Dancers, singers working hard on Hometown Christmas show

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Dancers at the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio have been practicing for the upcoming Hometown Christmas show on Dec. 5. This group pictured is led by Gloria Lear.

There will be about 15 acts in the show, which will be the sixth annual benefit for the Nicholas Kovaleski scholarship. Nicholas fought leukemia before dying at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis.

His father Jay Kovaleski said he appreciates the hard work from the participants in Hometown Christmas, which includes three shows: noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The shows will be at the Holy Family Lyceum at 106 South Main St.

“They’re all doing it for a great cause,” said Mr. Kovaleski, a teacher at Albion. “No one thinks twice.”

Amy Sidari, owner of the Gotta Dance studio, works with a group practicing a jazz dance for Hometown Christmas.

The Hometown Christmas shows draw about 500 people. Proceeds from the event go to the scholarship. About $10,500 has been awarded to graduating Albion seniors. They write essays about community service and living with a purpose.

Jay and his wife Kelly and Nicholas’s siblings look over the applications for the scholarships. They are looking for students who are committed to their families and community.

“It touches us to read them,” Mr. Kovaleski said.

Nicholas’s mother Kelly and sister Michayla will both perform in the Dec. 5 show. Nicholas’s brother Matthew will be part of back stage team. The oldest Kovaleski son, Thomas, 21, is in the Army at Fort Riley in Kansas.

Mr. Kovaleski appreciates the upbeat messages in the Christmas program, and some of the fun scenes, including skits by the Boy Scouts.

Michayla Kovaleski performs as the Sugar Plum in a dance from The Nutcracker during last year’s Hometown Christmas.

“Nicholas would want people to come and enjoy themselves,” Kovaleski said.

He appreciates the community’s generosity to the scholarship fund and the all of the effort in putting on Hometown Christmas.

“Christmas comes from the heart, and everyone has their heart in this,” he said.

Sidari said she welcomes donations of baskets and cookies for the benefit. For more information about the show, click here to see the Miss Amy website.