DFT expands community support through Family Entertainment Series sponsorship

Sydney Maltese | Staff Writer

This season, the Family Entertainment Series Community Appreciation Tuesday Nights are sponsored by a company that feels giving back to its community should be just as emphasized as business integrity.

DFT Communications, a local telecommunication organization, is sponsoring all Tuesday night Family Entertainment in Smith Wilkes and Elizabeth S. Lenna halls this summer.

“This is our first year that we’re doing this on the Institution grounds,” said Dan Siracuse, marketing and public relations manager.

Ellen Ditonto, DFT’s director of sales, had originally spoken with Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund, Siracuse said. He and Ditonto then brought the proposal to the president and COO of the company.

Mark Maytum, president and COO of DFT Communications, said he thought the sponsorship would fit the organization.

“DFT Communications is proud to sponsor such quality programming as the Family Entertainment Series at Chautauqua Institution,” Maytum said. “I would encourage all families to attend one or all of these entertainment events in an amazing location such as Chautauqua Institution.”

DFT’s employee caring program raises funds to distribute to local nonprofits. Employees get the chance to participate in casual Fridays if they make a charitable donation. Employee caring is all a part of DFT’s effort to make Chautauqua County a beautiful and thriving place to live and work.

“DFT is very proactive in this type of sponsorship,” Siracuse said. “We just feel very strongly that we continue to give back to the community, and we do various things, from family-type things to adult concerts. We really try to promote the family and entertainment and community involvement.”

In the past, DFT has also made charitable contributions to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Food Pantry, Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, the Gowanda Food Pantry, the Silver Creek Food Pantry, the Fredonia Telecommunications Museum, The Salvation Army and Boy Scouts of America.

Most of the organizations DFT sponsors or donates to come from employee recommendations. Employees may encourage DFT to donate to specific organizations.

“This is a natural niche for us,” Siracuse said.

The family-oriented shows DFT will sponsor are “The Gizmo Guys” on July 3; “Doktor Kaboom!” on July 10; “Hobey Ford: ‘Animalia’ ” on July 24; “A Family Concert with the Ibis Ensemble” on July 31; and “Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet” on Aug. 14.

Although this is DFT’s first Family Entertainment sponsorship, it is not their first interaction with the Institution.

“DFT currently has a large presence at Chautauqua Institution with security services and is looking to increase that presence,” Ditonto said. “Additionally, DFT has installed fiber-based services throughout Chautauqua Institution’s administration and has increased Internet access throughout the Institution. DFT has been very pleased to partner with Chautauqua Institution on so many of these initiatives.”

Patrons from the community may request a free pass at the Main Gate Welcome Center will-call window to attend the Family Entertainment Series events and performances.