Mid-Missouri's Got Talent: One Enchanted Evening

The 2017 Mid-Missouri’s Got Talent finalists were presented an award for sharing their talents to raise funds and awareness for the United Way Campaign.


Lynne Bateman, Mid-Missouri's Got Talent Committee Co-Chair
Real Estate Lending Representative, Landmark Bank Jefferson City Home Mortgage Center

United Way of Central Missouri’s third annual Mid-Missouri’s Got Talent (MMGT) event on the evening of September 12, proved that we truly can “do it” like the famous Walt Disney said…..“If you can dream it, you can do it.” What started three years ago as a fundraising event fashioned after the reality show ‘America’s Got Talent’, MMGT has gained momentum and has delighted and entertained our community once again.

Be Our Guest as we reminisce about that magical night…. staged in a twinkle-light setting where we were first regaled by the unequivocal talents of Sam Luetkemeyer, playing keyboard and singing a medley of Disney songs. It was the perfect introduction to our event host, Barb Prasad, better known as the Fairy Godmother, who was exceptional as she portrayed a character that goes well with the United Way Campaign theme, Disney.

The amazing character judges were Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, played by Melissa Dunn of Huber & Associates; Cruella de Vil from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, played by Janet Wear-Enloe of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital; Genie from Disney’s Aladdin, played by Carlos Graham of Lincoln University; and Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was played by Russ Bell of Jefferson Bank. The show officially began when Andrew Dyer, the 2016 Mid-Missouri’s Got Talent Winner, was welcomed back on stage. Andrew wowed the crowd with an opening dance routine to Friend like Me from Aladdin.

Our magical night continued with acts from six finalists chosen by an independent panel of judges. Wow, talk about entertaining! There was a wide variety of performances starting off with Jordan Heckemeyer, who sang My Church; the duet of Nick Gladbach and Natalie Eickhoff, with an enactment of I See the Light from Disney’s Tangled; nine year old Prathyankara Premkumar, who performed an Indian cultural dance; Noah Barfield, who sang his rendition of Crazy Love by Van Morrison and played acoustical guitar; Lauren Micke, who sang Reflection from Disney’s Mulan and Will Haenni who showcased his juggling skills. And yes, folks, he did it in the dark with a black light! We are grateful to these finalists for sharing their talents to help raise funds and awareness for the United Way Campaign.

In addition to the finalists, several United Way partner agencies warmed our hearts with their performances… Little Explorers Discovery Center (formerly Jefferson City Day Care Center), The Special Learning Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Council for Drug Free Youth, Boys & Girls Club and Capital Projects and Osage County Community Living. The agencies that performed represent just seven of the 28 United Way partner agencies and the tens of thousands of friends, families, neighbors and community residents who benefit from donations raised through United Way of Central Missouri.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their donations of funds, food, drink, supplies and time. Many thanks to the presenting sponsor, JCMG Laser & Vein Center. Other sponsors included Conrad Audio, Fechtel Beverage and Sales, Fat Boys Fitness, Jefferson City Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Landmark Bank’s Jefferson City Home Mortgage Center and Osage Ambulances. A special thank you also goes out to the MMGT Committee, Co-Chair Barb Prasad, Shae Marie Eickhoff, Keith Enloe, Justin McGeorge and Matt Tollerton.

To wrap up the night, our People’s Choice Winner, Troy Ludwig, shared his musical talent and sang My Way by Frank Sinatra. Troy raised $885 for the United Way of Central Missouri before the show even started! Troy was presented an award and received $100 cash prize.

The night ended with the announcement of the 2017 Mid-Missouri’s Got Talent Winner…the finalist that received the most votes by the audience that evening. Noah Barfield received this honor, and a $250 cash prize; congratulations Noah! Thank you to all who attended and supported the United Way through Mid-Missouri’s Got Talent!