Third annual student talent show to benefit Shands Vista PALS program
Alachua County middle and high school students will perform a variety of acts from dancing to juggling at the third annual Gainesville’s REALLY Got Talent Show. Judges include New York actor and MTV announcer Emily Bauer and New York talent agent Peg Becker of Parkside Entertainment, whose clients include Broadway, television and film actors. The audience and judges will vote for eight finalists to compete on Gainesville Television Network with online voting. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10 for students and $15 for adults. All proceeds from talent show ticket sales will to go the PALS program, a not-for-profit, crisis intervention program in Alachua County Schools that is managed by professionals at Shands Vista. In addition to the student performances, members of IndepenDance Studio, Pofahl’s Dance Studio and Williston School of Dance will perform.
7 p.m., Thursday, May 10
Buchholz High School, 5510 N.W. 27th Ave., Gainesville
Please RSVP by 11 a.m. May 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-265-0373 if you’d
like to cover the event.
The PALS program provides crisis intervention, counseling and prevention services in five Gainesville schools. PALS trains peer-mentor teams in the schools to provide support and to promote altruistic, tolerant and nonviolent atmospheres. Graduate students from various mental health training programs provide therapy, counseling classes and crisis intervention. Fundraisers such as this talent show support the program’s ability to offer free mental health services to students in need.
PALS was created in 1999 by sisters Jessica and Shannon Marrero, 15 and 13 years old at the time, in response to the bullying that led to the Columbine High School shootings. They worked with mental-health professionals at Shands Vista, a behavioral-health hospital that offers inpatient and outpatient adolescent psychiatric care, the University of Florida departments of psychology and psychiatry and the Alachua County school superintendent. In October, Jessica and Shannon Marrero were one of 262 official designated nominees for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.