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Douglas High sophomore wins Kiwanis scholarship at talent show

by Ted Conover

It was a star-studded evening at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School Saturday night when the Kiwanis Club of Gardnerville-Carson Valley presented the first of what is planned to be an annual event, “Stars of Tomorrow.”

Sixteen acts displayed the talents of 17 Douglas County students. Sixteen others displayed their works in a companion art contest. Some 250 people attended the event and the audience gave the performances enthusiastic applause.

The program was billed as a talent showcase for area young people. Ann Delahay, a Kiwanis member and professional appraiser, created the idea for “Stars of Tomorrow” and carried it through with help of other Kiwanians, area residents, and Valley businesses.

Performers included Megan Riley, Natalie Gardner, Mary Zimmerman, Ian Chase, Jennica Weiss, Anthony Janssen, Jenny English, Dece Ruckios, Kit Cressaty, Charles and Sam Hodge, Kristen Schell, Samantha Deputy, Heidi Alder, Corinne Sweet, Jenny Neal and Natalie Gardner.

The judges selected Anthony Janssen the first-place winner. he gave a piano and vocal rendition of several lively numbers to win a $500 scholarship from the Kiwanis Club.

Second place went to Natalie Gardner for her vocal and tap dance combo to Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.” She won $250 presented by Minden Medical Center.

Mary Zimmerman captured third place and a $100 award from the Kiwanis Club with Rossini’s “La Seperanzione,” which she sang in Italian. She was accompanied by Gwen Marsh.

During a short intermission between presentation of the performance awards and the art awards, Rod and Cathy Hearn entertained with a vocal and dance number to “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” They were accompanied by Cindy McIntosh. Rod is drama instructor at Douglas High School and Cathy teaches a new course this year, musical theater.

Art award winners were pottery and three-dimensional art, first, Zac Beres; second, Jolene Daphne; third, Brian Hillard; graphics, first, Rebecca Zimmerman; second, Brandon Straker; third, Cassie Gonzales; fine art, first, Jon-Paul Palmer; second, Blake Hiller; third, Matt Johns; photography, first, Mary Linn Rodgers; second, Crystal Soderman, third, Shannon Hall.

Two other awards were presented in the art category. Jill Cressaty won the People’s Choice category, and Allison Seavey’s “Waterfall” was selected as best of show.

Producer Delahay said there was community support for the project. In addition to 28 sponsors, she recognized Don and Michele Baumann, Carol and Fritz Battcher and Carol’s art classes for set decorations, and Nancy Bargman, Rita Borselli, Carly Chichester and May Kay Kaluza for coordinating the art competition.

Delahay thanked Arsen Mapeljan, who videotaped the event at no cost, and Theresa Abram Noble for contributing video and photo work.

Chris Murphy of Channel 2 in Reno was master of ceremonies. The Record-Courier and KGVM-FM Carson Valley Radio were thanked for providing publicity.

“Stars of Tomorrow” was dedicated to the memory of Gene Zimmerman, who died in a tragic accident last fall. Zimmerman was active not only in Kiwanis but many other Valley efforts and was often the “sparkplug” behind many community-betterment projects.