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Friday, February 26, 2021

Annual talent show brings in donation money

By Alaena Fletcher

Talent was in abundance on the night of Friday, April 20 as the residence halls held their third annual Western’s Got Talent show.

All eight of Western’s residence halls were represented in 12 different acts ranging from singing and dancing to spoken word and a bass solo.

An approximate 250 people assembled in the Performing Arts Center’s concert hall to watch the acts and participate in a raffle.

“I think it went really well. We had some great responses from our audience and great talent that was performed,” Olivia Martinsen, president of Birnam Wood’s community council, said.

(From left): Amanda Soria, Sarah Quiring, Sanai Anang and Drew Williams pose with their awards on stage in the Performing Arts Center on Western’s campus in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday, April 20. // Photo by Alaena Fletcher

Sanai Anang, representing Buchanan Towers, took first place for his smooth reading of a poem and short story. Sarah Quiring and Amanda Soria from Birnam Wood came in second for an original song. Third came sophomore Drew Williams representing Nash Hall for singing and playing the guitar to “Fall for You” by Secondhand Serenade.

Williams said he enjoyed performing and the crowd’s positive response to his 2008 song choice.

“I think the nostalgia really brings people back,” Williams said. “I love letting people relive those memories and remember all those songs that people have forgotten.”

Attendees were encouraged to donate one dollar per ticket with proceeds going to four charities and a chance to win one of five gift baskets worth $70, according to Birnam Wood staff.

The charities include Skookum Kids, a program that cares for foster children in Whatcom County, the Whatcom Humane Society, the GAP Scholarship which gives financial help to university students in need and Relay For Life.

The four judges who gave each contestant feedback were June Fraser-Thistle, the office manager for the Residence Life staff, Janae Brewster from Prevention and Wellness services, Melynda Huskey, vice president of enrollment and Kurt Willis and associate director of University Residences.

Freshman Greta Chappell performed prelude number four of book one by Claude Debussy. She was coming back to her dorm one evening while they were having auditions and her friends told her to go play. She said her being there was a happy accident.

The contestants of Western’s Got Talent join the emcees on stage in the Performing Arts Center on Western’s campus on Friday, April 20. // Photo by Alaena Fletcher

“It wasn’t really in my planner, but I’m here now and I’m excited to play,” Chappell said.

The final tally at the end of the night was $322 in donations with Christian Urcia, resident director of Birnam Wood, agreeing to match that dollar for dollar.



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