WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The man who biked the entire East Coast for a Watertown theater company has given a gift of purpose.
Watertown-native and New York City Professional Theater Designer and Electrician Chris Stowell recently completed a 3,047-mile journey up the eastern United States to raise money for the Watertown theater company, Stage Notes.
His biking campaign, Pedal with a Purpose derived from the Stage Notes motto, Performance with a Purpose, which is where Chris ultimately got his start in the performing arts industry.
Stage Notes first began in 2009 with the mission of providing a creative musical outlet for North Country students. Since its inception, it has produced 14 musicals and donated over $50,000 to organizations in the region.
As Chris was one of the original members, Stage Notes Artistic Director Ticia Aumell shared how Pedal with a Purpose inspired her students in the company now.
“I think it showed them, wow, like this is a Stage Notes alum, and this is what he’s giving back,” expressed Aumell. “This organization means a lot to him obviously and I think it gave us all a lot of pride for what we do and what we’re involved in.”
And although Aumell said she was “overwhelmed” when she first heard Chris’ concept for the fundraising campaign, but said it spoke to who he was as a person.
“Chris is that kind of guy,” stated Aumell. “He’s not just going to do it for himself, or for some great cause in New York City, he’s going to do it for his local community because that’s the type of person he is and the type of family that he comes from.”
After riding for 50 days, from the Florida Keys to the tip of Maine, Chris raised $7,786, all of which will benefit an organization that continues to stick with him.
He recently presented the check to Stage Notes as a surprise during a rehearsal.
We were blown away that he could make that much, blown away that people would give that much in this time when we don’t necessarily all have a lot to give,” shared Aumell. “Showing that the arts really were important and it was just wonderful to all be together and to see the pride that he had.”
Chris Stowell finished his Pedal with a Purpose bike campaign on June 6. He has since returned to New York City to continue his career in theater and the performing arts industry.