Gorilla athletes showcase other talents
Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter
Last Thursday, John Lance Arena was filled with students, athletes and community members who shared two common goals: raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and enjoy some entertainment.
g State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee held the first ever Gorillas Got Talent to fundraise for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Athletes representing almost every sport on campus performed various skits, musical performances, dancing and improv acts in front of a panel of judges and a crowd of over 400 people.
“I think that it’s great to give back to kids and children as athletes,” said Jessica Barnes, junior in early childhood development. “This is the way that we can do that.”
The event began with a men’s track team member juggling tennis balls in the air. The women’s track team followed with one member singing a solo. Other acts included one team performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” another performing a rhythmic cup game and singing “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” and the football team performing an improv skit featuring Edward and Bella from the “Twilight” series.
Paula Okrutna, one of the participants, says the event wasn’t just beneficial to the charity.
“We get excited because we can raise money for Make-A-Wish and show off our sweet skills,” said Okrutna, sophomore in psychology. “But we are having fun doing this.”
By and large, though, the most popular performance was the baseball team performing a choreographed dance to “Space Jam.”
The performances were judged by seven local celebrities: Linda Graham, PSU cheer coach; Jenna Wendt, PSU Dance Club; Phil Scott, son of PSU President Steve Scott; Chris Hagen, KSN sports reporter; Nick King, KODE sports reporter; Tanya Bach, host of the KOAM Morning Show; and Nikki Patrick, columnist for the Pittsburg Morning Sun.
The Crimson and Gold Dance team and Gus performed while the judges made their decision about who won.
Buckets were designated for each team so fans could donate money to help their favorite team win. Each dollar donated meant one point added to the judge’s score to determine the final winner.
The top fundraisers on the night were the baseball team with $190.98, women’s track team with $132 and the volleyball team with $126.
The Pittsburg State University baseball team was the favorite of the night, both based team was the favorite of the night, both based on the judges’ votes and the money raised from fans.
Baseball player Nick Brandecker says the team was excited they won.
“It’s just awesome,” said Brandecker, sophomore in manufacturing engineering technology. “All our practice finally paid off. It was great to see so many people come out and support us.”
Over $650 was raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Although Jessica Greaves wasn’t impressed with the event, she still believes it was a good fundraiser for the athletes to do.
“It wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be,” said Greaves, senior in psychology. “But it was good for the athletes. We don’t get to participate very often in these events like Yell Like Hell because we have practices and such.”