By Margaret Pepe
The Relay For Life Committee and the Commuter Student Association hosted Battle for More Birthdays, a student talent show, on Saturday, Feb. 21. The event, which was held in the Hillwood Lecture Hall, was set to raise awareness and money for cancer research.
“It’s all about awareness, about cancer, about how to help, and about the talents of our student body.” There were fourteen acts scheduled to perform in the talent show,” said Jack Thedinga, a senior Political Science major and marketing leader for LIU Post’s Relay for Life committee.
“Throughout the course of the night, there will be a variety of different talent acts,” said Nicole Cunningham, a first year graduate student studying literacy, and president of CSA. “Some of our acts included singing and rapping performances, a live band performance, and also a Bollywood dance,” she said. “A night of fun and talent and all for an excellent cause.”
At the end of the show, the audience got the opportunity to text in their votes to determine the winner of the talent show. The talent show winners were Sharon Sextus and Neah Narvekar, who performed the Bollywood dance. Singer Ben Brinton came in second, and Rich Grillo, who did stand-up, placed third. There were also raffles available, which were generously donated by other clubs and organizations on campus. All of the night’s proceeds went to Relay for Life.
“The primary goal in any Relay for Life event is to raise awareness and money for cancer research. However, it’s also important for us as students here to help people get their talents out there for everyone to see and appreciate,” Thedinga said. “My father was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, but has been in remission for the last two years, so this is something I hold very close to my heart.”
Cunningham believes Battle for More Birthdays is an important addition to established events at Post. “With this event, our ultimate goal is to help support the cause [raising money for Relay for Life] that has become so important to many students on our campus.”
Thedinga hopes that students who attended to see their friends perform went to support the fight against cancer at the same time. “Mostly we just want people to have a great time and come out to support their friends, as well as Relay For Life. [I]t’s such a great cause,” he added.
This is the first Battle for More Birthdays, but both CSA and Relay For Life are hoping the event will be held again. “Relay has partnered with other organizations to hold various events, but this is our first talent show hosted by and for Relay For Life,” Thedinga said. “The Commuter Student Association was instrumental in helping set up this event, and I don’t think it would be possible without their continued support.”