The Wick Theatre dedicates lobby to honor Henrietta, Countess De Hoernle

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By Dale King The Pineapple Contributing Writer BOCA RATON, FL – That lovely lady sitting in the front row at the Wick Theatre on opening night of the Broadway musical, Mame, Dec. 6 was, in fact, Henrietta, Countess de Hoernle, Boca Raton’s leading philanthropist. She sat through the entire show that featured vocalist, TV and film star Leslie Uggams in the lead role of Mame Dennis, the devil-may-care, anything-for-a-laugh party goer who provides a new life experience for her late brother’s child, Patrick, when she becomes his new caregiver. But the 102-year-old Countess wasn’t there just for the show. Because of her generosity to the fledgling theater company, the lobby of the combination performance center, costume museum and cabaret restaurant has been named in honor of her and her late husband, Count Adolph de Hoernle. “We are thrilled to dedicate the lobby to them,” said Marilynn Wick, executive producer, who acquired the building, the former Caldwell Theatre, in 2012 after that venue went bankrupt. “The generosity exhibited by the Count and Countess de Hoernle has been felt by so many arts and service organizations in Palm Beach County.” Wick said Countess De Hoernle “made a generous contribution to the Wick Theatre in 2013 that made the revitalization of the former Caldwell Theatre a possibility.” The chandelier-lined lobby that runs from the front doorway along the rear of the theater section to the cabaret restaurant in the rear will, Wick said, “honor the Countess, in perpetuity, as a constant reminder of her tireless dedication to the betterment of the community that she and her beloved Adolph called home.” Count de Hoernle passed away in 1998. As she often does, the Countess took the microphone and told the audience that the Wick Theatre “is something so precious. I have never seen a theater as beautiful and charming; the people are wonderful.” The Countess encouraged the community to support Wick Theatre and jokingly reminded the audience that donations “are tax deductible.” Kimberly Wick, executive vice-president and curator of the costume museum, said she, her mother and the staff “are humbled” by the Countess’s presence. She also promised that the Wick would host the famed benefactor’s 103rd birthday celebration. The 2013 contribution was not the Countess’s first financial support to the venue at 7901 North Federal Highway. About seven years ago, when the structure was being built for the Caldwell troupe, she gave $1 million and named the building after her late husband. His name still adorns the facility.