Sunday, January 29, 2017

Laughing, singing and dancing for a good cause

A man and his dummy
Courtesy: Tom Harness
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

For the last four years, I've had the honor of being a part of the Hospice of Southern Illinois Red Carpet Gala. It's the premier event of the year here in southern Illinois. It's a fundraiser that features the talents of men and women from around the region and me. More than a thousand people attend the gala, which raises money for Hospice of Southern Illinois.

The first year I was the biker from the Village People and we danced the YMCA on stage. A year later I was a member of the Four Seasons and provided backup vocals and dancing to our "Frankie Valli". After two years of singing and dancing I was assigned a comedy routine and took on the role of Bill Engvall from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. 

The 2017 theme was Great Performances from the Big Apple and our group was cut in half. It was just me and Les O'Dell as we continued the comedy tradition. This time it was Jeff Dunham and Walter. Les transformed himself into the "dummy" Walter perfectly. We were the only comedy act this year, so I dubbed us the best comedy performance of the night. 

Mr. Worldwide & his crew
Courtesy: Deb Payne
There was so much talent on the stage this year. The performances included everyone from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga to Pitbull. Like I said, everyone was great on stage this year, but I have to give a shoutout to my buddy Tom Harness who played Pitbull. He and his team from Harness Digital Marketing knocked it out of the park. Tom was extremely nervous beforehand and I'm proud of him for stepping outside his comfort zone and getting on stage.

Thank you to the many volunteers who made the night a success as well as to the people who came out to watch and support such a great cause. Word can't explain how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event.

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