O.P.E.R.A., Inc. today (April 21) kicked off a new matching fund-drive – Next Step – to help pay for improvements aimed at increasing business and community use of the historic Ellendale Opera House. The campaign goal is $50,000, with all contributions up to $25,000 matched dollar-for- dollar by anonymous opera house supporters. Those who donate $250 or more to the Next Step fund-drive between now and July 31 will receive a custom-designed O.P.E.R.A. mug. O.P.E.R.A. began its current "Building Our Future and Preserving Our Past" campaign to raise funds to restore the 1909 opera house in late 2018. In 2019, O.P.E.R.A. raised nearly $80,000 as part of the 80th birthday celebration for long- time opera house advocate Jeanette Robb. The group raised another $13,000 in donations from the book "Visions from My Childhood" with images created by Ellendale native Kevin Kendall.