I had the absolute privilege of capturing memories for a wonderful group of people this last weekend at the 1st Annual “Let ‘Em Shine” Talent Show, put on by EEK Fitness. It was a tremendous success – not only as a way to allow children and adults with disabilities to share their special talents in the spotlight, but also as a reminder to the audience of how amazing, courageous, talented, and truly special (in the most positive sense of the word!) those with disabilities really are.
The event was set up with all kinds of fun decorations, helping contribute to the “star quality” atmosphere.
The Valley Queens were on hand to present awards and make new friends… They really connected with a few of the younger girl entrants especially.
The entrants brought smiles to my face with their smiles, shoulders held high with pride, and commitment to each other and their talents.
One thing that struck me about the evening was the amount of unhindered joy and emotion that filled the room. What a blessing of an experience.
I love the look of love and pride this precious girl has for her treasured friend as they surround her in the dance routine. So tender… And the pianist’s enthusiasm couldn’t be beat! I told her I wish my fingers would cooperate with me like that!
The High Hopes Program out of Temecula brought a great group – their first number was patriotic on the handbells…
And then later they let loose, getting their groove on! :) High Hopes received 1st place from the Talent Show judges.
There was quite a bit of rockin’ out going on when these guys came on stage as well!
I was grateful to be hidden behind my camera for this next act… I was a basket-case full of touched, happy tears as Alison lip-synced with innocence and passion “Mean” by Taylor Swift.
We had an intermission and I got a chance to capture some of the amazing people and colors of the night.
Victor (on staff at EEK Fitness) and his daughter then gave a special performance of “Under the Sea”. It was aDORable.
It was neat to see Victor and the rest of the audience so proud of all the entrants. Daniel was up next with an amazing lip sync of a hip-hop love song – performed from the heart.
D&D Group Home brought a great bunch of entrants as well, performing a patriotic “I’m Proud to Be an American” in sign language that had the audience singing and swaying heads along.
It was just beautiful to see the joy and dedication that filled the evening.
Voice of the Valley winner, Shelia Diggs Trammell, brought along some friends, performed with her Fantastic Dream Team puppet, and offered a moving rendition of the song “Hero”.
All the entrants went home with a carnation, a certificate, and their very own trophy. I think it really meant a lot to them. They will also each receive a 4×6 photo from their performance.
I think this image sums up how I saw and felt the event – nurture, joy, beauty, relationship, community – all things that define the best in us.
Thank you so much, friends, for allowing me to capture this amazing evening for you. I’ll look forward to sharing the rest of the images with you in the Web Gallery I create for you on my website. I hope to meet you all again some day!
Cherish, Love, Remember Always,