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Disney-themed talent show raises money for United Way

Disney-themed talent show raises money for United Way

September 13th, 2017 by Brittany Hilderbrand in Local News

Prathyankara Premkumar, 9, performs Tuesday during the Mid-Missouri's Got Talent show at Avenue HQ. The third-annual talent show supports the United Way of Central Missouri.

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

The 2017 Mid-Missouri's Got Talent Show was filled with the magic of Disney, complimented by local talent.

Six contestants and United Way of Central Missouri agencies "opened up a whole new world" of dreams Tuesday during various on-stage performances, several of which featured a touch of Disney, coordinating with this year's fundraising slogan, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Andrew Dyer, 2016 Mid-Missouri's Got Talent winner, opened the show with a musical performance to "Friend Like Me" from "Aladdin."

The competition also featured singer and guitarist Noah Barfield, musical theater duo Nick Gladbach and Natalie Eickoff, neon glow-in-the-dark juggler Will Haenni, singer and guitarist Jordan Heckemeyer, soloist Lauren Micke and Prathyankara Premkumar, a 9-year-old who did an ancient Indian dance.

Micke said she entered because its a way to give back to the United Way.

"This experience was amazing," she said. "I love performing, and especially for a charity, it just felt really good. I encourage anyone to get out there and perform, like their slogan says, 'If you can dream it you can do it.'"

To complement the Disney theme, Micke sang "Reflection" from "Mulan."

For performers like Eickhoff and Gladbach, the evening was an opportunity to couple their love of musical theater with their love of Disney. The duo performed a rendition of "I See the Light" from "Tangled."

To mix it up, Premkumar, 9, performed a classical Indian dance she has been practicing since the age of 6.

Her parents, Sharmila Suri and Premkumar Nattanmai, said their daughter enjoys dancing and thought this was a great opportunity for her to showcase her talent.

Suri explained what makes the dance difficult is the level of balance and coordination needed, but she is dedicated to learning it.

Barfield ultimately walked away as the Mid-Missouri Got Talent Show winner and $250 cash prize with his performance of "Crazy Love" by Norris Cole.

"For me, the whole idea was to play and give back to the agency," Barfield said. "I try to play any chance I get, and this was a perfect opportunity and its for a good cause."

Debbie Hamler, director at the Special Learning Center, said this year's talent show was the best yet.

"Just as I thought how can we top last year's, this was even more amazing," she said. "Just look, there's lots of talent in our community. This was remarkable."

Throughout the evening, there were also special Disney-themed performances by the Boys & Girls Club, Capitol Projects, Jefferson City Day Care, Special Learning Center, Council For Drug Free Youth and the Big Brother Big Sister Program.