UNION NJ  – The third annual Township of Union Talent Show, Union’s Got Talent 2015, was held on Saturday to an enthusiastic audience.  Presented by ConnectOne Bank, the event raised money for three non-profit organizations:  Union High School Performing Arts Company, the Township of Union Education Foundation and  the Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund Inc.  All money raised helps to directly benefit the students of the Township of Union through grants, scholarship and arts education.   Winners included:

1st Place:  Alyssa Muniz – Union High School Class of 2011

2nd Place: Marcel Smith – Union High School Class of 2013

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People’s Choice Award Winner: Brianna Terrezza – Kawameeh Middle School

Youth Award Winner:  Angela Zhang – Jefferson Elementary

Cash prizes were awarded for the top two winners ($1,000 for first place, $500 for second place) and to the People’s Choice Award winner ($250).  First place winner, Alyssa Muniz, said, “I had such an amazing experience at ‘Union’s Got Talent’ and am unbelievably grateful for this opportunity to showcase my passion for singing and get acknowledged for it.  I'm so happy to be back in Union and a part of the amazing UHSPAC community.” 

Hosted by Doc Burkhardt and featuring a guest appearance by last year’s winners, David and Fabio Oliver, who treated the audience to a high energy exhibition with their dance troop, the evening was filled with great entertainment and laughs provided by Burkhardt.  Judges included People Magazine’s Sexiest Teacher Nicholas Ferroni, Conductor of Encore Orchestra of New Jersey, Ilene Greenbaum, Township of Union Mayor and musician Manuel Figueiredo, and Director of Education at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Lisa Cooney.  UHSPAC Choreographer Jennifer Williams added, “It’s always an amazing experience when you can bring the community together.  For us, we want to continue to raise money to support our students and support our town, and to me there is no better way of doing that on a stage with great entertainment.”

Marie and Joe Canarelli said, "On behalf of the Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund, we thank everyone who worked the show behind the scenes, on stage, in the lobby, and those who attended the show. Thank you for helping us keep Doug's dream alive by helping other students follow theirs through scholarships."

Township of Union Mayor and musician Manuel Figueiredo who was a judge, added, "UGT created an artistic platform to allow Union residents to compete for a winning spot while helping support three organizations that directly affect the students in our Township".

The three organizations will host a Dining to Donate/Tricky Tray event Sunday, October 11, at 12p.m. at Tiffs on Vauxhall Road in Union.  Prizes include over 50 gift baskets, NYC Pizza tour, Paper Mill Playhouse tickets, autographed sports and theater memorabilia, and a Grand Prize:  two tickets to a live taping of Jimmy Kimmel in New York.  The three organization’s goal is to continue to help support and provide education to the students of Union Township.  No pre-sold tickets are necessary to attend the event, just stop by and enjoy a great meal.  Tricky tray tickets will be available between the hours of 12p.m. and 4p.m. for purchase.  Winners do not need to be present for drawings. 

For more information regarding ‘Union’s Got Talent’ and upcoming events including UHSPAC’s upcoming productions of ‘Union Goes to Hollywood’, a celebration of music in movies featuring the Encore Orchestra of New Jersey and Disney’s Mary Poppins, coming in March 2016, please visit their website www.uhspac.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter - @UHSPAC.