Clarence High School students are ready to show their talents
Cheryl Keller and Diane Giangreco are both family and consumer science teachers at the high school and were teaching a youth leadership class. When they received the permission to create a youth leadership club, they took the opportunity and created the Hearts of Hope club.
“We were given permission to create a club as a way to give students an opportunity to reach out to the community and to help out others who need it,” said Keller.
This club holds several events each year but one of the most popular is the Clarence Got Talent Competition. In the past, the club hosted a fashion show for many years. Recently, the students decided that it was time to change the event and came up with something a little different.
“We felt that is was time to mix it up a little bit,” Keller explained.
This year, Clarence Got Talent will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23. It will be held in the auditorium of the high school. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased throughout the school day or at the door. There are 11 different acts that will be performed. Some acts consist of solo performers while others are duets and groups.
“It’s amazing to see some of these talents that the students have,” said Keller. She went on to describe how it surprises her because she sees many of these students everyday and she never knew some of the incredible things they could do.
“They’re so courageous to get up on that stage in front of the audience,” she added.
Hearts of Hope donates its earnings to a different organization for each event that is held. In previous years, organizations such as the Make a Wish Foundation, Buffalo and Niagara Hospice and the SPCA have benefitted from donations given by this club. These students have even raised money that contributed to the building and completion of an elementary school in Afghanistan.
This year, Women and Children’s Hospital will receive all of the proceeds from the Clarence Got Talent event. Along with the ticket sales, money will be raised through a baked goods sale as well.
Keller added that this event would not have been a possibility without the club’s leaders, which are Alison Stiglmeier and Bernadette Giangreco. These leaders have organized the entire event, including getting three local celebrity judges that will help choose the winner of the event.
“They’ve been really instrumental in putting this together,” Keller said. “They’ve organized the whole event.”
This year’s celebrity judges are DJ Anthony from Kiss 98.5, Buffalo Sabre Nathan Gerbe and Stevie Johnson, wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills. There will also be a guest speaker, Sue Mirabella, from Women and Children’s Hospital.
The Clarence Got Talent competition has been a success since it began four years ago. Keller said that she and the rest of the club believe that it’s because the students get to see their friends perform on stage.
“They want to see their peers perform,” she said. “They get caught up in the excitement of their friends being on stage and realizing some of the talents that their friends really have.”
This event is open to the public and family members and friends are encouraged to come and see the special talents that these local high school students are willing to show off.