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‘Hometown Christmas’ provides inspiration and entertainment

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

Catherine Thom and other dancers in Gotta Dance by Miss Amy perform Snowflakes, an excerpt from the Nutcracker during Saturday’s fourth annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. The row in the back includes, from left: Laiken Ricker, Rylie Lear and Lauren Thomas.

Marcy Downey sings “Over the Rainbow” during the Hometown Christmas show on Saturday at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum.

A cast of about 50 performed songs and dances in memory of Nicholas, who died at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have been a senior this year.

A video at the beginning of the program featured Nick’s classmates and school staff holding signs with inspirational messages. During his fight with leukemia, Nick urged the community to “Live with Purpose.” His classmates and the school staff and teachers continue to keep Nick’s memory and his message alive.

Lydia Erakare, one of Nick’s classmates, holds a sign that says, “Be Brave! Take Chances! Challenge Yourself!”

The Gotta Dance studio performed three shows on Saturday that drew more than 300 people. Proceeds are used to a fund a scholarship in Nick’s memory. So far, five scholarships have been awarded to graduating Albion students.

Nick’s mother Kelly Kovaleski , left, sings “The Shape of You,” a song she used to sing with her son at bedtime. She is joined by Albion music teacher Karen Conn.

Nick’s brother Matt Kovaleski introduces his band, “The Chick Magnets,” which also includes Noah Duvall, Connor McQuillan, Nick Sacco and Bryce Pritchard.

The Rev. Richard Csizmar, pastor of the Holy Family Parish, shares a reflection during the one of the shows on Saturday.