A Variety of Acts Wowed the Crowd at Saturday Night’s “Waxhaw’s Got Talent” Show

Tanglebriar Photography & Design photographed Justin Bevacqua with a ball in mid-air.

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The event opened with a feeling of anticipation in the air. Anxious family members milled about, saving seats and trying to spot their guests arriving, once the community was invited in. Raffle tickets were being sold with an urgency to beat the countdown timer that was ticking off the minutes to the beginning of the show.

The audience waited in anticipation.

The crowd’s attention was called towards the stage when Kim Lynip opened with the National Anthem. She sang to the backdrop of the American flag, waving across the auditorium’s multiple screens. After that, words of wisdom and welcome were brought by Pastor Mike Boulware of Forest Hill Church. Everyone was looking forward to seeing the acts at Waxhaw’s Got Talent, a fundraiser talent show hosted by the Waxhaw Police Explorers.

The evening began at 6:30 p.m. with Ron Hitzel of Impact Auctions as the Emcee. His lovely wife, Debbie Hitzel, joined him. A video highlighting the national Police Explorer program was shown before the contest started. There were three rounds of talent.

The program gave the details for each round of talent.

In the first round, Lacy Johnston played the ukelele and sang an original song, “My Heart Says You.” Savannah Goodner, dressed in island costume, sang “How Far I’ll Go,” from the Disney movie Moana. Kathleen Huber played the guitar and sang “Sloom” by Of Monsters and Men. Brianna Helms glammed up to sing “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor. And Lydia Lee impressed the audience with her coordination as she did an interpretive dance, that included sign language and hula-hooping, to the song “Backseat Driver” by TobyMac.

Tanglebriar Photography & Design catches Kathleen Huber practicing for the show.

The first round was followed by a video message by local Police Explorers as well as some audience participation in a “Punch-It Prizes” game.

In the second round, Sarah Webster sang “Headphones” by Britt Nicole, while her dad Edwin Webster accompanied on the guitar. An elementary-aged dancing duo, Felicity and Gracie, did original choreography in a dance they titled “Best Friends Forever.” Alexis Threadgill, a piano soloist, played and sang “Once” by Maren Morris. Maggie Lynip let her indie folk-music style shine by performing “Riptide” by Vance Joy. The second rounded ended with Justin Bevacqua, juggling glow-in-the-dark balls to upbeat music.

Tanglebriar Photography & Design photographed Justin Bevacqua with a ball in mid-air.

After the second round, there was another video message by local Police Explorers, which was followed by a 10-minute intermission. The audience had the opportunity to purchase snacks at a table set up by the local Explorers. They were also able to take a closer look at the raffle items, and Waxhaw’s Got Talent swag that was available for purchase.

Raffle items included a Chick-Fil-A gift basket and a Thin Blue Line cornhole game.
The Police Explorers ran a concession table.

The third round started off with Claire Hussey playing the guitar and singing her original song, “Gone.” Madie Pizzariella danced and defied gravity to “Let It Go” by James Bay. Kaitlyn Frisch gave a poignant rendition of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. Kendall Dean, a piano soloist, played and sang an original piece titled “Everything You Wrong.” Colsen Frank shocked the audience with delight as they watched him perform choreographed yo-yo tricks. And Ashlee Davis rocked the show out with her electric guitar medley.

Photographer Ryan Mehl caught contestant Maddie Pizzariella in mid-air.

Before the winners were announced a raffle drawing was done for a Chick-Fil-A gift basket and a Thin Blue Line cornhole set. Then an auction was held for a bundle of 18 different pizzas from six different restaurants in Waxhaw. The set went for $270, but the buyer donated them back to the Waxhaw Police Explorers so they could have a pizza party.

While the judges were conferring, a tribute video of the talent show was played, which gave the audience a peek into the contestants’ audition process. Finally, the winners were announced. In the Age’ category, Savannah Goodner won for knocking it out of the park for her age. Justin Bevacqua picked up honors for the Enthusiasm category. Lacy Johnston won the category of Originality.

The overall winners were awarded monetary prizes. Madie Pizzariella won Third Place and a $100 Visa Gift Card. Claire Hussey won Second Place and a $200 Visa Gift Card. Colsen Frank won First Place and a $300 Visa Gift Card. All contestants went home with Waxhaw’s Got Talent sling pack that contained multiple gifts cards.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves throughout the evening. There was exclaiming, clapping, and amazed laughter. The variety of talent represented offered the community the chance to see something unique and extraordinary, right in their own hometown. The Police Explorers were excellent hosts.

The event was well-organized and professionally done. The young Explorers were able to demonstrate some of their skills by greeting guests, running concessions, policing the entrances and exits, and helping with program details. Talent had been well screened. Every act was delightful. And no one went away without looking forward to seeing what next year might hold.

The Waxhaw’s Got Talent show was made possible by volunteers and sponsors. Legendary Sponsors contributed $300 in cash or goods and included Impact Auctions, Aly Carson- KW Realtor, Tanglebriar Photography & Design, Wesley Chapel-Weddington Chick-Fil-A, Isabel Gonzalez-Century 21 Realty, and KW Realtors Frank Matera, Dawn Wesley, and Sal Girgenti. Extraordinary Sponsors contributed $200 in cash or goods and included The Bagliore Family, The Haven Creative, and Carolina Chiropractic & Spinal Rehabilitation. Talented Sponsors contributed $100 in cash or goods and included Lowes Home Improvement, Pelican’s SnoBalls, and Jefferson St. Deli.

Waxhaw’s Got Talent swag was available for purchase.
The host venue was Forest Hill Church in Waxhaw.
Tanglebriar Photography & Design snapped this photo of Felicity and Gracie working on their choreography.
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Annie Beth Donahue lives in Indian Trail, North Carolina with her husband Brad, and four children. She is a professional writer for both the web and print, and she can be found at www.anniebethdonahue.com.

Annie Beth also has a bachelor's degree in music therapy from Queens University of Charlotte, and has either been working with or parenting children with special needs for the past 18 years. She is a children's book author and the founder and president of Signposts Ministries, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves families that have children with chronic health problems or disabilities. In her non-working time, she homeschools and oversees the children's care of their small menagerie made up of chickens, two donkeys, a dog, a cat, and a snake.