Scholarship awarded in honor of ‘Friskers’ Frey

Scholarship awarded in honor of 'Friskers' Frey The 2004 Richard R. "Friskers" Frey Memorial Scholarship to the Donna Reed Foundation Festival for the Performing Arts in Denison, IA, has been awarded to Breanna Stacy, a junior at Northeast Lutheran High School in Norfolk, NE.

The festival, scheduled during the week of June 21-26, consists of a series of college-level workshops and seminars titled Acting With the Masters. The workshop sessions are conducted by well-known actors, actresses, educators, and other entertainment industry professionals from across the nation. Stacy, 16, is the daughter of Dawn Stacy, Pierce, NE.

Frey, an educator and co-founder of a documentary film company, took great interest in the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts as a way to help young artists pursue their dreams. After his death from pulmonary disease on April 7, 1999, his friends and family were inspired to donate thousands of dollars to the Donna Reed Foundation's Student Scholarship Fund in his honor.

Born on Dec. 23, 1942, Frey grew up on a farm near Pierce, where he earned the nickname "Friskers" for his enthusiastic attitude and frisky antics on the Pierce High gridiron. After high school he attended Wayne State College, Wayne, NE, Norfolk Junior College, Norfolk, NE, and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from The University of South Dakota (USD), Vermillion.

In 1966, he entered the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam as a Stars and Stripes correspondent. After his discharge in 1968, Frey resumed his post graduate work at USD and served as assistant director of the film department.

In 1971, after receiving his master's degree, Frey co-founded Cottonwood Productions, a documentary film company. As a principal of Cottonwood, he made the critically acclaimed documentary, Let the Waters Run Free, which brought to light environmental concerns about the construction of a dam on a Missouri River tributary. The documentary still airs on public television stations nationwide, and the dam in question was never built.

Two years later he collaborated with the only Indian-owned film company in the country, where he produced and directed three biographical films: Lucy Swan: Indian Woman of the Year, Charles Kills Enemy: Medicine Man, and Steve Charging Eagle. He later directed a film for the State of Nebraska Service for the Visually Impaired, We All Walk the Same Road (1974), a documentary about the everyday life of a blind student at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

In 1976, he began teaching communications at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, NE. Two years later he returned to USD, developing a new TV program from the ground up. In 1988 he was named director of the Department of Television Instruction at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS, where he remained until his failing health forced his early retirement.

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