Posts Tagged St Kates

Volunteer Spotlight: Genny Freier

Anyone who has attended Park Square’s spring gala knows that it is one of the most fun nights of the season. The funds raised during this event allow Park Square to continue to produce meaningful shows and create educational opportunities that are accessible to everyone with pay-as-you’re-able programs. However, none of this would be possible without the Gala committee, a group of volunteers who give their time and energy to make sure that the gala is both magical and successful year after year.

Genny Frier (left) pictured with her husband, David. They are in formal dress with big smiles.

Genny pictured with her husband, David Freier.

One of these volunteers is Genny Freier, a lover of the arts and long-time gala committee member and silent auction coordinator.  Genny is like the best Park Square experience – smart, entertaining, warm and provocative enough to encourage you to learn more,” says former Park Square Executive Director, Michael-jon Pease, who has worked on galas with her since 2016.

Genny’s volunteerism extends well beyond Park Square. When her kids were in grade school she wrote the newsletter for their school’s Parent-Teacher Association, and she is involved with the Jeremiah Program and the Junior League of St. Paul, where she served as chapter president from 2001-2002. When asked what first drew her into volunteer work, Genny says simply “It was a family thing, a St. Kate’s thing, and a religious thing.” Born into a Catholic family, she says that the act of giving back is something that was instilled in her from a young age. This was reemphasized during her time as an undergrad at St. Kates, a school that champions leadership and service. Her family also has a legacy of volunteerism; her grandmother was heavily involved with the Red Cross during World War II. Passing the torch, Genny set the example for her children, Steve and Beth, that helping others is “just what you do” by involving her family in her volunteer projects and making sure that the kids in their community knew that the Freier door was always open. It was through her experience working with organizations such as the Junior League that Genny became involved in marketing and fundraising. As she puts it, “[her] time at the junior league was essentially a college degree in non-profit work,” building upon the skills she had already developed while getting her bachelors degree in English Education and masters degree in English Literature.

Genny was first introduced to Park Square at a friend’s birthday party that was hosted at Park Square and involved a performance of Becky’s New Car. She and her husband, David, were so impressed with the show and “amazed at what Park Square was producing, how many shows, and what they were tackling” that they decided to purchase seats for the season on the car ride home. As a former English teacher, Genny was also impressed with Park Square’s focus on education. She says “I just think that the whole educational piece of Park Square is fantastic, and I have had the opportunity to be part of, or at least witness the classes that the theatre does.”  Both she and her husband are members of Park Square’s Future Audiences donor group and the Mystery Writers Producers’ Club. 

It is her husband David whom she credits with her initial involvement with the Park Square gala committee, as he was the one who put her in contact with the team–and the rest is history. Despite having been involved in coordinating the auction, Genny says that she was “blown away” by the first Park Square gala she attended, describing it as a “magical, magical evening.” Since then, she and David have always sponsored a table at the event, telling their friends “you just have to come and experience this event, it is amazing, and so innovative and intimate.” 

Though Genny opted to attend virtually this year, she still brought her magic to the event: one of the items she donated to the silent auction, Soup-for-a-Year, was the most bid-up item of the night! Thank you to Genny for the joy and experience you bring to the theatre and to all the volunteers who make the work of Park Square possible!

Interview and article by Marketing Intern, Rachel Christensen

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