At a meeting of the board of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center earlier this month new directors were elected. Added to the Center’s board were Chautauqua County Director of Planning & Economic Development and Industrial Development Agency CEO William Daly, Jamestown attorney C. Edward Fagan, Ludwig Auction & Realty Co. owner Charles L. Ludwig, and Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation Deputy Director Carolyn Seymour. These new members fill vacancies left by Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Wanda Clark and Mary Rapaport.
In announcing the additions to the board, Executive Director Ric Wyman said, “We have made significant strides since the Center was established nearly six years ago. With two buildings on the corner of Third and Main welcoming thousands of visitors to downtown Jamestown each year and plans to open a significantly expanded Lucy-Desi Museum in 2008, it’s been a time of great growth.
“None of this could have happened without the generosity of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., who not only served as our founding president and vice-president but who also provided countless valuable objects from their parents, created the Center’s Legacy of Laughter seminar series, and offered support in many other ways.”
Wyman noted that the Center is experiencing its strongest year to date, with new records set for numbers of admissions, on-line traffic, and Lucy-Desi Center Acquisitions Society memberships. The two Center-sponsored annual festivals this year attracted visitors from 37 states, plus Australia, Canada, Croatia, England, Germany, and Puerto Rico. In addition, the Lucy-Desi Center has developed Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz/“I Love Lucy”- related school curriculum that meet New York State Education Department standards, offered workshops in Laughter Yoga, and partnered with local Girl Scouts, senior facilities, and the Hispanic community. Last summer, the weekly magazine American Profile shared a major story with its three million readers entitled “Jamestown Loves Lucy.”