CLK Schools receives farewell donation from NYC comedian Joe Pera

Over $11,000 was raised for the school’s music program at final screenings of Pera’s Adult Swim show ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - The Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw (CLK) Schools has received an unexpected donation from New York City comedian Joe Pera.

Pera donated $11,613 to the Calumet Public School Music Program.

“Joe Pera said goodbye to his TV show ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’,” said CLK Elementary Music and Choir Teacher Matt Ruitta. “He held three screenings in New York City at the Bell House in Brooklyn, and he donated all of the proceeds to our music program here.”

These screenings took place over the first weekend of Oct.

According to Ruitta, Pera’s connection to the school began when Ruitta helped Pera develop his character for the show.

“About four years ago, he reached out to me because, in his TV show, he plays as a choir director that lives in Marquette,” continued Ruitta. “And he came and shadowed me here one day, and we’ve kept in touch over the years. He wanted the funds to go to a school, and he chose us.”

Ruitta, who handles both the school’s elementary and choir programs, plans to use it for new music equipment for elementary students. The choir is planning on going to see a production of Hamilton in 2023.

The director of the school’s band program has similar goals.

“There are a lot of little things that we need to add here within our program,” said CLK Schools Band Director Ryan Watt. “We need some additional pants for our marching band uniforms. The band has grown this year, we’re at 75.”

Other additions include music stands, new mallet instruments, and instrument reeds.

Watt is excited about how these new improvements could be used to grow the program.

“I have not shared it with students or anything yet, but it’s really exciting to think of the possibilities,” continued Watt. “It just allows more people to be a part of the program.”