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Anyone who goes to Highland knows the wonderful Jamie Carlson. Her positive nature was something no one could ever forget, it is almost contagious. She always lights up a room when she enters it. This lovely sophomore was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past summer. To honor her and her love for performing the Highland High School Theater club organized the Variety Show that took place on December 8th.

It was an extremely touching night. There were many touching moments in the show that moved many people to tears. When Jamie came to the stage to receive her box from Bonnie’s Boxes or when Lisa Jadot’s video clip played there was not a dry eye in the house. Bonnie’s boxes is a organization that makes care packages for people battling cancer. Jamie was honored to walk up on the stage and receive it. Also, for a lot of the students that was the first time they saw her since she was diagnosed. She still looks happy but she also looks very sick. That was a very sad moment for all of her fellow students. No one knew she was that sick. Many of the performers were in shock or crying during intermission. Lisa Jadot was a exchange student at Highland last year. She was involved in the plays and choir so she got to know Jamie pretty well. When she heard that Jamie was sick she decided to write her a personal song on a video. The song and video was so sweet and I even teared up listening to Lisa sing from her heart.  

However, it  wasn’t a completely tear filled night. Performances from Shannon Donovan, Katie McCutcheon and I, Abe Castellanos, My Parents, HHS Choir, and the theater club were all uplifting performances. Shannon sang a rocking Christmas song, “Wonderful Christmas Time”. She got the whole auditorium in the Christmas mood while rocking out. She is going to be a rockstar one day.  Katie and I sang a duet to the song “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey. We sang our hearts out so Jamie could enjoy her night. Abe rocked out on his drum solo. He has so much talent that went unrecognized until that night. My Parents is a great band from New Paltz and Highland that performed a bunch of Jamie’s favorite songs. They did a fantastic job! The whole auditorium was singing along and just having a great time. There is even an unconfirmed report that Mr. Zimmer was dancing in the back of the auditorium! The Highland Choir sang Hallelujah, which has become a Highland Choir tradition. The choir wanted to share that with its missing alto. Lastly, the Highland Theater Club put on a great performance called “Jamie vs the Evil Lymphoma”. It was a light hearted take on the serious sickness that Jamie is facing. It was a great performance and I know that Jamie loved it because you could hear her laughing from the audience.

The night was a spectacular night, filled with tears and laughter. At the end, the Variety Show raised over 2700 dollars that will be benefiting the Carlson family. It could not have been possible without the great clubs that helped out as well. The clubs that were involved include: the GSA, French Club, Interact, Cosplay Club,Peer Leadership,Student Council,Fed Challenge,Newspaper club,HHS Baseball Club,Model UN, and the Mathletes. Thank you to all of the clubs that came to support Jamie and this event. Also, this whole event was under the direction of Ms.Krista Petrosoff. She organized everything and made it all possible. Thank you to her, the performers and crew,the clubs, and everyone that came out to support. This night proved that the small community of Highland always comes together to help those in need.

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A Small Community With Lots of Love