By Dennis Green & Jen Boettger
Breanna Kenney and Zane Hadish, both of Cedar Rapids, are the recipients of the inaugural Gene Whiteman Follies Scholarship.
In its 37-year history, The Follies has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations like St. Luke’s and the Cedar Rapids Symphony (now Orchestra Iowa). Now that The Follies is a standalone charitable organization, the Board of Directors recently approved a plan to focus the philanthropic activities of the Follies to invest in the future of the young performing artists in our community, many of whom get their earliest stage experience in The Follies.
“We call it The Follies Family,” says Dennis Green, past president of the Follies Board. “We have adult cast members today who started at eight or nine years old. And several of our alums, like Catherine Blades, Ron Livingston, and Megan Reinking, have gone on to successful stage and film careers.”
“We may not have articulated it before, maybe we didn’t even realize it. But providing opportunities