Jeff Waldron, a driving force behind restoring the Mission Gables, was honored on Thursday, Feb. 27, as this year’s “Hero of the Arts” by Redlands Bowl Performing Arts.

Waldron is a former president of the organization, which puts on the Redlands Summer Music Festival.

The sold out dinner at the Redlands Country Club featured speaker Nolan Livesay, composer/conductor, with entertainment by Wayne Scott, director and producer of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” this year’s 2020 Redlands Bowl musical.

A retired CPA and auditor, Waldron has had a love for the arts since he was young. His lifelong involvement in vocal music began when he sang the alphabet as a first-grader with his two sisters at a PTA meeting.

He remembers performing the tenor lead in his high school production of “Die Feldermaus” by Johann Strauss. It was also in high school where he was first introduced to J.S. Bach chorales through the school’s Robed Choir. Jeff performed at Radio City Music Hall on Easter with the Hope College Chapel Choir and has sung in the choirs of every church he’s attended until a 1997 medical procedure seriously impaired his breath control.

Waldron served as the volunteer project manager of Mission Gables in 1997 and worked on the $2.5 million project for 12 years.

The house is now home to the offices of Redlands Bowl Performing Arts and has become a popular venue for weddings, meetings and parties. It has also become the venue for some theatre companies in town who have transformed the upstairs venue, Dangermond Hall, into an intimate theatre experience.

Waldron, who is battling cancer, was unable to attend. His wife Trudy accepted the award on his behalf. The evening was recorded so Jeff would be able to still watch the evening.