Lee Weber Koch
Special to the Bonanza

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April 25, 2012
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Setting the stage: 13th annual Incline Star Follies is this weekend

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — If you haven’t purchased your tickets for the 13th Annual Incline Star Follies, it’s about time you do. This family-style Cabaret show, presented by roughly 100 local residents, hits the stage this weekend at the Cal Neva.

“Incline Star Follies is an electrifying Cabaret-style show filled with yet-to-be discovered talent from 52 children from the Incline Middle School and 47 community business owners and parents,” said Incline resident Kathie Goldberg, who wears two hats as the assistant show director and vice president of the Incline Star Follies Board. “When the school kids, teachers and community members take to the stage to lip-synch great songs and dance their hearts out, they just sparkle. You have to see it to believe it.”

Incline resident Ron Stichter agrees.

“The energy is contagious,” the event producer and Follies board president said. “It seems like the cast sets the bar on the quality of entertainment higher every year, and every year I hear that the show was the best ever.”

Although Stichter’s comments are highly optimistic about the quality of the show, the challenges to maintain this expectation get tougher every year. While hard costs for show’s production are covered within the Follies’ budget, cast members are on their own for costumes, make-up and accessories.

“When the economy was in good shape, we would have plenty of financial support and solid ticket sales,” he said. “Now it seems that we’re always looking for more financial support and hoping for a sell-out.”

Enthusiasm for this annual event stretches across the community and onto the stage, with key educators and business leaders taking on new roles outside of the classroom and workplace.

“My favorite aspect of the Follies is the opportunity to bond with community people of whom I would not see in the scope of my regular school day,” said Stacey Cooper, principal at Incline High School. “I enjoy the opportunity to smile, laugh, and learn interesting details from my community-family.”

Sharon Kennedy, site administrator at Incline Middle School, concurred: “I love being able to meet and spend time with the many community members who donate their time to benefit our schools.”

The business community is also well represented.

“I originally volunteered to participate in Star Follies because I wanted to support the kids in our community,” said Terri Kinsman, who works at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. “After that first time, though, I met so many wonderful people and had so much fun that I am hooked.”

Wayne Cameron, private mortgage sales manager at the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, shared his own insight: “For me, the best part about the Follies is the camaraderie. Our lives get so busy with work and kids; the Follies allows us time to get together and laugh and enjoy some adult time with people who have become great friends.”

Star Follies is a major fundraiser for Incline Village public school children, raising more than $1 million over the past 12 years. With funding for local schools getting smaller by the year, students, residents, business owners and others all agree: this weekend’s event is a large reason to go support all the children jittering and jiving around on stage.

“I appreciate the way the cast, crew, and audience can put aside any differences and come together for such a worthwhile project,” said Dr. Johanna Koch, who’s participated for many years. “I also like getting to meet people whose paths I might otherwise not cross.”

For information about the Incline Star Follies, stop by the Potlatch in Raley’s Center or contact Goldberg at kathie_goldberg@yahoo.com or 775-831-6953.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 25, 2012 04:21PM Published Apr 25, 2012 04:18PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.