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Sweet tooths targeted by Irwin's Lamp Theatre

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

When Marion McFeely saw all the effort that people were putting into refurbishing the Lamp Theatre in Irwin, she wanted to do her part to make sure the project enjoys sweet success.

“Everybody's volunteering to do demolition work and construction at the theater, but I really don't know anything about those kind of things,” she said. “I'm a candy maker.”

So the owner of McFeely's Gourmet Chocolate on Fourth Street decided to pitch in by doing what she knows best — making chocolate.

McFeely, who ordered custom candy molds that bear the Lamp Theatre logo, is in the midst of producing 1,000 milk chocolate bars that will be sold to raise money for the theater.

“It was so exciting when I got the molds,” she said. “I was worse than a kid in a candy shop. But then I realized that unlike the other candies I sell, the bars needed to be wrapped in foil and labeled, which was a bit of a worry because of the cost.”

That problem was solved with a $500 sponsorship from the Irwin Business & Professional Association, or IBPA, to cover the cost of the wrapping and labeling the chocolate bars, which are being sold for $4 each. Half of the proceeds from the candy sales will be donated to the theater project.

Irwin bought the 76-year-old former movie house, which closed in 2004, and officials are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to refurbish the building for use as a center for films and live productions. Officials are aiming to complete the project by the end of the year.

In addition to McFeely's shop, which celebrated its first anniversary this month, the candy bars are available at Mixes Galore and the Colonial Grill, which both are on Main Street, and at Interiors by Woleslagle on Fourth Street.

“I think the way residents and local business owners are responding to the Lamp Theatre project is wonderful,” said Lois Woleslagle, president of the IBPA and owner of the interior-design business. “They volunteer whenever they're asked and are constantly looking for other ways to help.”

While the chocolate bars are being produced to raise the money to refurbish the theater, McFeely said, she would like to continue supplying them after the doors are open.

“I think it would be great to see them sold as the theater's official candy bar,” McFeely said.

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2360, or at

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