On February 26, 2012, Best Buddies Connecticut hosted their second annual Talent Showcase Extravaganza at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
Melissa Izzo, Brendan LeMieux, Jim Hawley, and Jim Boyce were incredible guest judges for the event.
The performers, emcees, and judges of the show all pose for a picture after announcing the first, second, and third place winners.
Our two incredible emcees, Logan West, Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2012, and Rashad Murrell, a Buddy Ambassador and participant from Sacred Heart University, pose for a picture after the show.
The event served as a kick off to Best Buddies Month, (March), and was incorporated to celebrate the talents and abilities of all our participants in Connecticut.
Over 140 people came out to the event to show their support Best Buddies programs and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Multiple chapters were represented at the Talent Showcase Extravaganza including: North Branford High School, Joseph A. Foran High School, Staples High School, Brien McMahon High School, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Quinnipiac University, Yale University and Sacred Heart University.
In an effort to continue to spread awareness of Best Buddies throughout the state, the Talent Showcase Extravaganza also garnered support from Citizens participants, alumni from Sacred Heart University Best Buddies, parents, siblings, and volunteers.
Emily Gillette, from the office of Alumni Affairs at Sacred Heart University, was generous enough to help supply food for the reception and help to spread awareness of the event to Sacred Heart alumni.
The show was hosted by Logan West, Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2012, and Rashad Murrell, a Buddy Ambassador and participant from the Sacred Heart University chapter. Rashad impressed the judges at the 2011 Talent Showcase Extravaganza with his original rap music.
For the 2012 Talent Showcase Extravaganza, Best Buddies Connecticut welcomed Rashad back as not only an emcee for the event, but also as a performer. Both emcees, Rashad and Logan, were able to perform their incredible talents on stage with the other brave participants from around the state. Logan West performed a graceful and impressive lyrical dance, and Rashad Murrell shared his original and inspirational music with the crowd.
Tisha Denny, a buddy from North Branford High School who took third place in the 2011 Talent Showcase Extravaganza, won first place this year with her wonderful performance of Anne Hathaway’s cover, “Somebody to Love”. Dragen Lesko, a buddy from Staples High School, performed “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and was awarded second place.
Dragen came in full Michael Jackson costume and impressed the judges with his dance moves and spirit. Anthony Mickle Jr., a buddy from Brien McMahon High School, was awarded third place for his incredible dance skills.
Best Buddies Connecticut would like to sincerely thank all the performers, attendees, and volunteers that helped to make this event successful.