|Masonic Theatre Underground Named for Clifton Forge Native, Tom Dean|
Clifton Forge, VA (August 7, 2018) - On Friday, August 17, The Historic Masonic Theatreâ€™s Underground Lounge and CafĂ© will be dedicated to the memory of Tom Dean, Clifton Forge native and area businessman. The dedication will take place prior to the 2 For Fun show in the Theatre. Tom loved music, especially the hits from the 50s and 60s, and he was responsible for attracting the group to perform in Clifton Forge.
Mary Anne Dean, her daughters Catherine and Kelly, along with Racey & Dean Inc., made the donation to the Theatre in Tomâ€™s memory to honor his dedication to Clifton Forge and the Alleghany Highlands. The donation is also an expression of gratitude to the community for supporting Racey & Dean Inc. since 1934. The Theatre Underground will officially be named the Thomas P. Dean/Racey & Dean Inc. Underground Lounge and CafĂ©.
Thomas â€śTomâ€ť Paul Dean (1948-2016) became a licensed real estate broker and insurance agent and joined his father at Racey & Dean Inc. after his college graduation. In 1997, Tom became president of Racey & Dean Inc. Tom was involved in a multitude of community activities and organizations including the Alleghany Highlands School Board, the Board of Directors of the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development, and the Alleghany Foundation. During the 1970s and 1980s, Tom was the voice of Clifton Forge High School Mountaineers announcing the schoolâ€™s football and basketball games on behalf of WXCF radio station.
Tom was devoted to The Historic Masonic Theatre and involved in the Theatreâ€™s restoration efforts. When the Theatre began renovating in 2015, Tom commented that, â€śClifton Forge is on the move!â€ť Like so many others in the community, he witnessed the loss of the railroad â€“ events he described as â€śdevastatingâ€ť to Clifton Forge. Tom reflected hopefully, â€śWe were pretty much a one-horse town, and itâ€™s been a real pull trying to re-create the community.â€ť However, people are becoming more receptive and welcoming to new ideas.â€ť
Tom worked hand-in-hand with John Hillert and Meade Snyder to encourage the Theatreâ€™s renovation. He participated in Theatre renovation tours to stay abreast of the progress, and he was excited for that moment when the curtains went up for the first time. Unfortunately, Tom became ill prior to the July 2016 Theatre Grand-Reopening and did not live to enjoy a performance on the Theatre stage.
Tomâ€™s wife, Mary Anne, comments, â€śIt is a pleasure for Kelly, Catherine, and I, along with Racey & Dean, to be part of the Historic Masonic Theatre legacy. We are so very grateful to the community that has supported our family business since 1934. Tom would have been thrilled to see our â€śGrande Dameâ€ť restored to her former beauty. How fortunate we are to have such a jewel to share with others.
We would like to thank the Historic Masonic Theatre Board, Jeffrey Stern, executive director, John and Gayle Hillert, Meade Snyder, and countless volunteers whose vision, passion, and dedication made this day possible.â€ť
The 2 for Fun Show, sponsored by Racey & Dean Inc., is Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:30pm in the John E Hillert Auditorium of The Historic Masonic Theatre. Tickets may be purchased online at www.historicmasonictheatre.com or by calling the Theatre Box Office at 540 862 5655 or at the Theatre Ticket Booth prior to the show.â€¨Tickets: Adults: $10/ Sr.and Students: $8/ CFHS Alumni: $5