Participants in the 2019 Paladin Talent Show cheered each other on as they showcased their unique skills and brought joy to their audience.
Clients of Paladin performed at the talent and while showcasing singing, dancing, magic tricks, and more at Lakeview Christian Center in Michigan City. Paladin is an agency that works with and supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A panel of judges gave participants trophies and several special awards. Leola Bean and Cody Johnston both won People’s Choice, and David Fitzgerald and Angela Hernandez won Honorable Mention. Brandon Joyner received 4th place, Joshua Nikolich won 3rd place, Jeff Olds received 2nd place, and Joshua Mosley won 1st place. Brian Strieter won Best of Show.
“This event is a really good insight into who we are and who they are. I mean, it takes a lot of courage to get up and sing and dance and do your magic tricks and everything – you show off your talents in front of a lot of people,” said Erin Mooneyhan, Development and Marketing Officer.
Lorne Hodum, Pastor of Lakeview Christian Center, said that he attended the first few Paladin Talent Shows to support Cody Johnston, a member of his church and a client of Paladin. Soon after that, the talent show outgrew the original location, and Hodum helped coordinate bringing the Paladin Talent Show to Lakeview Christian Center for the past five years.
“It’s a good outreach to the clients of Paladin. It gives them kind of a sense of involvement and accomplishment, but I think it’s also an outreach to their family members,” Hodum said.
“It’s probably the funnest night of the year, that’s for sure,” said Bill Trowbridge, CEO of Paladin. “Everyone comes in here and when you see all the participants when they get up onstage and how excited they are to have the opportunity to get in front of people and show their skills…they put everything into it. It’s a fantastic night.”
The participants of the talent show enjoyed performing to an encouraging and supportive audience.
“I just like the interaction with the crowd,” Brandon Joyner said, who sang an original song he wrote and won 4th place.
Heather Radke performed the song “God Loves You” by Jaci Velasquez.
“I just love to sing. It keeps my mind active and I’m trying my best to perform and have the greatest time and just know that I’m here to have fun,” she said.
“This is so exciting. I was here last year and it was a blast….They just really, really love it,” said Janice Katz, a member of the Board of Directors for Paladin. “I think it’s really good for the whole community to see all the talent that’s inherent in this group of people.”
Many family members and loved ones proudly cheered on the participants.
“I just love it all. Of course, I’m partial to Josh Mosley because he’s my grandson, but I love every one of them,” said Margie Pawlak, an audience member.
Chris Yagelski, Michigan City Police Sergeant, was one of the judges for the talent show and is a huge supporter of Paladin. The Michigan City Police Department helped fund the awards and trophies for the talent show.
“Everybody’s singing is amazing. All the talent that’s up there is just very heartwarming,” Yagelski said. “It’s a very unique event that I wish more and more people would come to because it’s something you can really appreciate.”
To learn more about Paladin and their contribution to the community, visit www.paladin.care.