by Russ Alman, WVSAC Communications Director
Over 120 people attended the 1st Annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Talent Show at the Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center on December 2. The show featured 11 acts, ranging from choirs and soloists to Irish dancers and an ensemble musical dance performance. The show included a gourmet spaghetti dinner and a beer and wine bar.
It may have been the inaugural attempt at talent show at the senior center, but the idea has been in the works for years. Members of the senior center have approached Dave Tosch, the executive director, a number of times over the past 10 years about doing a talent show as a fundraiser. The senior center has a number of members who play the piano, sing and dance, so the thought was that hosting a talent show would be a great way for them to show off their skills. Once the center reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in a talent show started up again, but it took a while for us to get the planning process off the ground.
When Lisa Blair, the senior center's new program director, came on board this summer, she became excited about the idea as well and put the gears in motion to host the talent show. Orginally, the event was planned for earlier in the fall, but this being the first attempt, it took more time than expected to track down the talent and resources needed to pull things together. So the decision was made to postpone the event until after Thanksgiving and turn it into the "Ugly Sweater Holiday Talent Show."
The senior center installed a brand new microphone system just in time for the event. The new system includes 8 microphones, making it possible to mic up all of the judges, the emcee and the performers.
Jaylah Young, Miss Wenatchee Valley 2023, who now lives in Spokane, drove back to Wenatchee to emcee the talent show. "I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center for hosting an incredible community bonding event and for trusting me with the honor of emceeing it," she remarked. She enjoyed the experience and noted that as the night progressed, the judges, talent and audience "relaxed into their roles and just had fun." When asked about the quality of the talent, Jaylah was not surprised. "I think the Wenatchee Valley is filled with so many talented individuals that I didn’t find it too hard to believe the caliber of the performers who showed up!"
"It turned out be a wonderful event." said Tosch. "It was a good fundraiser for us. We sold all the tickets. Talking with all the folks who participated, they were very happy with being able to do the show. And the audience told us the event went very well."
The event was such a success that there will almost certainly be another one in the future, and perhaps turn it into an annual fundraising event.
Photos by Russ Alman.
These photos are also available for free download at high resolution from the Alman Media Group website.