CRANFORD — “An Evening of Shining Stars” played to a sell out crowd at Hillside Avenue School in Cranford recently, raising $2,000 for The Arc of Union County. The show featured students with special needs in grades 3 through 12, and some skits also included friends and family members.
Opening the show, the entire cast danced to the song, “I Got A Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. With a beat that was instantly contagious, the auditorium full of families and faculty members quickly rose to their feet, clapping and dancing, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the evening.
Fourteen-year-old student Ryan Fay was the Master of Ceremonies. From the moment he took to the stage, Fay fully engaged the audience with his quick humor while beautifully introducing each performance throughout the evening. Emotions from the audience ranged from laughter to tears of joy, all mixed with heartfelt swells of pride.
Acts ranged from complex choreographed dance routines by individuals and groups to students playing the piano, singing, or performing charming little skits. Director Sally Curci, who had two children in the show, shared “I think the audience was a little surprised with the level of talent they saw during the show. I was so happy to give the children a forum to show off their talents and a chance to be the ‘Shining Stars’ that they are.”
In June proceeds from the show were presented to The Arc of Union County, a non-profit agency serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1949. For more information about The Arc of Union County, visit www.arcunion.org