An architectural team's concept of the Melba Theatre in downtown Houston.

A Houston group that works toward the betterment of the community is holding is annual membership drive.

Downtown Houston Inc. is involved in two projects that saw big momentum at the end of the year: Funding work for a renovation of the Melba Theatre on Grand Avenue in Houston and creation of the Lone Star Plaza Annex north of the copper canopy used by the growing Houston Farmers Market.

The organization collected more than $500,000 by year’s end for both projects through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, which gives generous state tax credits to donors. The mechanism was used previously by the organization to construct the Lone Star Plaza and the Houston Visitors Center.

During the last year, the group received grant funding for shades at the pavilion at the Lone Star Plaza, equipment for a commercial kitchen at the annex for the farmers market and purchase of a greenhouse structure for the Texas County Masters Gardeners at the county justice center.

A current fund-raiser is selling a limited number of theatre seats for the Melba, which was acquired by the group, as well as commercial property on each side. The seats cost $250 and include a nameplate on the seat honoring the donor. Individuals, families, businesses and some HHS classes have joined to participate.

To learn more about the projects or obtain a form for a seat, check melbaperformingartscenter.com. (Under contact )

Donations are tax-deductible.

The cost of a membership is $35 for businesses. The individual fee is $30 Send your check to: Downtown Houston Inc., P.O. Box 170, Houston, Mo. 65483. Vera Gladden is the secretary-treasurer. 

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