Julie Conlon

Equinox Staff


On April 4, Keene State College senior Adrienne Osborne and Circle K held an “Unforgettable” night to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. Fifteen students competed in the third annual “Unforgettable Talent Show” in the Mabel Brown Room of the L.P. Young Student Center and raised approximately $162 for the cause.

Kathleen Goodwin, event co-host and friend to Osborne, explained she worked with Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes since the age of fifteen.

Goodwin said her involvement in the event was based on her friendship with Osborne, whose father was diagnosed with the disease at age 50.

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Goodwin expressed delight over the evening’s success and said they raised nearly double the funds from the first year.

“We raised a lot more money than we expected,” Goodwin said. Over the course of the 11-act show, performers treated audience members, who filled the first floor of the Mabel Brown Room, to comedy acts, duets, baton twirling, and even a choreographed jump rope routine from a freshman duo. Defending champions “Accidental Harmony” performed several songs for the audience, and Courtney Hoelen paid tribute to her family and sang Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” with a photo of her grandparents displayed behind her.

First-time judge, Jennifer Ferrell, director of student involvement, commented on the evening’s assortment of acts and expressed excitement to witness KSC’s talent on stage. “There are a great variety of things tonight,” Ferrell said. “It’s cool to see a baton twirler and a comedian—I like that variety, it’s great!”  The director continued and stated her appreciation for the event’s cause.“I’m very pleased about this,” she continued, “What a fun way to spread some awareness.”

Other judges included Heather Greenwood, Sarah Telfer, Sylvie Rice, Angela Pelletier, and Amanda Foskett. Foskett, assistant director in the financial aid office, agreed with Ferrell on both counts of KSC’s diverse talent and the promotion of the cause. Foskett said, “There is just so much talent we have here on campus,” she concluded, “I came to show my support for such a great cause.” Half-way through the 11-act show, Osborne presented a video from the Alzheimer’s Association with the message that “Awareness is our hope.”

The video stated the disease as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Other acts included freshman standout Ally Doyle and her rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and senior Erica Burke’s “surprise” gymnastics routine to Cotton-Eyed Joe. KSC’s Chock Full of Notes performed three songs for the audience as the judges deliberated and anticipation grew for the 2012 winner. Osborne and Goodwin took the stage for the final time to announce the winner of the third annual show and present the funds raised over the course of the evening. Goodwin and Osborne announced junior Kristen Zaleski as the winner for her performance of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Zaleski said a friend encouraged her to get back on stage after the two attended a coffeehouse in the Night Owl Cafe. Zaleski later saw the MyKSC announcement for the talent show and said she decided to make her college debut for a cause.

The junior said she felt uneasy before her time to perform. She said, “My body started shaking before I got on stage because I get the nerves a lot during performances. This was a big nerve-racker!” Zaleski said she entered the show both to compete and to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, a disease her aunt suffers from. Zaleski commented, “I think it’s an awesome way to raise awareness. Not many people will sit down and look at a presentation.”  She continued, “Having an event where people can sit down and learn about it and enjoy the actual event is really great.” Goodwin named the evening a success as the tear down crew overtook the Mabel Brown Room and students lingered to congratulate Zaleski. Goodwin exclaimed, “This was wonderful!” She went on to applaud her friend, Osborne, for her continuous efforts as an advocate for Alzheimer’s.

“She’s so active,” Goodwin said, “Adrienne’s probably the biggest activist I know.” Osborne likewise stated the night as a success and said, “It’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever had. We’re really happy with the turnout.” Osborne went on and spoke personally of her family’s struggle and her involvement to find a cure. “It’s not easy at all,” she continued, “It’s a struggle–so I think this is kind of my way of coping with it, and getting through it—getting involved and being active in the community to promote it.”

Osborne concluded and said, “My dad is the driving force behind it all. It’s my way of having hope that maybe there will be a cure someday so people don’t have to go through what my dad is going through.”


Julie Conlon can be contacted at jconlon@keene-equinox.com




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