Talent show celebrates King’s message, honors volunteers

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Five Wilsonians were honored for their volunteer spirit and more than two-dozen kids, teens and adults performed Saturday evening for the 2018 Share the Dream Talent Show.

State Martin Luther King Jr. Commissioner Jacquie Jeffers said she hosted the 10th annual talent show at Greenfield School sponsored by nonprofit youth development group Hand In Mine, Inc., to celebrate King’s “dedication to diversity through a showcase of talent.”

Organizers presented the Share the Dream Community Spirit Award to attorney Rhyan Breen, who held karaoke fundraisers for the Arts Council of Wilson; Crystal Clear Photography owner Crystal Carter Kirby, a youth sports volunteer; Jerri Batts of AXA Advisors, who volunteered with the Whitfield Baseball Clinic for young men; the Rev. Rodney W. Alston, who serves as a positive role model in the standards he sets at his Making a Difference Barber Shop on Nash Street, including bans on vulgar language and sagging pants; and Big Lots manager Jeff Quick, who has assisted with projects to help children.

Hand in Mine President Darian Cahill, served as emcee along with Crissy Oravits of Music and More Promotions. Talent included dancing, singing, and dramatic readings.

Jeffers kicked off the show by performing a song she wrote in honor of King titled “Share the Dream” which also featured local residents and well-known faces. A small portion of those personalities were news anchors John Clark and Tom Suiter, radio DJ Brian Dawson, pitmaster Ed Mitchell and Sheriff Calvin Woodard.

Jeffers said she was honored to represent seven North Carolina counties as their representative on the state MLK Commission and wanted nothing more than to “bring people together in a diverse community for a night of good entertainment.”

Jeffers hoped this year’s fundraising would bring in a significant amount of money since 100 percent of funds raised will go directly to the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. A December break-in resulted in the theft of more than $7,000 in computers, video game systems and electronic equipment from the club’s teen center.

Jeffers read a proclamation from Gov. Roy Cooper commemorating Jan. 15 as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in North Carolina.

During the talent show, Fike student Samuel Thomas rapped a tribute to King that garnered a huge response from the crowd. Thomas said he entered the talent show to honor King’s message and legacy, but to also promote his musical group, Abnormal, which he says is to bring together “unique mindsets together to create good music.”

Local pastor and entrepreneur Everett Silver sang an original song “I am God,” and said he “loved seeing the community come together to support local boys and girls.”

The We Just Love Stepping Social Club had the crowd loudly cheering as its members line-danced to popular gospel music.

Sponsors of this year’s talent show were Wells Fargo, State Farm Insurance agents Chuck Finklea, Jana Lake and Ericka Thomas, Chili’s, Texas Steakhouse, Bojangles’, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Zaxby’s.