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Inner Circle Volunteers

Wharton Center’s Inner Circle is a volunteer organization made up of more than 300 members. You can take an active part in creating a home for the professional performing arts in this community by becoming a member and donating some time to the arts in mid-Michigan.

For additional information about Inner Circle please contact us by email at [email protected].

Wharton Center Inner Circle Volunteer Committees

Act One

Serve as an usher for K–12 school performances in the Cobb Great Hall or Pasant Theatre.
(Requires standing for extended periods of time)

Annual Membership Events

Assist in planning and coordinating 3–4 annual membership events.

Box Office

The Box Office Committee is responsible for providing volunteer staff for box office ticket sales.

No volunteer openings are available.

Community Outreach

The Community Outreach committee provides volunteers and support for programs in the community including Speakers Bureau, Young Playwrights Festival, East Lansing Folk Festival and other promotional activities.


The Education Committee provides support for programs of the Wharton Center Institute. Volunteer opportunities include visit K–12 schools prior to performances as an Act One School Series Docent; Young Playwrights Festival; and Inner Circle Activity Night (ICAN) which provides activities for kids before selected Act One Family Series performances.


The membership Committee compiles and maintains a directory of Inner Circle volunteers and promotes recruitment of new members.


The Newsletter Committee is responsible for providing newsletters for Inner Circle members. The committee chair and vice chair collect, write and edit articles; design and prepare the layout; and coordinate the printing and mailing of each issue. Committee members may assist in all aspects of newsletter production, but are primarily responsible for mailing preparations such as labeling and folding.

Engagement Initiatives

The Engagement Initiatives Committee shall provide assistance for select Engagement Initiatives to be identified by the Executive Director or his/her designate.


The Task–At–A–Time Committee is responsible for assisting other Inner Circle Committees and Wharton Center on an on–call basis as needs arise in areas such as mailings, receptions, and community outreach.

Wharton Gifts

The Gift Shop Committee operates, manages and staffs Wharton Gifts in the Sierra Lobby, generating extra income for Wharton Center. A minimum time commitment is required for volunteering daytime and evening hours.

View additional information about Wharton Gifts

Inner Circle Endowment Fund

The Inner Circle Endowment for Arts Education at Wharton Center was created in 2007 by the Inner Circle board to support Wharton Center’s education programs in which so many Inner Circle members are involved through various volunteer efforts. Please remember a gift to the Inner Circle endowment fund does not qualify for Circle membership.

Inner Circle Board Members

  • President
    Melody Hasselback
  • Vice President-Elect
    Susan Patterson
  • Secretary
    Cheryl Benjamin
  • Treasurer
    Jacqueline Babcock
  • Past President
    Denise Carr
    Cheri Arning
    Linda Cravotta
    Laurie Chapin
    Elizabeth Namie
    Sandra Farrell
    Nancy Logan
    Barb Sjolander
    Paula Bjornstad
    Patty Hollenbeck
    Jean Aben
    Jane Salstrom
    Merritta Proctor
    Lisa Whiting Dobson
    Jean Kaufmann
    Evelyn Jackson
    Mary Savage
    Sharon Skinner
    Barb McMillan
    Cindy Wheeler
    David Brower
    Linda Hess
    Missy Finelli
    Elaine High
    Mary Stanczyk

Past Presidents

  • Denise Carr (2018-2019)
  • Eva Evans (2017-2018)
  • Barb Sjolander (2016-2017)
  • Barb Free (2015-2016)
  • Nancy Bobinski (2014-2015)
  • Mary Lou O’Connell (2013-2014)
  • Janet Emery (2012-2013)
  • Dottie Spousta (2011-2012)
  • Rhonda Zimmerman (2010-2011)
  • Shirley Rumminger (2009-2010)
  • Patty Hollenbeck (2008-2009)
  • Lauri Draggoo (2007-2008)
  • Marilyn Laughlin (2006-2007)
  • Sue Patterson (2005-2006)
  • Dawn Gribben (2004-2005)
  • Eleanor Charchut (2003-2004)
  • Jan Parish (2002-2003)
  • Debby Harrison (2001-2002)
  • DeDe Coy (2000-2001)
  • Karen DeVine (1999-2000)
  • Sharon Regan (1998-1999)
  • Shirley Minarchan (1997-1998)
  • Mary Lou Gast (1996-1997)
  • Maggie Frankland (1995-1996)
  • Jane Becker (1994-1995)
  • Joan Stapleton (1993-1994)
  • Lola O’Meara (1992-1993)
  • Arthur R. Luedders (1991-1992)
  • Murley Miller (1990-1991)
  • Claire Byerrum (1989-1990)
  • Frances Overholt (1988-1989)
  • Signe Bates (1987-1988)
  • Mary Collins (1986-1987)
  • Frieda Silverman (1985-1986)
  • Patricia Muth (1984-1985)
  • Lotta Hunt (1982-1983)