Our biggest event is the Front Page Follies, an annual fundraiser and “gridiron” show hosted in July and composed of hilarious skits and song parodies highlighting area newsmakers’ foibles during the past year. It is a plated dinner at the Knoxville Convention Center featuring a see-and-be-seen reception beforehand for targets of the good-natured spoofs to mix and mingle with city movers-and-shakers, politicians and the general public. The Front Page Follies also honors a person or people who have made important contributions to journalism in East Tennessee.
Proceeds from tickets sales, after expenses, go entirely to the Front Page Foundation, so far mainly to scholarships. These scholarships foster new generations of talented journalists by annual awards of $1,500 each to a journalism and a broadcasting student at the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Communications and Information. In addition, we award another annual scholarship of $1,000 to a promising media studies student at Pellissippi State Technical Community College.
Foundation board members and other volunteers also work for months to gather items and experiences for a live and silent auction held in the lobby of the Convention Center during the reception. A professional auctioneer who donates his “performance” adds to the excitement and bidding amounts at the live auction. All the proceeds from the auctions also go entirely to the Front Page Foundation treasury.
The annual performance, the auction and other planned activities further mission by bringing together community leaders and the general public to recognize and honor an outstanding person who is a journalist or who has helped journalism. It is not only fun and the talk of the town, but it helps our mission of education in two ways: it gets the public thinking about journalism, and raises funds for our foundation that enhance the expertise of working journalists as well as support student journalists for better journalism in the future.
Watch for an announcement SOON on who our honoree is this year!
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