Junior Talen Quest

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Think you have what it takes to be a performer? If you’re aged 17 and under as at 19 August 2012, have talent with any type of performance and would like to help raise money for the Hastings Relay For Life, you should enter the upcoming Junior Talent Quest happening in Wauchope in August. Patricia Knudsen fills us in … 

Hi Patricia. Please introduce yourself …

Before moving to Port Macquarie, I was employed at St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown, as an entertainment’s officer to bring entertainers and productions to their ‘Mary Sheil Centre’, while at the same time I ran my own Performing Arts Studio, where I taught singing, speech and drama. I also organised and ran Junior Talent Quests for some of the Sydney Suburban Clubs.

I was awarded the prestigious award of a ‘Member of the Liverpool Order’ for my contribution to The Performing Arts back in 1975 and the other initials after my name are for my Teaching Certificates in voice for both Vocal and Speech, attained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1961.

I moved to Port Macquarie in 2002, 10½ years ago, with my husband, Dennis. Our intention when we moved here was to retire. I have always had a passion for organising and running fundraising benefits for worthy causes, and when I became involved with the Hastings ‘Relay for Life’ − you couldn’t stop me.  Everyone knows that Cancer is such a worthy cause, but until it becomes personal, you don’t really understand why people become so passionate about fundraising for a cure for this non selective disease.

What’s your involvement with the Hastings Relay for Life – and why did you become involved?

I have only been involved with the Hastings Relay for Life for four years, and this will be my second year on the Relay for Life committee. I joined the committee to see if my presence would make a difference when my husband was diagnosed with ‘Anal Cancer’. I am passionate about Relay, as one of my young students had Ovarian Cancer. My sister-in-Law and members of our ‘That’s Entertainment’ group are cancer survivors, and this makes Relay even more important to us. We must find a cure, and if fundraising and walking in Relay for 24 hours can make it happen sooner rather than later, then so be it. With all the research and treatment we can provide for people with whatever kind of cancer, it’s a worth-while cause.

So what is the ‘That’s Entertainment’ committee all about? 

The ‘That’s Entertainment’ committee was founded in 2010 after discussions in regards to fundraising ideas for our Relay For Life group. We decided that with the members in our teams, we should be able to put on a charity concert in the aid of Relay For Life, which we achieved. After two successful concerts in the past two years, we have decided to expand on our fundraising efforts this year with a Junior Talent Quest, as well as our annual charity concert.

Our hard working committee comprises Jennifer Ward, Tricia Newman, Amie Ward, Suzie Kanteurek, Emma Ward and myself. All of us have a passion for defeating cancer and hope that through our fundraising efforts we can make that a reality.

Describe the fundraisers the That’s Entertainment Committee have organised recently, and tell us a bit more about the Junior Talent Quest …

We held our first fundraiser on Saturday, June 9 at the Wauchope, Port Macquarie Performing Arts Studio, where 16 year old Izabella Kanturek had her first hair cut since the age of three − which meant that the length of hair cut off will enable two short wigs to be made for cancer patients. The afternoon raised $628.45.

At the moment, our focus is on our Junior Talent Quest, which is being held in August at the Wauchope RSL Club.

The Junior Talent Quest is open to all competitors aged 17 years and under as at 19 August 2012.

We are holding four heats, and they are all on Sunday 19 August, commencing at 9.30am, and the Semi-finals and the Grand Final will be held on Sunday 26 August, commencing at 10am. We have had two very successful registration days for entries, and we have quite a good variety of acts i.e. vocalists, dancers, musicians, variety acts, comedians and poets.

I will still take names on a wait list if youngsters are interested; just call me on 0448 604 541, and I’ll be only too happy to talk with you.

How will the competition be judged, and will there be any prizes for the winners?

We have two judges for each Heat, Semi and the Grand Final. Prize money is fantastic; for third place we are offering $100, second place $200 and first place winner will receive $300. All contestants will receive a ‘certificate of participation’ to show our thanks for their support of this talent quest.

What is the aim of the junior talent quest – where will funds raised go?

Our aim is to enhance the potential of our local young talent and at the same time raise money for the Cancer Council Relay for Life.

Do you have any sponsors who’ve already come on board you’d like to thank – and is it still possible for businesses/individuals to lend their support through sponsorship at this stage?

We have some fantastic sponsors. Wauchope RSL have been so generous and supportive of our endeavour by allowing us the use of their club for the talent quest, Focus for the media coverage, The Wauchope Gazette for all their assistance and also their full media coverage, Café Buzz, Percival Property, East Coast Laser Cosmetic Clinic and East Coast Medi Massage and Beauty Bar have all given us cash donations of well over $1,000. And yes, we are always looking for sponsors who will support our future endeavours. We have a fundraising dinner coming up in late October/early November at the Bago Tavern.

Why would you like to see as many people get involved with this fundraising effort as possible?

We would like to see as many people as possible at our fundraising events, as cancer prevention is a passion that we all share. One in every two people has cancer, so chances are that either you have cancer or someone you know has cancer. To us, this is unacceptable.

Relay For Life gives us a platform in which to fundraise and obtain the much needed funds that will help us defeat cancer, so one day we can live in a world where no one ever has to hear the words “You have cancer”.

So come along, enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and feel good at the same time, knowing that you are helping to defeat cancer.

How do people contact you if they want to enter the talent quest or become a sponsor?

The best way to contact me is on 0448 604 541, or they can email me: knudsenpj@yahoo.com.au

A lot of people sell cakes, raffle tickets, chocolates etc to raise money, but I just organise things!

Thanks Patricia.

Interview by Jo Atkins.

Photo of ‘That’s Entertainment’ committee. Back row: Suzie Kanturek, Patricia Knudsen. Front row: Emma, Jenny and Amie Ward.

This story was published in issue 80 Greater Port Macquarie Focus

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