Portland, March 4th, 2016. The sixth annual Camp Fire Columbia Talent Show went “back to school.” Presented by The Standard and Bank of America, this year the event was held at a new venue: Revolution Hall, the former location of Washington High School. Camp Fire Columbia Middle School Program Coordinator Mustafah Finney appeared onstage with Camp Fire Youth Leader Julant’e Jefferson. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Attendees and local businesses supported the mission to build caring confident youth and future leaders. Organizers raised over $146,000–the most ever at the Talent Show. 

Camp Fire Columbia CEO Emily Gilliland, Camp Fire alum Sarahi Uribe-Mejia with her son Benji and some of the Camp Fire youth performers on stage at this year's Talent Show

Camp Fire Columbia CEO Emily Gilliland, Camp Fire alum Sarahi Uribe-Mejia with her son Benji and some of the Camp Fire youth performers on stage at this year’s Talent Show

Dave Gorman and team from Talent Show Presenting Sponsor Bank of America

Dave Gorman and his team from the Talent Show represented Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America.

Talent Show guests Juan Martinez, Jeana Frazzini, Bryon Beck join Camp Fire Columbia board member Jake Kindrachuk (back) and Samantha Swaim from Swaim Strategies

Talent Show guests Juan Martinez, Jeana Frazzini, Bryon Beck join Camp Fire Columbia board member Jake Kindrachuk (back) and Samantha Swaim from Swaim Strategies.

Bob Speltz and team from Talent Show Presenting Sponsor The Standard.

Bob Speltz and his team from the Talent Show represented Presenting Sponsor, The Standard.

Featured at the event was youth leader Julant’e Jefferson, whose story inspired a standing ovation.

Youth leader Julant’e Jefferson, received a standing ovation.

The evening started off with food by Devil’s Food Catering, cupcakes from Cupcake Jones, and photo booth by Phototainment Portland. Guests played a ring toss game from Lagunitas Brewing Co. (official beer sponsor for #TalentShow2016), picked up grab bags filled with goodies from local businesses like Sock It To Me, purchased bottles of wine from the wine wall, and bid on live auction packages including various stays at Camp Namanu (the organization’s 552 acre summer camp in Sandy, OR). They raised their paddles to support the critical work of Camp Fire Columbia, which provides a wide variety of programs that connect students to their “spark,” increase academic performance, and ensure that every kid has access to the outdoors.

This event was filled with youth performances including: Ubuntu, the Menlo Park Elementary Marimba band; Sunset Strummers – a K-5 ukulele band accompanied by the Sunset Singers from Sunset Primary; and middle school slam poets from Cesar Chavez School. These Camp Fire youth showcased their “sparks” and put on a great show to a packed crowd.

Featured at the event was youth leader Julant’e Jefferson, whose story inspired a standing ovation. Over the years Camp Fire staff have worked with him, he’s gone from being a rambunctious middle school student to a valued member of their Youth Advisory Committee.

Check out his story:

From Camp Fire Columbia:

Camp Fire Columbia’s programs directly serve over 3,000 kids ages 5-18 each year across the greater Portland metro region, and help serve thousands more children and families broadly each year through partnerships and special projects.

Camp Fire is where every kid belongs. Not just some kids. Every kid.

Every penny raised at this year’s Talent Show empowers us to work with kids who need us most. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now.

For more information and to volunteer with Camp Fire Columbia visit: www.campfirecolumbia.org.

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