Jewell’s Got Talent showcases college performers for philanthropy

Image courtesy of Michaela Esau.

On Oct. 23, William Jewell College students gathered in Gano chapel to witness their peers perform in Jewell’s Got Talent. The talent competition was held by Zeta Tau Alpha sorority in support of their philanthropy, Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. 

Six acts representing Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Alpha Order, Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, and the independent students performed. The event followed a similar format to the television talent competition, “America’s Got Talent.” 

Judges included Tom Vansaghi, director of strategic planning; Kristin Wooldridge, coordinator of student activities and greek advisor; and Heath Hase, director of teaching and learning technologies. The panel of judges offered high praise and comedic criticism after each act. 

Prior to each act, a melodramatic video of the contestant’s background and their reasons for wanting to win Jewell’s Got Talent played. These videos were filmed around Jewell’s campus and featured music that fit the mood of the contestant’s personal story. This was done in the style of interviews on “America’s Got Talent.” 

Acts included a song about the trials of nursing school, sung by Ali Shappell, junior nursing and ACT-in double major, dancing routines by members of Delta Zeta and Kappa Alpha Order, a mystic sticks performance by sophomore political science and international relations double major Zachary Mertes, and singing and guitar playing by Larry Dahlsten, sophomore music education major. 

The winning act was a yo-yo dance routine, performed by the representative of Phi Gamma Delta, Blake Barth, senior accounting, economics, and ACT-in triple major. His yo-yo tricks and dance moves earned him a standing ovation from the judges and confetti-enhanced glory. 

At first, Barth did not realize that he had won after his name was called. His fellow contestants had to tell him to go receive his trophy. 

“Yo-yo what’s up, I think Jewell’s Got Talent is a tradition that starts here,” said Barth when the Hilltop Monitor asked about his victory. 

Darcy Sweet, senior psychological science major with an emphasis in pre-occupational therapy, is the director of philanthropy for Zeta Tau Alpha and was in charge of the event.

“I’m so happy that Jewell students came to support their peers and Zeta’s philanthropy,” said Sweet. “Our goal was to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness, and we accomplished that.” 

The event raised over $1,000 for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. Sweet was grateful to the many individuals who helped to make the event a success. 

“It would not have been possible without the amazing contestants, faculty and staff judges, and the support from the students,” said Sweet. 


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