BEND, Ore. - For two nights, prominent business, civic, and entertainment leaders showed off their singing, dancing and comedy skills to put the "fun" back in "fundraising" for the Tower Theatre Foundation.
It was the second annual Bend Follies, a variety show about Bend, by Bend, and for Bend.
"The Follies were designed to showcase the important role the nonprofit Tower Foundation plays in the cultural life of Central Oregon," said Bob Singer, chair of the Tower's board of directors. "And a good way to spread that serious message is through a comedy show; one that opens one night, and closes the next!" concluded Singer.
Follies hosts Chuck Arnold (Downtown Bend Business Association) and Maralyn Thoma (2nd Street Theater), led a cast of nearly 90 volunteer performers, including: employees of Deschutes Brewery, McMenamin's, Atlas Cider; Chamber of Commerce Board; Bend City Council; Bend Bachata and U'Hane Hawaii Hula dancers; Belegarth Medieval Combat Society; cast of "Les Miserables'; NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns and Lee Anderson; KQAK's Dave Clemens; Saxon's Jewelers' Ron Henderson and Emily Brinegar; Kristi Miller; Tom DeWolf; and many others.
"Everyone left the Follies feeling good about Bend, the Tower, their talented friends and neighbors – and with very little money left in their wallets," said Tower Foundation director of development Todd Dickerson. "And that's what I call a successful fundraiser!"
Specifically, the Follies (April 25 and 26) raised $37,000 through donations, auctions, ticket sales, a guitar and mandolin raffle, and cash "votes" for gratuitous standing ovations.
Ray Solley, executive director of the Tower Foundation, announced the 2015 Follies will be April 24 and 25. "We've already started writing song parodies and Bended News stories. We want to make Bend laugh in the worst way," Solley said.
The Tower Theatre Foundation owns and operates the historic stage in downtown Bend. The Foundation's mission is to provide performing arts, civic, educational and social events that enliven and enrich the lives of all Central Oregonians. Individual and group tickets are available at the box office (835 NW Wall), by phone (541-317-0700) or online (www.towertheatre.org).