Athletes showcase talent for ‘Make A Wish’

Clairisa Laws

Round up the teams and let’s get the show on the road. Northern Michigan University’s NCAA teams are bringing their special talents to Vandament Arena at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9 for the second annual talent show and fundraising event.

KM_Athlete Talent Show2 The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) of NMU coordinates the event. Similar to last year, the council is joining forces with SAAC Michigan Tech in efforts to raise money and support the “Make a Wish” foundation.

Senior Nordic skier Jordyn Ross said coming together with Tech enables the council to make a child’s wish come true.

“We’re hoping to make this a big event. We’re reaching out to the community and students to have them come down and help raise money for ‘Make a Wish,’” Ross said. “We come together so we can raise enough money to sponsor a specific child rather than the  ‘Make a Wish’ foundation as a whole. We really try to get a child from the U.P. so it is more local and personal.”

This is not the first year the talent show has taken place to raise money for the “Make a Wish” foundation. SAAC president and senior women’s basketball forward Abbey DeBruin said the fundraising for the “Make a Wish” foundation last year was a success, and they were able to send a local girl to Disney world.

“Last year was so rewarding. I think the most exciting thing is helping a local family. The foundation is such a worthy cause, so I’m excited to meet our kid and get started,” DeBruin said. “Even though it’s technically a contest between Northern and Tech, it really is a collaborative effort by both schools to raise money. It’s special to see rivals come together to do something for the community.”

The talent show consists of NMU’s NCAA teams. Each team picks and performs an act of their choice. There are a panel of judges set to evaluate the athletes on their performance. The winning team is granted a trophy to display in a location of their choice.

Last year the Nordic ski team took first, volleyball took second and women’s basketball took third for the NMU talent show. The participating judges were Carol Johnson from the college of business, Shelley Russell from the communication and performance studies department and Bridget Berube Carter from the athletic department.

Senior Nordic skier Felicia Gesior said last year’s show was a success in both participation and raising money.

“Every team that came out last year did a really good job with unique talents,” Gesior said. “It was really fun and cool to see everyone outside of their sport and doing something different. Last year, nordic skiing did a synchronized swimming act. There were a lot of dancing acts. Volleyball had a good dancing act and the cross country team did a funny skit about running.”

Athletic Director Forrest Karr, Associate Athletic Director Bridget Berube Carter, Athletic Training Coordinator Julie Rochester, Assistant Athletic Trainer Megan DeChambeau, and junior photography major Maggie Hamilton are the 2014 Student Athlete Talent Show judges.

SAAC adviser and assistant men’s basketball coach William Hill said the council and teams are all very excited about the show this Sunday.

“This show is a team thing. It gets pretty competitive and it’s a talent show, so who knows what we are going to see. I’m looking to see a new winner. Last year, the competition was really close,” Hill said. “This event is a comedy. You are going to get a laugh, it’s a Sunday night and you’ll get a chance to see the athletes be themselves. It really is a great atmosphere, so I highly encourage students and community members to come out.”

Hosting the event, SAAC, is the advisory council for NMU’s athletic department. All NCAA varsity athletic teams have a representative volunteer to be present at the council. Located on NMU’s athletic department page online, the group is geared to discuss matters pertaining to intercollegiate athletics and student-athlete affairs. SAAC also coordinates events throughout the year in an effort to get student athletes involved with the NMU and Marquette communities.

The event is open to the NMU and Marquette communities with a $1 fee at the door.

Ross said donations are accepted and are going to a good cause.

“I think people are getting a lot more into it this year and will take it a lot more seriously,” Ross said. “We are going to be a little more competitive and I think everyone is going to bring their A-game this year.”

The talent show will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at Vandament Arena. For more information, visit the NMU SAAC page or the “Student Athlete Talent Show” event on Facebook.

“The talent show is just a ton of fun,” DeBruin said. “The student athletes are working really hard, and maybe embarrassing themselves a little to put it on. It will be a great time.”