The fourth annual reboot of Woodbutchers’ Follies took the local spotlight on April 18 at Aurora High School. A total of $700 was raised to help fund local scholarships for students and mini-grants for teachers through the Youth Empowerment Project.
Tim Waltz, a former AHS graduate, took top honors in the adult division of competition and also claimed overall honors with his rendition of “Cumbersome.”
Roughin’ It, a band comprised of AHS juniors (Sam Salkill, Caleb Lewis, Kris Lopez, Ian Brown and Mason Ray), took People’s Choice honors, while Shaye Mills, another junior, took first place honors with “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman.
Other winners were gymnasts Ashlyn Potts and Brooklyn Horner in the K-6 division and Olivia Ray who sang Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” while playing the ukulele in the junior high division.
Eddie Valen, a well-known regional performer, served as master of ceremonies and also performed a variety of original tunes, as well as some popular favorites like “The Gambler,” “Wonderful World” and “Holdin’ On So Tight.”
A wide variety of acts took to the stage for the two-hour show, which was preceded by a dinner and Spring Showcase in the high school commons. Students in A-Tech I and A-Tech II (Dual Credit Leadership) classes hosted the evening’s slate of events, with help from Phil Sousa, Julie Griffith, Kim McCully-Mobley, Shawn Hines, Tammy Childress and Rhonda Boatwright.
Students Nick London and Abbi Ward co-chaired the event, which was dedicated to the legacy of Fred Baum, a former AHS teacher and coach who started the Follies back in 1969 and continued the show for more than 22 years. Baum was recognized as a special guest in the audience.
A community panel served as judges for the show. Members included Brad Boettler, Shannon Walker, Marsha Egan, Jon Holmes, Jack Muench and John Paul Lee. Pat Pettegrew, FBLA advisor, served as the official tabulator.
“We were pleased with the variety of performers, which ranged from comedy to tap dancing to hot dog eating to the Star Spangled Banner. It was a wonderful evening that paid proper tribute to the wide range of talents here in the Aurora area,” explained McCully-Mobley, who serves as co-chair of the YEP program.
Plans are already in the works for the 2020 show, which will help celebrate Aurora’s 150th birthday in the spring.