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Youth Acts Scheduled for Happy Valley’s Got Talent

on March 17, 2017 5:00 AM

STATE COLLEGE — Twenty-two local talented kids’ acts, including everything from a hula hoop dancer to an Elvis impersonator, will perform during the seventh annual “Happy Valley’s Got Talent” show Saturday.

There will be two performances of the show, in its new format, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The State Theatre. This year the show features only youth performers, and the competition and judging elements have been eliminated, according to a press release.

Tickets for the show, presented by the JB Griffin Memorial Foundation, are $10 for the 2 p.m. matinee and $25 for the 7 p.m. show. A 7 p.m. show ticket and red carpet pre-show reception at Indigo sponsored by Metzger Animal Hospital is $50.

The show is produced by local playwright and producer Jerry Sawyer and will be emceed by local radio host Jerry Valeri from Big Froggy 101 and Majic 99. All proceeds benefit Tides, a support program for grieving children and families. Tickets are available at The State Theatre box office by calling (814) 272-0606 or visiting

The performers were chosen from more than 50 acts and nearly 100 kids who auditioned in February for the finalist spots. Originally patterned after the nationally televised show “America’s Got Talent,” the producers of Happy Valley’s Got Talent were so overwhelmed with the amount of talent at the auditions for the Kids’ Edition, they felt a change in the show’s format was necessary. Instead of the 12 contestants and four featured performers of the past six seasons, this year’s show will feature the top 20 acts. In order to bring the audience more entertainment, there will be no competition and no judging — since that takes away from the time allowed for the youngsters to showcase their talents. Prize money will be divided by all 20 acts.

“We’re very excited to present this change in our structure," said Suzanne Thompson, executive director of Tides. "We’ve done it the same for six years, and now with the special Kids’ Edition, it gives us a chance to re-think and re-invigorate our efforts.

"There are kids from over 15 different individual schools participating in this year’s show. The show’s primary purpose is to raise money for Tides and to increase awareness of our programs, so we’re looking for this broadening of our reach into the school districts in the center region to allow us to serve more families in need of our services.”

All finalists were given the option of declining participation since the format change, Thompson noted, and all were happy to lend their talents for the good of the Tides program.

“We received a lot of feedback, such as this comment made by a performer’s parents: ‘Given the new changes to this year's show (which by the way ... we love!!) we would like to either decline the award for our daughter’s participation or accept the award and provide a donation to Tides,’" said Thompson. "This is not uncommon of past performers donating their winnings back to Tides.”

The performers, their talents and schools are:

 Catherine Reed, vocal, Benner Elementary School

 Caleb Du, piano, Radio Park Elementary School

 Charlotte Ohl, dance, Gray’s Woods Elementary School

 Rainey Walker, vocal, Radio Park Elementary

 Michael Robertson, dance, Young Scholars

 Kaleb Brownson, vocal, Mount Nittany Middle School

 Piper Mulley and Hannah Smith, vocals, Ferguson Elementary School and Gray’s Woods Elementary School

 Hanah Weissmann, vocal and guitar, State College Area High School

 AVID Dance Productions, Lillian Lawrence, Elaina Martin, Jordan Hlivia, Alyssa Montler, Wilhemina Guillard, Raegan Dinant, Jaden Carothers, Graysi Pellegrine, Riley Kauffman and Cecelia Mazzocco

 Ariana Schinder, vocal, State College Area High School

 Happy Valley Chinese School, dance, Emily Zhang, Claire Zheng, Joy Liu, Jennifer Wang, Quiana Guo, Marissa Xu, Alexandra Yao, Ziyi Qin and Grace Shang

 Abby Traxler, vocal, Mifflin County High School

 Halle Mitchell, vocal and piano, Bellefonte Area High School

 AVID Dance Productions, Emma Bannach, Jenna Brugler, Emily Dale, Sara Funk, Bayla Furmanek, Sophia Ghinos, Brooke Givens, Anna Gorenglo, Cassandra Greenland, Kasie Hertzberg, Casey Kauffman, Lexi Lonsdale, Kiyah Lugue, Hope Neal, Nicole Pandolfi, Isabella Rater and Madilynn Scavone

 Unaccompanied Minors, vocal, Will Hurtz, Nicholas Cole, William Fecko, Declan Flanagan and Ashwin Godura, State College High School

 Kira Watson and Casey Higgins, dance, Bellefonte Middle School and Mount Nittany Middle School

 Grace Ansley, vocals, Charles W. Longer Elementary, Hollidaysburg

 Stella Morris and Amelia Rater, dance, Gray’s Woods Elementary School and Park Forest Middle School

 Nora Goudie, vocal and guitar, Park Forest Middle School

 Wilhemina Guillard, dance, Delta Middle School

 Isabelle Snyder and Fiona Mulley, vocal, Mount Nittany Middle School and homeschooled

 Maxwell Giulian, State College

In addition to ticket sales, the evening will raise additional funds for Tides through an online auction with the help of Michael Dilliard Auction Co. Closing dates and a list of items, including trips, collectibles and local goods and services, can be found at the website


Audience members will also have an opportunity to text to donate during and after the event by sending a dollar amount to (814) 283-4111.


As the signature fundraising event for the Tides program, the goal of Happy Valley’s Got Talent is to raise $50,000. Hundreds of volunteers and businesses have donated their time, talent and resources to the event.

Tides is a peer support program offered at no cost to grieving children, teens and the people who love them in Centre and surrounding counties.

Tides meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at Houserville Elementary School. Registration is required and is available by calling (814) 692-2233.

For more information, visit


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