Million dollar donation to Apollo Theater

September 10, 2008 6:01:14 PM PDT
The Apollo Theater has received a $1 million gift from a new board member. Edward Jay Phillips joined the board this year. The Belvedere Vodka creator donated the money toward the theater's $96 million capital campaign for renovation, expansion and new community and education programs.

In exchange, the Harlem theater will name its new grand staircase in memory of his late friend and mentor, Dennis King, of Victoria, Texas.

Phillips is chairman of Phillips Family Holdings in Minneapolis.

His donation was made this summer through the Edward and Leslye Phillips Family Foundation.

The historic theater celebrates its 75th anniversary season in 2009-10, when the interior expansion is expected to be completed.

So far, the theater has raised $51.5 million.

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