The Stanley Theatre has many volunteers that help out throughout the year. Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee shares a story of one volunteer. But what makes this dedicated, hard worker stand out is that he's older than the Stanley itself.
"He still worked in New York City after we got married. So, we bought a house in Whitesboro when he used to come home on weekends," said Rolf Buchner's wife, Jane.
Buchner says he once was a city boy, falling in love with theatre. That love affair started when his mother took him to a show at Radio City Music Hall.
Fast-forward more than five decades and the 93-year-old is volunteering at the Stanley Theatre. But, how did he end up in Central New York?
He says he was a union organizer at the time and his boss sent him to Utica. There he worked alongside others and..."amongst them was this blonde hair, blue eyed girl, that convinced me to stay here in Utica," said Buchner.
And it was their friends that encouraged them to get involved with the Stanley.
"One thing led to another. Originally I was an usher and I worked at the door. Then I became an aisle captain." Rolf says he's been volunteering for almost thirty years now wearing many hats. Today he gives tours to many children, but a slow-paced one he says.
"It's the one I enjoy, especially children. Children are so awed and impressed by the interior of this theatre," said Buchner.
The Stanley says Rolf is the oldest volunteer and today is a special day for him. It's his birthday!
Looking back on all the years of volunteering, Rolf says this is a hobby that has provided him so much joy.
"As long as the person grants me a day of life I will be willing to be offering my services here at the Stanley," said Buchner.