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Talent abounds at annual ChemFree fundraiser

Following their lip-sync rendition of a classic AC/DC rock band song, members of the Tilton Police Department, Lt. Dickie Paulhus, Officer Bill Patten, Chief Bob Cormier, SRO Luke Pinault and Corporal Mereck Weisensee, took time out to pose for photos. The group once again took part in the third annual Winnisquam’s Got Talent program to raise money for the WRHS Chem Free program. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
March 16, 2011
TILTON — It may have sounded like AC/DC, but no one could rock the house at the Winnisquam's Got Talent show the other night like the officers of the Tilton Police Department, who might better be known as "AC/PD" after their performance to raise money for the Chem Free program at Winnisquam.

WRHS's Chem Free program is the longest active program of its type in New Hampshire, and with the added support of the police department, was enriched by approximately $850 more toward a trip to Lake George, N.Y. for this year's graduating seniors.

"It was down just a little bit from last year, but was still very successful once again this year. We were very happy with the night and everyone who came out to help raise money for Chem Free," said advisor Sonia Shaw.

Senior Stephanie D'Abbraccio emceed the evening as student after student proved that talent was indeed alive and well in Winnisquam.

Seniors Ian Sleeper and Sean MacDonald led the night off with a duet, singing and playing guitar for the popular U2 hit, "With or Without You." Seth Long then kicked it up a bit as he played his guitar to "Shipping off to Boston" by the Drop Kick Murphys before Greta Devolder turned to the softer side of music as she played the piano and sang "On My Own," from "Les Miserables."

Other musical offerings were rendered by Dorothy Reynolds and Tyler Proulx, Velia Janerico-Matthews, Jillian Auger and Mary Beck.

Proulx returned to the stage for a rap number titled, "My Sense of Humor is Dead." MacDonald later soloed in a Dave Matthews number while his friend, Ian Sleeper, brought his sister Abby onstage to join him in the song "One," also by U2. Seneca Lawrence changed up the talent with her ballet performance to the instrumental, "Runway."

After all of the students showcased their abilities, a familiar voice boomed out from behind closed curtains.

"All right, everybody! We're here to support the kids. There's a basket on the stage for your money and while we love the jingle of your change, we love the stuff that folds even more, so let's help them out tonight!" called out School Resource Officer Luke Pinault as the curtains opened to reveal the Tilton PD as they have never been seen before.

Smoke swirled at their feet as Pinault, Corporal Merek Weisensee, Officer Bill Patten, Lt. Dickie Paulhus and Chief Bob Cormier lip-synced and danced their way around the stage to the familiar tune, "All Night Long." The officers were dressed in leather and denim, with wigs, hats and "Do It Sober" tee shirts, a far cry from their typical uniformed appearance. Their act brought loud cheers and thunderous applause from the appreciative audience, who had awaited officers' annual surprise performance.

Judges Fred Caruso and Amy Bates of Mix 94.1 FM and Tilton Prosecutor Christopher Paquette had their work cut out for them in declaring winners for the night. After the three deliberated and tallied their votes, however, they declared Lawrence as the recipient of the $20 third place prize for her dance. The brother and sister act of Ian and Abby Sleeper tied for first place with Mary Beck, who impressed the judges with her talent by singing "Make You Feel My Love."

The three performers split the first and second place prizes of $30 and $50 for their win. A 50-50 raffle was also held and when Caruso discovered he had the winning number, he donated the $54 back to the Chem Free program.

"This was a great night with a lot of talent. There should be a category for bravery just to get up and perform like these kids all did tonight," Caruso said.

Anyone who would like to further support Chem Free may do so by mailing a check or money order to WRHS Chem Free, 435 W. Main St., Tilton, N.H. 03276.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Alton School
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