Box Office (541) 317-0700 Monday - Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm My Account

Tower Theatre to Improve and Upgrade Its Facility

Tower Theatre to Improve and Upgrade Its Facility

For Immediate Release

For Further Information & Photos Contact:

Ray Solley 541-317-0700 or


New fund established in memory of benefactor Lee Flory

May 28, 2009; Bend, Oregon: The Tower Theatre Foundation in Bend, Oregon today announced the establishment of a special fund named in memory of Chicagoan Mr. Lee J. Flory to upgrade and improve the Tower Theatre.

The Lee Flory Fund will provide much-needed financial support to keep Central Oregon’s premier performing arts stage updated with state-of-the-art equipment and first class patron amenities. Next season, the Tower will celebrate its 1,000th “use day” and 250,000th patron since its renovation and re-opening in 2004.

The Flory Fund was initiated with a donation of $20,000 from friends and family of Mr. Flory. Susan Burke, Flory’s niece in Bend, said: “Lee’s love of the arts was well known, especially in those communities where he lived. Lee kept a home in Central Oregon where he generously supported many projects. Yet to know Lee was to know how much he especially loved attending events at the Tower Theatre. We hope this fund in Lee’s name will help sustain the Tower’s important contribution to the performing arts in Bend and beyond.”

Eli Ashley, former Executive Director of the Tower Foundation and now chair of the Foundation’s Development Committee, was instrumental in establishing the Flory Fund. “We encourage anyone who knew Lee, or who believes the arts can significantly improve quality of life, to make a donation. It’s essential the Tower Theatre remains vital, growing, and improving. Lee never shied away from challenges. Neither will the Tower,” Ashley said. “With the Flory Fund, citizens from Illinois to Oregon will remember Lee for his lessons in selflessly giving to the arts.”

Donations, payable to Tower Theatre Foundation, can be sent to P.O. Box 1378, Bend, Oregon, 97709, or made online at

Flory (born May 6, 1926) passed away December 23, 2007 at his second home in Bend. He was raised in the Chicago suburbs of Western Springs and La Grange, and resided in Barrington, Illinois. Within weeks of graduating with an accounting degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Flory began a 42-year tenure with W.W. Grainger, Inc. In 1968 he was named Vice President of Grainger as the privately-held company went public.

Following his retirement from Grainger in 1991, Flory was Executive Director of the Grainger Foundation, a private charity supporting educational, medical and cultural institutions. In addition to the Tower Theatre, Mr. Flory was a generous personal supporter of the Field Museum, Museum of Science & Industry and the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and his alma mater Drake University in Iowa.

The Tower Theatre Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization responsible for managing the Tower Theatre and providing performing arts, civic, educational and social events that enliven and enrich the human spirit. The Foundation’s Executive Director is Ray Solley.

Back to News »