Loved By Generations, Charles Fadus The Winner Of A Free Movie Screening At Edmond Town Hall
Edmond Town Hall recently presented a new fundraiser, an event that invited supporters of the historic building to share stories about their friends or loved ones.
The “Show Us The Love” letter writing fundraiser ran from late January until February 9. The public was invited to write a letter nominating someone — a friend, a loved one, a significant other, et al — and then tell judges why that person should win a private movie screening at Edmond Town Hall Theatre.
Of the nominations that were received earlier this month, organizers announced on February 10 that Charles Fadus was the winner of the movie screening. The 95-year-old Newtown resident was nominated by his daughter, Diana (Fadus) Paproski, and granddaughter, Stephanie (Paproski) Kearns.
Paproski nominated her father as her “special valentine,” she said in her nomination letter, which was shared by the family with The Newtown Bee, in part because the “positive example that he has modeled in the purist form of love based on friendship, respect, and commitment towards my Mom for over 64 years has been a treasured gift.”
Jean Marie Fadus, Charles’s wife of 64 years, died in 2018. Charles has kept his love alive through daily writing and poetry, Paproski wrote.
“Since the passing of his soulmate, Jean, Dad lives each day in gratitude, and appreciation of how blessed he was + still is to have a ‘Forever Valentine,’” Paproski also shared.
Her father’s resilience, strength, vigor, determination, and spirituality have been a guide for Paproski to better live her own life, she wrote.
“Dad is my beacon of hope as he exemplifies what love is, in his unwavering commitment to love someone forever,” she added.
Stephanie Kearns contacted The Newtown Bee earlier this week, excited to share the news of her grandfather’s surprise.
“He has been in quarantine alone, inside his home since March of last year, his family doing his grocery shopping and visiting only carefully,” Kearns said via e-mail February 14.
In her nomination letter, Kearns said her loved one — nicknamed “Bee” by his grandchildren — is “not only loved by myself, but generations of family.”
Kearns said her grandparents were friends before they became a couple.
“Charlie and Jean showed us how the greatest friendship makes a strong and loving marriage and we’re blessed to have them as our role models,” wrote Kearns, one of four Fadus grandchildren.
Kearns also wrote of her grandfather’s love of painting, something he started after her grandmother picked up the hobby. She shared that among her fondest memories from childhood are of those spent painting alongside him in an upstairs art room within the Fadus home.
Now the mother of two children, Kearns loves that her daughters also get to — very carefully during the past year — visit with “Bee” and create paintings at his kitchen table.
Kearns wrote that every time she and her family have to leave her grandfather’s home after those visits, he makes sure to tell them how they made his day by stopping by.
“I’m nominating him today to make sure he knows that HE is the one who makes OUR days every time he creates these memories with myself and the girls,” she wrote.
“The true meaning of Valentine’s Day to me is appreciation, affection, and friendship,” Kearns wrote in closing. “My grandfather, Bee, inspires me every day and is one of my best friends. I hope you consider him in your contest. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of a night out after this pandemic than Bee.”
Letters were judged on five criteria including romance/friendship, creativity, originality, tenderness, and endearment.
Belle Phelps, part of the “Show Us The Love” team, said the judges loved the letters from Paproski and Kearns for multiple reasons. They responded to Paproski’s letter, she said, “because of the way she wrote about her parents’ endless love setting an example for her and reflecting in her life.”
The judges liked seeing the poetry and photographs the mother-daughter team sent that showed Fadus doing things he loves.
Paproski’s letter, Phelps also stated, “reminded us all that love will always prevail even in dark times.”
A special pink mailbox was set up in the lobby of 45 Main Street to collect the “Show Us The Love” entries. With the nominations, participants were asked to make a suggested donation of $20. Phelps said the fundraiser went well, with most nominees for family members and spouses.
Funds raised through the competition will be used to compete the integration of lighting and sound systems within the former town hall building’s theater. Organizers “were very thankful for the donations that were given,” said Phelps, who added that the group would love to do the event again next year “thanks to all the love it was shown.”
The theater’s management team is working to provide more live events to the community. The team, it told The Newtown Bee last month in announcing the fundraiser, has already rescheduled its five-concert music series to fall 2021, after having postponed it due to COVID-19.