Hometown Christmas show in Albion continues – online

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 November 2020 at 12:30 pm

Event that honors memory of Nicholas Kovaleski has raised $25K for scholarships in 10 years

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dancers rehearse the opening number of the 10thannual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. Performers will be videotaped today with the show available to watch online beginning Dec. 4. A $10 purchase gives 24 hours of access of watching the show. There are also baskets up for raffle. Tickets can also be purchased online for the baskets or in person at Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.

ALBION – Covid won’t be stopping the 10th annual Hometown Christmas show in Albion. While there won’t be an in-person audience the show will be available to watch online.

Nicholas Kovaleski

Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy, has directed the Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas shows the past decade. They honor the memory of one of her dancers.

Nicholas Kovaleski also excelled in football, swimming and tennis for Albion, and was a Boy Scout. He valiantly battled leukemia and passed away at age 15 on June 29, 2011.

The Hometown Christmas show includes some of Miss Amy’s dancers and other performers from the community, including singing by Gary Simboli, Marcy Downey and Riley Seielstad. Jim Babcock, a local contractor, will appear as Santa and two of his employees, Craig Lane and David Karcz, will be dressed in reindeer costumes.

Sidari also will give a message about love, community and unity during this difficult year.

“With love we can overcome the negativity, the restrictions and feelings of lost hope,” Sidari said. “With Covid, our whole community has gone through its own grief. We’re a group that wants to bring joy to people.”

Kelly Kovaleski will share with the audience about her late son, who was upbeat while pushing himself to excel. The Hometown Christmas shows have raised $25,000 in scholarships which are given to Albion seniors selected by Kelly and Jay Kovaleski who “Live with Purpose.”

Kelly Kovaleski and Amy Sidari have worked together on the Hometown Christmas shows in memory of Kovaleski’s son, who passed away from leukemia at age 15 on June 29, 2011. They are wearing facemasks with the “Live with Purpose” message that a guiding principle in Nicholas’s life.

That was the guiding principle for their son. Albion seniors submit applications for the scholarship, and the Kovaleskis want to honor students who step up for their families and friends.

The scholarships have ranged from $500 to $800. Last year the Kovaleskis were able to award three scholarships – Laiken Ricker, Masey Ferchen and Colby Ferchen were the winners.

The scholarships and fundraising are through the Jim and Diane Salmon Children’s Fund, which is a 501c3 organization, allowing tax exempt donations.

Salmon, a home repair radio host for WHAM in Rochester, had Nicholas as a guest on the show.

“He was sick, but he was wonderful,” Salmon said. “He did a great interview.”

Salmon said the Hometown Christmas continues to honor Nicholas’s memory, and this year provides an important outlet for the performers and the audience.

“This show is a testament of the tenacity of Miss Amy, and Jay and Kelly Kovaleski,” Salmon said. “They have found a way to do the show and do it within the rules.”

Michayla Kovaleski rehearses a dance on Sunday for this year’s Hometown Christmas show. She is Nicholas’s sister and works as a dance instructor at Miss Amy’s. She recently graduated from Nazareth College.

People can purchase an online ticket for $10 and then have 24 hours of access to watch the show, which will be about an hour. The show will be available on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.

Sidari also will host watch parties at the studio for small groups to view the performance on the big screen. (Sidari’s Cabaret at Studio B has already done online shows with Gary Simboli.)

The event also includes the chance to win at least one of 40 baskets donated by the community. Tickets can be purchased and placed in-person at Miss Amy’s or purchased online with notes sent to Miss Amy on which baskets the tickets should go.

For more information on the Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas, click here.