Dressed for success

By on March 4, 2015

Talent show raises $3,000 to fight pediatric cancer, Vulopas crowned Mr. Four Diamonds

Warwick's Mr. Four Diamonds,  JJ Vulopas. (photos by Cathy Chapis)

Warwick’s Mr. Four Diamonds, JJ Vulopas. (photos by Cathy Chapis)

For the first time in seven years, the Warwick School District held a talent show, and it was worth the wait.

Students from first grade through high school participated, and each and every performer hit their mark.

This year’s event was used not only to display the talent of the students, and in some cases teachers, but to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund.

“Seven years ago the school put on a talent show,” said INTERACT advisor Lisa Gleason. “At that time it was just a talent show, but we decided to bring it back and to raise money for Four Diamonds.”

In years past the students and faculty raised funds in other ways. In 2011, $500 was raised. Then in 2012 they raised $5,000, followed by $8,000 in 2013, and then in 2014 they raised $30,000 for Four Diamonds. The goal for 2015 is a lofty $40,000.

Saturday’s talent show raised $3,000 for the high school’s MiniTHON, according to Gleason.

The Four Diamonds Fund guarantees that families affected by pediatric cancer never have to worry about how to pay for expensive treatments. It is also a part of Penn States’ THON, which raises millions of dollars.

The talent show started in the capable hands of emcees for the evening, Alexandria LeVasseur and J J Vulopas, who between acts gave valuable information about the Four Diamonds Fund and how the money affects families stricken by cancer.

Amanda Franqui performs a dramatic monologue.

Amanda Franqui performs a dramatic monologue.

The acts ranged from an Indian Folk Dance, which opened the show, and was put on by Warwick student Shahini Banerjee in a very colorful Indian dress, to singing and recitals, even a Beatles tribute band which included two teachers.

After the opening act, first grader Ridley Fiddler sang “I Won’t Grow Up” and then sixth grader Angel Cordischi, from John Beck, sang “Only Hope.”

Other acts in the first half of the show included Akash Banerjee reciting a portion from “Invictus” and Matthew Soslow from the Warwick Middle school playing the piano and singing “Viva la Vida.” Another middle schooler, Lauren Epps sang “When You Say Nothing at All,” which was followed by high schoolers Erin Eshenshade and Kiernan McNelis dancing to “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.”

The last few acts before the intermission consisted of Kayla Ketchum of WMS singing “Opportunity” followed by a vocal and piano performance by first grader Sara Hassona from Bonfield Elementary. Courtney Mengel followed by singing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” before the Stover family &tstr; consisting of Henry, Will and Lynn &tstr; gave their version of “RadioActive,” with dad on guitar and one son playing the drums and the other singing.

It was hard to pick a high point, but one was surely the Four Diamonds Competition.

Six brave young men from the high school competed for the title of 2015 Mr. Four Diamonds, and did so in a very unique way,.

Forrest Brooks, Devon Berk, Austin Maguire, Eric Myers, Avery Quinn and J J Vulopas dressed up as woman and paraded around the stage before preforming their version of the talent portion of a beauty pageant. Vulopas did not put on a dress since he was one of the emcees.

Their performances ranged from catching Skittles in his mouth from the other side of the stage (Myers), to a demonstration on how to tie shoes (Berk).

David Krak finishes his piano solo, with a little help from Mom.

David Krak finishes his piano solo, with a little help from Mom.

In the end it was a funny, but very good piano performance provided by Vulopas, along with the most money raised by those attending and voting with money for their choice, who walked away with the all-important title of 2015 Mr. Four Diamonds.

After in the intermission the Warriorettes performed a lively dance number which included Miss Lauren Sangrey.

Logan Dissinger had the crowd clapping with her version of “Dog Days are Over,” and the crowd kept right on clapping along with WMS student Princess Smith who sang “Overboard” and “Lips are Moving.”

Next up Alexis Wolfe and her version of “Danny’s Song.” She was followed by a unique act, Madison Felpel playing a medley of songs on her Ocarina. The Ocarina is a small flute-like instrument. Felpel had the audience captive with her solo.

Sam Machin rocked the auditorium by playing the piano and singing “Feeling Good,” and Amanda Franqui gave a humorous version of a monologue about peanut butter.

The last two acts were David Krak playing a hardy version Chopins’ “Black Keys,” and Zoey Winters and Macaylah Mutchler singing the “Winter Song” in perfect harmony.

After the Mr. Four Diamonds winner was announced, the Cavern Club, a Beatles tribute band performed several tunes to close out the evening.

Thankfully there was no judging for the talent show, because picking a winning act would have been impossible. All the acts were absolutely fantastic.

“I am so proud of the kids,” said Gleason. “Due to the weather we only had one rehearsal, which was Friday night and we had a great crowd and the kids did fantastic.”

There was one true winner from the talent show, the Four Diamonds Fund. The show raised $3,000, and UNITE will be holding Warwick’s MiniTHON May 15-16 from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. at the high school gym. All ages are welcome, and students who raise $50 can attend all the night events with games, food and prizes.

For more information and the mission on UNITE, check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/WHSMiniTHON.

Tom Arnold is a freelance feature writer. He welcomes reader feedback at marshalfm1@comcast.net. 

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