By Angela Morefield
A recently renovated Southside movie theater decided to gift a movie screening of Frozen II to a family that gives back to an important cause.
Cinemark Movies 8 at U.S. 31 and County Line Road in Indianapolis, previously known as Movies 8, wanted to give back to the Southside community to celebrate their recent theater upgrade and remodel.
A private movie screening was gifted to a special Southside family. Vanessa Stiles, public relations representative for Victory Sun, Inc. suggested Jennifer Buechler’s family. Buechler is the mother of five children. Her oldest son is a sophomore at Ohio State University and graduated from Roncalli High School, and her youngest, Lauryn, is in second grade and was born with Down Syndrome. Jennifer and her husband, John Buechler, formed the 21 dreamS team for the Down Syndrome Indiana’s annual fundraiser, Buddy Walk.
“The Buechler family got the opportunity for the movie screening when Cinemark’s remodel of the existing theater demonstrated a commitment to Indianapolis’ Southside community,” Stiles said. “In addition to the renovation, Cinemark’s leadership team sought out unique ways they could demonstrate their commitment to the community.”
The Buddy Walk is a celebrated event for the Buechler family and the families and friends who gather each fall for the Buddy Walk are an extension of Jennifer’s family. When John’s mom passed away, the funeral fell on the same weekend as the Buddy Walk. Missing their Buddy Walk family, Jen described the relationship her daughter Lauryn had with John’s mother, “Nanny,” in a Facebook post:
“When Lauryn was born and we received her at-birth diagnosis, Nanny took it exceptionally hard. Due to the culture and negative stereotypes of differently-abled people (most certainly individuals with Down Syndrome) of her generation, she was worried and scared about Lauryn’s future. She cried for days. Then she met Lauryn. And, she saw how the world was changing … and how Lauryn and individuals like her are changing the world. They had a special relationship.”
Cinemark wanted to give the family a reason to celebrate with their Buddy Walk families without having to wait until next year’s event. On Dec. 28, Cinemark welcomed the family and their 21 dreamS friends and other Buddy Walk families for a belated celebration.
Even though the 21 dreamS team did not attend the Buddy Walk, they were the second largest fundraising team, with $13,445 raised (more than $3K over their goal).
The theater’s renovations include state-of-the-art picture and sound quality and electric-powered, plush, oversize recliners with footrests, cup holders and heat-controlled seats. Cinemark accepts reserved seating online, includes a kiosk and an app for better access to ticketing capabilities. It offers increased availability of new films in a multitude of film genres and a lobby that features a concession stand with a variety of food and beverage options including Pizza Hut. All films shown are new releases. For more information, go to cinemark.com/indiana/cinemark-movies-8.s
The next Buddy Walk will be held in the fall of 2020 and the Buechler family and the 21 dreamS team look forward to raising more money for Down Syndrome.