‘Rivals become friends’ at Faculty, Staff Talent Show

Adam Myers, Reporter

Cougar Radio will host a faculty, staff talent show in the Lemmond Theater to benefit sixteen-year-old student, wrestler, and track athlete Timmy Ward, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The Feb. 7 talent show will feature staff and faculty members,  including professors, alumni officers, and librarians will perform in front of students as well as the university community and showcase some hidden talents that students might not know they have.

“It is a great opportunity to see the staff as people instead of authority figures,” said Kailene Nye, Music Director for Cougar Radio.

The show is free, but  donations will be accepted at the door, with Cougar Radio staff members collecting contributions for Timmy and his family throughout the show.

The program will showcase a variety of acts including, singing, stand-up comedy and storytelling.

Nye, and Sierra Crane, Station Manger, are the brains behind the operation, and they hope to make the program an annual event. They hope  many students will come out to enjoy the variety of acts and help Timmy fight his battle against cancer.

Timmy, of Canton, Pa., lives less than thirty 30 minutes from Crane’s home  in Troy. Canton and Troy high schools are rivals , which for Crane means that donating to Timmy and his family has great meaning.

“I found out about Timmy and his struggle through social media, and even though he went to my rival high school, when it comes to an issue as serious as cancer, rivals become friends,” said Crane.

Cougar Radio staffers originally considered donating to Blue Chip Animal Hospital, but Nye said a benefit for Timmy’s family is much more personal.

“It is such an unfair thing for a kid who hasn’t even experienced life yet to go through this. It was a quick decision, but it felt like the right one,” said Nye.

Nye and Crane are still looking for more talented staffers to sign up.

Five acts are scheduled, but Crane wants to have five to 10 more.

Crane said organizers are having a hard time finding people to join.

Jackie Nat, Alumni Services Coordinator and show participant, believes a lack of self-confidence may be the reason.

“It is hard to perform in front of your friends, but even more difficult performing in front of students,” said Nat.

Nat will showcase her vocals and will sing a number from her audition packet, which she uses for community theatre.

Nat trusts that the program will allow students and the university community to better connect.

As Alumni Coordinator, Nat doesn’t work with students a lot until they graduate from the university. She feels it is important for students to recognize her and feel more comfortable with her before they get their diplomas.

“It helps us seem more human to the student population,” Nat exclaimed.

Nye said a lack of knowledge about Cougar Radio may be a reason for the low number of performers. 

This student run radio station showcases lesser known bands from around the country, along with popular artists’s albums sent from the community. With the work that Nye and Crane perform daily, they do not understand why few people know about the station.

“Nobody knows we exist,” stated Nye.

That’s why Nye and Crane want to hold fun programs such as  the  talent show.

Their future plans include a second annual Lip Sync Battle, a program in which students lip sync their favorite songs; additional Studio Sessions,  which are live band performances in the Mass Communication and Design department’s TV studio; and outdoor concerts in the Amphitheater.