Family Entertainment Series through the Michael Pender Fund of The Cleveland Foundation, founded in memory of their youngest son.

“Theater and music were great loves of his, so we really look at this as something Michael would love too,” Pender said. “He was very much a family person.”

This season, the Penders and the Michael Pender Fund are sponsoring Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Starring Peter Gros at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater, and Vocal Trash on July 18, also at 7:30 p.m. in the Amp.

The show stars Peter Gros, an animal expert and environmental conservationist, who will share wildlife stories from his travel experiences and introduce the audience to live, exotic animals.

Vocal Trash combines a cappella, industrial-style drumming, breakdancing and knowledge of recycling to produce a high-energy performance that entertains and informs audience members of all ages.

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Where the wild things are

Though bats are typically the sole animal inhabitants of the Chautauqua Amphitheater, today an alligator, a falcon, a porcupine and several other creatures will grace the stage with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’s Peter Gros.

The program, part of the Family Entertainment Series, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in the Amp.

“I hope to excite families about nature and wildlife” Gros said, “and inspire them to connect with the natural world.”

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Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet in its 2010 performance at Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. Daily file photo.

Regional Youth Ballet to put on season’s final FES show

Children as young as age 10 will be in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall at 7 p.m. tonight dancing in classical and contemporary ballet pieces for audience members of all ages.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet returns to Chautauqua for the final performance in this season’s Family Entertainment Series.

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Kuniko Yamamoto. Submitted photo.

Yamamoto brings origami, Japanese myths to Chautauqua

When children think of origami, they might focus on paper cranes and other small animals made from pieces of paper. Tonight’s performer in the Family Entertainment Series, however, will put a new twist on those perceptions.

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“Bubble Man” Doug Rougeux

Bubbles to invade Smith Wilkes tonight

Round bubbles, fog-filled bubbles and even caterpillar-shaped bubbles will fill Smith Wilkes Hall as “Bubble Man” Doug Rougeux performs BubbleMania! for tonight’s Family Entertainment Series event at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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