WALLENPAUPACK - The community is invited to witness the youth of the region, present their talents in support of a cause they care about. This Thursday at Wallenpaupack North Intermediate School the annual talent show will allow for students to showcase skills while also trying to help children who are battling cancer.

Thursday at 6 p.m. the young performers will go on stage to sing, dance, flip and fly since this show will be in support of Camp Timber Tops in Greeley. For one week every summer, Teri Ludwig who is a fourth grade teacher said children battling cancer are invited to attend the camp with one sibling and their doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  

Every year when the talent show occurs, the proceeds support a local cause and Camp Timber Tops, Ludwig was not familiar with. In fact, she said it seems many people in the region aren’t aware of the camp. She asked, “What better way to spend money?”   

Depending on how much is raised, Ludwig said a child could be sponsored or an entire cabin. The goal this year, is to collect $700. The talent show is not new and last year, the community rallied for a student, Bobby Fortuna who was and continues to be seeking a kidney. 

The program is open to the community and there will be a bake sale, tee-shirts from the Ronald McDonald House since Camp Timber Tops runs in collaboration with the organization. All donations, Ludwig said will go to Camp Timber Tops. 

While the talents on stage will be of those from third through fifth graders, students from the entire district are assisting in the show in some aspect as it will happen because of the efforts of volunteers.

A fifth grade student, Giovanni Patire participated in the talent show the last two years, each year singing and this year he will sing “Stand by Me” by Ben E King. He sings, Patire said because he loves it. Despite having already gone on stage and performed, Patire still experiences some stage fright, but knowing it's for a good cause that he too has had family affected by cancer he feels it is good to support the cause he said.

Cassie Hamtoko who is in the fifth grade has also had family affected by cancer and so, she wants people to know that, “No matter what you look like on the outside, you’re always beautiful on the inside.” Although she is very excited, Hamtoko is also a bit nervous as she will be singing “Little Do You Know.”

Ludwig said she is very excited for the show because it is in support of a “great cause” and she enjoys helping children. But cancer is something that has affected her family and so, as her family has fought there was an “awful feeling of helplessness” even “hopelessness” as she watched her loved ones battle the disease. And so, Ludwig has made it her mission to help others facing cancer and other diseases so the families know they are not alone. 

The staff working so hard to make the show happen is always “amazing” Ludwig said, as they stay after school for the tryouts and practices and work with the students to ready for the event that allows kids to “feel special” while also helping a good cause. As she participates in various events to raise funds to fight cancer, Ludwig said she will keep working until “cancer is gone” because “one death from cancer is far too many and no one should ever fight alone!”

The annual Talent Show will occur at the Wallenpaupack North Intermediate School Thursday, June 14 at 6 p.m.