For many citizens of Wabash, Eagles Theatre holds a special place in their hearts. Perhaps it’s because they have a cherished memory of seeing a show there, or because they’ve always known the stately Theatre as a cornerstone of their hometown. For Alyssa Lorch and her family, it’s because performance runs in their blood. Her grandmother and great aunts, Wabash residents, were Ringling Brothers Circus performers and were no strangers to the stage. So, the family found a way to forever memorialize their passion for performance–by permanently putting their name on Eagles Theatre.
A Rich History in Performing Arts
Alyssa’s grandmother, Augusta “Gussie” Boisson, her mother, step father, and sisters, Malvina “Mena” Ball and Emily “Millie” Drook were living in Muskegon, MI When Gussie fell ill as a child. Her doctor recommended acrobatics as a way to rebuild her strength.
Luckily for Gussie, her stepfather was a former vaudeville wirewalker. He taught Gussie, Mena, and Millie specialized acrobatics, and they joined a small circus that came to town when they impressed the circus boss with their talents. The boss invited them to tour with the group and, over time, they refined their skills with the help of other circus performers.
By 1928, “The DeLong Sisters” were stars in the Ringling Brothers Circus. They impressed audiences across the globe with their acrobatic expertise and toured for five seasons. After that, they joined the vaudeville circuit full time and performed at historic venues just like Eagles Theatre.
Leaving Their Mark on Eagles
The DeLong Sisters lived out their post-circus years in Wabash, remaining incredibly intertwined in the community as business owners and supporters of local museums.
After their passing, Alyssa and her family, along with the children of Mena and Millie, wanted to find a way to honor their grandmother’s and great aunts’ storied past in circus and vaudeville performing. That’s when they thought of Eagles Theatre.
By donating to the Eagles Renovation Project, the family is able to sponsor three seats in the beautifully maintained main theatre, each with personalized nameplates for the talented DeLong Sisters.
This meaningful tribute will be a lasting representation of The DeLong Sisters and their accomplishments as talented performers. The personalized seats will remain in Eagles Theatre, offering a place for audience members to enjoy the thrill of entertainment for generations to come.
Make Your Own Mark on Eagles Theatre Today
The relatives of Gussie, Mena, and Millie secured personalized seat-naming privileges by contributing to the Eagles Renovation Project at the “Full House” donor level.
If you’d like to purchase a personalized theatre seat nameplate or make a different kind of donation, there are a number of options on the Eagles Renovation Project website.
Learn more about the Eagles Renovation Project and the rich history of Eagles Theatre.
Give a Personalized Donation to Eagles Theatre today.