Performer, gentleman and philanthropist

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Bret Michaels, former lead singer of the group, “Poison,” that gained fame in the late 1980s, put on a tremendous show at the All Ohio Balloon Fest last Thursday night. I had the privilege of meeting him at a “meet and greet” ahead of time. I’ll have to say, he was much more handsome than I expected and quite pleasant to everyone who had waited in line. Apparently, he’s known as just a plain, ordinary, nice guy.
Later, when first on stage, he also mentioned several charities involving diabetes (he’s a type one diabetic himself) that he works for and supports. He also likes to give back to the local community, where he performs.
That brings me to a story about his generosity. At the “meet and greet” event about a half hour before his performance, Tara Billiter waited in line to meet him, along with about 35 others. Most just wanted to see what he was really like, but she was on a mission. She had with her a small cardboard cutout of a high top tennis shoe, the symbol for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). She was going to ask if he would sign it for her daughter, Peyton. So she worked her way up in line and eventually, there she was standing next to Bret Michaels.
She quickly handed the symbol to him and asked, “Would you please sign this for my 7-year-old daughter?” He asked if her daughter had diabetes, and she replied that she was diagnosed when she was 3. After asking if her daughter had ever been to camp, he said that he wanted her to go to a camp for children with diabetes next summer fully paid by him. He turned to his assistant and said, “Please get this lady’s information and let’s get her daughter signed up. She’s going to be my guest next summer at camp.”
These special camps are prepared to help children with diabetes. They have nurses on staff and it is often the only way some children can experience a camp atmosphere. Bret told Tara about his first time at camp and how wonderful it had been for him as a child. That was much more than she had expected and what a thrill for her daughter!
So not only was Bret Michaels the winner of Donald Trumps “Apprentice” competition early on in the series, but also he is a really good singer, performer and nice guy.
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White Christmas production gearing up
The community choir group Singsations is at it again. Director Susan Bunsold Wilson, assisted by Dee Winters, Mariam Carson, Garrett Schwyn, Wendy Nuspl and Scott Underwood, will be producing a semi-staged version of the musical, “White Christmas,” based on the famous movie starring Bing Crosby.
The Singsations will provide the chorus for the production. The plot of the musical centers around two military veterans who devise a plan to help their former general after returning home from World War II. Local veterans’ families from that war will have the opportunity to honor their soldier during the program. We will have more about how to do that as time gets closer.
The performances will be Dec. 2-4 at the Veterans Auditorium, but right now the crew is starting to cast the production. Along with the Singsations, the cast of the musical will begin rehearsals on Monday, Sept. 19, but auditions for the seven main leading characters and supporting cast will be Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27 and 28th at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Marysville. Anyone with other questions can contact Susan Bunsold Wilson at sbunsold@yahoo.com.
The production will certainly be a nice beginning to the holiday season.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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