By Nicole Curcio
The third annual “Battle For More Birthdays,” a student talent show, will take place in the Hillwood Cinema on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. The event will be filled with hopefully 10 to 15 diverse acts that will compete to win.
Each contestant will be given a donation bag for friends and audience members to donate money towards cancer. Two winners being announced, with the first chosen based on the highest cumulative points from the judging panel and the second selected from the highest total in their donation bag. The event will close “Relay Week,” and all proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
Post alumnus and former vice president of both the SNAPPS and Amnesty International clubs, Matthew Miller will make his third performance at the Battle for More Birthdays talent show. The seasoned singer/songwriter, who will sing while playing the guitar, has been involved in music since he was seven years old and “gigging” with various bands and projects since age 15. “I love performing for an audience,” Miller said. “Raising money for cancer is one of the causes that I have been fighting for. Several people in my life have had cancer, so the cause kind of hits close to home.”
Senior psychology major Richard Grillo, who has competed in the event for the past two years, will be this year’s host. His stand up comedy act was awarded third place in 2015 and second in 2015. “I have hosted comedy shows for “Relay” and SAB (Student Advisory Board) events before as well as the talent show fundraiser for Ian [Matuszak] last year,” Grillo said. “I host at comedy clubs regularly so I am very comfortable as a host.” His standup awarded him third place out of nearly 120 people in the Long Island Laugh Out last August. He will also be performing at Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst May 19.
A strong coordinating staff is as essential to a successful show as a strong host. Adam Hornbuckle, SGA vice president and the Relay for Life committee chair, feels that it is important to have dedicated people to work together to plan the event for the most successful results in audience turnout and money raised. “Two years ago, the event was hosted by CSA [Commuter Student Association] and raised about $2,000,” Hornbuckle said. Last year’s event did not raise as much as the year before, totalling about $1,000, which is why preparation for this year is crucial. “Planning is tough. We started planning for Relay Week in the fall but it really picked up in January.” The goal is to reach at least $2,000, but most importantly promote the cause.
Relay Week kicked off Monday, March 20, with students painting their hands on a canvas for the “Hands for Hope” program. On Tuesday, March 21, students taped Campus Life director Michael Berthel to a wall for “Stick it to Cancer,” paying $1 per piece of tape. Pizza will be sold, $1 per slice, in Hillwood Commons during common hour on Wednesday, followed by a kick off party during the day on Thursday where students are encouraged to wear purple for “Post Goes Purple” in honor of the Relay for Life Colors. The week will be capped off by “Battle For More Birthdays,” with raffle prizes, finger food, a light dinner, and entertainment. “We want students to come out and enjoy watching their friends in the talent show while raising some money in the process,” Hornbuckle said. “The emphasis is not on the competition, but on having a good time to finish off an event filled week.” As of March 9, five performances are signed up but there are no restrictions on who can perform in the talent show. Students, alumni, and friends are all welcome. To sign up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, March 22.
*Editor’s Note: Adam Hornbuckle is a staff writer for the Pioneer.