Merry Makeover

Victoria Theatre Association needs your help to build new Rike’s Holiday Window display cases!


The elves, Gustaaf and Gigi, will be in Dayton during June and July and are challenging local businesses to raise $30,000 for the Merry Makeover initiative. Dayton area businesses are challenged to share a “sELFie with an ELF” on social media and make a donation to the Merry Makeover. The challenge is passed from business to business to reach the elves’ goal of $30,000!

How can you help?

  1. Call the Elf Hotline at 937-461-8197 or email paula.mclaughlin@victoriatheatre.com to schedule your sELFie with Gustaaf and Gigi and make a donation.
  2. Our elves, Gigi and Gustaaf, will visit your local business at a pre-arranged time for a sELFie and some elfish fun.
  3. Share your sELFie on your business’ social media #MerryMakeover #sELFiewithanELF.
  4. Send Gigi and Gustaaf to another business to complete the challenge and be recognized on “The Nice List.”

Donation Options

  1. Pledge $1,000 or $500 to have a with Gustaaf and Gigi; and/or
  2. Sponsor a Display Box with a gift of $10,000 (top of The Nice List), $5,000 or $2,500.

Did you know the Rike’s Holiday Window display cases are more than 15 years old?

The animated elves and animals first appeared in NCR’s New York office windows in 1943, but many Daytonians remember them from their annual holiday pilgrimage to the Rike’s Department Store which sat on the corner of Second and Main Streets (where the Schuster Center now sits). Now, every year from the day after Thanksgiving until the turn of the new year, you can visit them in the Schuster Center Wintergarden.

The setup, teardown, and visits by more than 8,000 people every year have taken their toll.

The Rike’s Holiday Window display cases desperately need to be replaced.

The goal is to raise $65,000 to replace the current boxes, purchase an additional one for recently donated elves, and refresh the holiday décor.

We need your help to continue this Dayton holiday tradition!

To make a tax deductible donation to our Merry Makeover, call 937-228-7591, ext. 3028, or send your donation via mail to Victoria Theatre Association, Attn: The Merry Makeover, 138 N. Main Street, Dayton, OH 45402.



Share Your Rike's Christmas Window Memories

Do you have a special memory of visiting the Rike’s Christmas Windows in downtown Dayton? Share it with us by filing out the form below! You can also email us at info@victoriatheatre.com or mail your stories to 138 North Main Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402 ATTN: Paula McLaughlin.

  • We want to share your story! By submitting your story, you give Victoria Theatre Association permission to share your story online, in print, or in audio or video formats.

The Nice List

Thank you to those who have donated to The Merry Makeover!

Mr. and Mrs. William E. Baird
Dwight and Marsha Bartlett
Adele Becker
Nancy Brown
Ginger Cates
Brad and Betsy Clapp
James C
Jeanine Clark
James Clay
Cox Media Group
Colleen Crews
Susan B. Davis
Carter de Werd & Connie Strobbe
Carol M. Dohner
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Dues
Kim and Michael Duncan
Don and Sue Dugan
Carol Echols
Libby and Ken Elbaum
Ann Farrell
Paul Fogarty
Jackie Fultz
Nancy Frydryk
Robert Gajda
Ginny Gambrell
Lynn and David Goldenberg
Peter S. and Carol Corr Greis
Ms. Kathy Hagerty
Robert and Shirley Hill
Margaret Hollon
Robert and Deborah Howard
Dan and Nancy Huffman
John and Kathy Jahoda
Constance Jann
Virginia Jennings
Karma Kollective
Sonja Kasch
William and Michele Keeley
Karen Kelly

Kettering Family Philanthropies
Anthony and Tonya Kolker
Jennifer Koesters
Bob and Lynn Kos
Sherley Kurtz
Jane Marie Kwiecinski
Laurito + Laurito
Joe and Kelly Lehman – In loving memory of Eleanor and Jocelyn Ann James
Gary L. Leroy
Janice Manheim
Louis Anton Mann – In memory of Nicholas Anton
Jeffrey and Peggy Markland
Frederick and Holly McConnaughey
Judy Meckstroth
Carol Ann Miller
Lelia Oliver
Jeanette and Jim Patton
Col. (Ret.) and Mrs. James Pendergast
Shirley Planet
Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Prophater
Lynda Ream
Amy and Barry Reed
Mary Retter
Gregory and Vicky Rozelle
Rick and Debbie Schmidt
Theodore and Linda Lou Sheline
Betsy and Mike Shepard
Sarah Sillin
Bonita S. Small
Judy Smith
Sally Struthers
Jacqueline and J. Bradford Tillson
Timothy and Margaret Wallace
Diane Warner
Mr. and Mrs. William Winger
Ray Wylam

Foundation Sponsor

Kettering Family Philanthropies

Corporate Sponsors

Cox Media Group
Dayton Sewing Collaborative
Karma Kollective
Laurito and Laurito
The Shopping Bag

Media Sponsors

ABC22 and FOX 45


Want to learn more about how you can help the Rike’s Holiday Window displays?

Paula McLaughlin
Manager – Individual Giving & Donor Relations
937-228-7591, ext. 3018