Rutgers Got Talent raises more than $2,500 for charity
The seventh annual Rutgers Got Talent show was held at the Livingston Student Center on Monday night. The Palestinian Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) organized the event to raise money for children overseas.
The event raised more than $2,500 for the non-profit organization.
“Rutgers Got Talent is one of the charity's biggest events of the year,” said Nourhan Heikal, School of Arts and Sciences senior and the president of the organization.
Auditions for Rutgers Got Talent commenced before the end of the fall semester, but performers did not learn if they would be performing until the weekend before the show opened, giving contestants a small time frame to prepare their performances, Heikal said.
In the past, the event was consistently held on Thursday or Friday nights, but this year, a scheduling conflict forced the time slot to Monday night, Heikal said. This meant the audience was not as large as it had been in previous years.
Throughout the night, board members from PCRF provided information about their cause. One student on the board read an original poem at the beginning of the show that addressed discrimination and violence towards minorities, Heikal said.
The night provided an entertaining way to raise money and introduce people to the relief fund and what it stands for, she said.
The event was cosponsored by more than 10 different on-campus organizations including the Sigma Psi Zeta sorority, the Arabic Language Club and the Black Student Union, according to the event's page.
“Students usually love Rutgers Got Talent because we usually host more serious events,” Heikal said. “But this is one of our fun events where it's just strictly about raising money and everyone can just come eat some snacks and listen to some people sing and watch some dances.”
The night progressed with the help of two masters of ceremonies (MC), who previously hosted dance competitions, giveaways and raffles in between acts.
Mahmoud Soliman, one of the MCs and a member of PCRF, encouraged the crowd to engage with the performances.
"I love making people hyped and getting them in that zone and making performers feel good about themselves, and making the people feel good about the event and making the whole event as fun as it can be,” Soliman said.
At the end of the night, there were three finalists: Ann Claire Macalintal, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and singer-songwriter, a dance group called the Lucy Stoners and the Rutgers Taekwondo demonstration team.
The Rutgers Taekwondo team performed a mixture of dance and authentic technique.
“It’s a fun mix of dance and martial arts,” said Griffin Poole, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and member of the team. “The idea of it is to put on a nice entertaining show where we showcase the kicks, the skills and the techniques that we do in practice as well as making it entertaining and being loud and obnoxious about it.”
The Lucy Stoners is a competing dance troop at Rutgers who have performed at a number of tri-state competitions.
The team has participated in many performances around campus, but this was its first time performing at Rutgers Got Talent. For that event, the Lucy Stoners performed an older routine that they had not done in over a year.
“They’re like our favorite dances, so this is like a reunion for us,” said Jenna Brennan, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and one of the members of the dance team. “It was something we haven’t done in a while and it was just fun for us.”
Jacob Turchi is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.