CHILLICOTHE – The Scioto Society has raised $90,000 of its $100,000 fundraising goal.

The Scioto Society puts on Tecumseh! every year among other shows. Tecumseh was cancelled for the 2020 season after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

In June, the Scioto Society launched the Bundle of Twigs campaign, with the goal of raising $100,000 by December.

The name of the fundraiser draws from a quote from Tecumseh — “A single twig is easily broken, but a bundle of twigs is strong.”

To kick start the fundraiser, the Scioto Society offered a limited edition poster designed by Jarrod Depugh of Metropolis Design Studios here in Chillicothe, as reported on by the Gazette in June. 

The poster features Tecumseh’s famous quote, and also featured a red foil ink in Tecumseh’s hair ribbon, as a nod to the original Tecumseh logo painted by celebrated local artist Alan Gough. 

“One of the things we’ve done to get over the hump at the end is to sell T-shirts that we’ve done the posters on, and those don’t go on sale until next week,” said Brandon Smith, CEO of the Scioto Society and producer of Tecumseh! “We’ve done probably a couple thousand from those as well, but I don’t exactly know how much yet. I’m pretty pleased with where we are, we’re ahead of schedule a little bit, but of course the last dollars are always the hardest to find.”

A link to purchase a T-shirt can be found on the Tecumseh! drama website, in the about section under Bundle of Twigs campaign.

The $100,000 goes toward general operating funds, said Smith.

“Even though we didn’t put the play up this year, which means we didn’t have the expense of hiring actors, or whatever the production costs are, we still have electric bills coming in. Our staff is cut in half but we still have some payroll to make. We still have insurance and taxes and all that stuff that doesn’t go away,” he said. 

Smith described the money as a “gap-filler” between grants they secured and other public and private funding. 

The determination for how much money would be needed was done by taking a very long view, meaning until the end of 2021 and calculating revenue from grants, loans, ticket sales from  next year, etc. 

Due to the pandemic, all fall productions and events have been canceled, said Smith. This includes the fall production of “The Sleepy Hollow Experience.” 

The earliest that the Scioto Society might be able to stage a production would be march for their annual spring fundraiser, but due to things being constantly in flux, nothing is set in stone. 

“Currently, depending on what type of event you’re doing, the limit as to how many people you can have at that event is different. If I’m doing a wedding, I could have 300 people but if I’m in the same space doing a play, it’s going to be less than that. But if I’m in the same space doing a play, it’s going to be less than that, and If I’m showing a movie it’s going to be a different number,” he said. “While we’re not setting anything in stone for next year, we do have a good operating plan for next year — we’re assuming we won’t be able to operate at anything more than 50 percent capacity so that’s the plan for now.” 

Have a story tip or comment?

Contact Justin at or 740-542-2982. Follow him on Twitter @jayreutter1

Read or Share this story: