By Kim Walter
Students of Lord Fairfax Community College will be showing off their talents from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the McCoy Theatre on the Middletown campus.
The college has been producing a talent competition for years, but this is only the second year that it will run as a fundraiser to benefit the local United Way.
Sarah Ryker, LFCC's student activities specialist, said it made sense to partner with the United Way for the production.
"Before it was just something fun for students, but now everything we make goes to a great cause right here in our community," she said. "We love working with the United Way, and we love showcasing our students' talents, so this is the perfect event for us."
The competition -- "LFCC's Got Talent" -- will feature 26 acts coming from both the Middletown and Fauquier campuses. They include the traditional singing and dancing acts, as well as a few original musicians and a comedian who does impersonations.
One act is especially unique, according to Ryker.
"We've got a guy who actually spins balls of fire on the end of a rope," she said.
The student, who's been performing "fire poi" for about nine years, will film the fire spinning and show it during the event due to safety precautions. He will demonstrate it live -- just without the fire.
In previous years, audience members would fill out a card and cast their vote for their favorite act. With the hopes of saving time, the event will use electronic voting for the first time.
Those in attendance will be asked to send a text vote for the act they think should win. Anyone without the ability to text can still vote using the traditional on-paper method.
Ryker, who is a performer herself and has been singing her entire life, said this year's talent is the best she's ever seen.
"These students have absolutely blown me away," she said. "This is the first year I can say that I have been completely in awe of the students and their talents."
The event usually draws a large crowd, consisting mostly of friends and family members to those in the competition. However, Ryker said she hopes people will come out even if they don't have a direct connection to someone performing.
Tickets are $5 at the door, and all proceeds will go the United Way.
"I'd love for us to break $1,000," Ryker said. "Even if you don't know anyone, you will come and be amazed, all while doing your part to help others in need."
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org