Making a comeback that won’t soon be forgotten by students or attendees, Maverick High School’s annual fundraiser brought in more than $23,000 last week.
A variety of talent was showcased at the two-night 'Through Our Eyes' Coffeehouse this year, taking the event to a new level, from visual arts to musical numbers, to a short film.
Folks in the community packed the Lyric Theatre both nights in support of students performing the live event for the first time in their high school careers, due to the pandemic taking things virtual until now.
Wednesday night was the return debut with a sold-out crowd and two acts that were not featured in the following show.
Returning Maverick student Aradyn Norman sang an original tune that tugged at many heartstrings on Wednesday. She was unable to share her powerful song the following night due to her college graduation ceremony taking place.
Instruments were cleared off the stage for a captivating dance performance by Charlee Pleasance, who evoked emotions from her audience with fluid movements and facial expressions. Pleasance made her solo performance one that counted before heading out to a dance competition the next evening.
Masters of Ceremony, Jaden Toye and Melody Schwartz, led the audience throughout the night with hints of humour and an air of confidence. The pair of students introduced each act that took to the stage, recognized each sponsor that helped make the night possible, and kept folks laughing and engaged throughout the event.
Hunter Flaterud was a name that came up often, appearing in support roles for other students’ numbers, as well as the star of his own two musical acts.
“This is my first live music performance,” Flaterud said. “I loved it the entire time; I would definitely do it again.”
Graduating this year, he added that he hopes to come back to a Coffeehouse in the future as a professional musician.
This year’s Coffeehouse even featured its first-ever short film, The Early Late Show, created by Leland Flood and Hudson Flaterud. The comedic masterpiece had been in the works since last year’s virtual fundraiser, which was different in many ways from the live feature, according to Flood.
“First of all, I actually put together an outfit for this one,” he said. “Secondly, I got to have an actual stage presence. And third of all, I got to hear people's reactions to whatever the heck I was doing, live.”
While there’s a clear contrasting difference between live and pre-recorded for the students performing on stage, the heart of Coffeehouse remains the same: showing the community what Maverick High School is about.
Visual art makes up a large part of education throughout the school year, with many pieces making it to auction.
Walls and tables at the Lyric Theatre were adorned with pottery, paintings, and more as a two-night auction took place. Certain pieces were even reserved for live auctions between sets of performances, with Brett Jensen of Heartland Livestock rocking the auctioneer chant.
Apart from dancing, singing, MC-ing, painting and acting, students also took part in the night by seating and waiting on folks.
As part of the event planning that spans months of the school year, students chose two non-profits to donate a portion of their fundraising to; this year, the Salvation Army Food Bank and the Swift Current SPCA are each set to receive $500.
Principal Jayne Nicholson said Coffeehouse that while the funds help them provide essentials to the school, such as Outdoor Ed, art courses, and even staffing, the event goes far beyond the financial aspect.
“It’s people believing in these young people and wanting to see them succeed and celebrating with them,” she said. “That’s the part that I love. I think it’s changed how Maverick was viewed in the community to some degree. It was important for that to happen for the students to feel like they go to a school that’s respected and they’re respected in the community. That matters to them.”