Model UN raises over $1600 for UNICEF, $760 for Demko scholarship

The Lampeter-Strasburg Performing Arts Center once again opened its doors to the public for the Model UN Talent for Change on May 16, 2015. Model United Nations, or MUN for short, is a club that exists internationally in order to educate students about global diplomacy and diminish the presence of ethnocentrism. The MUN club at Lampeter-Strasburg High School partnered with UNICEF, as they have in the past, to showcase some of the students’ talents as well as raise money for a particular global crisis. All proceeds from this year's talent show went to provide relief for those who experienced the earthquakes in Nepal.

When the club first announced the event for this year, few students initially signed up to showcase their abilities. The application process originally included sending a video of the act to be approved. Once this requirement was removed, MUN was able to find enough acts for the Talent Show to actually happen. In the past, a winner was chosen and given a prize; however this year there were no winners; all performers did, however, receive a free pass to SkyZone. The aim of the event was to provide an entertaining show as well as raise awareness for the club and several global issues.
Curmudgeons (and incidentally editors)
Justin Burkett and Ben Pontz offer commentary on the show
Photo courtesy of Kelsey McNaul

The theme of the overall performance was ‘A Night at the Movies’. To break up the “real” acts, members of Model UN performed short skits from several well-known movies. These include the ‘run, Forrest, run’ scene from Forrest Gump, humorously portrayed by Teddy Mazaheri, a slightly modified lunch scene from Mean Girls, which satirized the "six to a table" lunch policy, and the dance from Napoleon Dynamite, masterfully emulated by Elke Arnesen.

Students who participated in the actual talent show included dancers, singers, musicians, gymnasts, and a magician. Everyone performed well, and some acts outdid others, but the audience was proud of everyone willing to get up on the stage. The show was well choreographed and very entertaining. Emcees Robert Diehl, Joe Barnhart, and Ethan Emmert introduced each act and provided comical performances themselves. They launched t-shirts into the crowd that they said were “random and didn’t have anything to do with the talent show”.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part about Talent for Change was the commentary provided by well-known curmudgeons Justin Burkett and Benjamin Pontz. Resembling Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets, the pair sat in the balcony above the crowd and improvised criticism and jokes about the show. Their witty conversations had audience members turning around in their seats even before the spotlight was on.

As per tradition, the MUN students ended Talent for Change with a dance involving everyone who had participated. The performance was a montage of popular dance music from well-known movies, and was choreographed by MUN seniors Kelsey McNaul and Julia Weigel. 
Kelsey McNaul and Julia Weigel lead dancers in a "salute" to
Les Miserables, one of the movies featured in the closing dance
Photo courtesy of Kelsey McNaul
Though there was no competition, the students of Model UN were able to walk away feeling as though they did some bit of good in the world -- maybe not in their dance moves, but in the attitude in which they served their community that Saturday night.

Outside the PAC, there was a silent auction in order to benefit the Meredith Demko Scholarship Fund. A total of­­­ $760 was raised in Meredith’s honor, and Model UN raised over $1600 for its cause.

--Alyssa Van Lenten, Senior Staff Writer

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