THE LAZER STRINGS — Chase Forsberg, 8, Zack Foster, 10, and Preston Forsberg, 10, add Hawaiian flare to the Buckeye's Best talent show. The trio will perform "Surf's Up." Village Life photo by Noel Stack


Buckeye’s Best showcases young talent

By From page B1 | December 1, 2011

For one night only 43 of the finest young acts El Dorado County has to offer will perform on one stage … all in the name of education.

“It’s pretty awesome and the quality … they’ll blow your socks off,” said Theresa Miller, the show’s producer.

Buckeye’s Best, a talent show featuring about 120 children educated in the Buckeye Union School District, will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Cameron Park Community Center. The event is hosted by the Buckeye Education Foundation, a non-profit that provides supplemental income to the school district’s six elementary and two middle schools.

“Due to decreased school funding at the state level fine arts, foreign language, music, art, physical education, library programs and school counseling have all been reduced or eliminated in the Buckeye Union School District,” said Jon Yoffie, foundation president. “More and more, it becomes necessary to supplement the public funding of our schools with private donations in order for the children to get a complete education.”

The foundation hosts several fundraisers each year, including the Toast to Education and the Making the Grade Run. Now foundation members want to showcase the talent of the students who benefit from the group’s efforts.

Buckeye’s Best audience members can expect a wide variety of talent from the performers in first through eighth grade. No two acts are alike and many, like the talent of Chase Wessling, will surprise everyone. The Silva Valley Elementary fifth-grader, wearing a red leather jacket and zombie makeup, will perform the zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

“It’s scary and fun,” said Chase, 11. “It just makes me feel alive and dead at the same time.”

Chase has had MJ’s groove since his grandfather taught him the moonwalk. He taught himself the zombie dance by watching the video “just thousands of times” and he’s performed a lot for his family, noted grandmother Pam Wessling.

Another act not to miss comes from 10-year-old Ben Thuesen, who’s channeling his inner Ozzy Osbourne, minus the long black hair and headless bat. Although after this interview he was considering the hair …

Two years ago the Blue Oak Elementary fifth-grader picked up a guitar. “My grandpa played guitar and I thought it would be a neat thing to do,” Ben said.

Make that a rockin’ thing to do … this kid is good.

You can also catch Ben’s sister Alissa, 7, on the Buckeye’s Best stage. She’ll play the “Star Wars” theme on the piano.

Music turns into action when Aleena Duong, 11, Samantha Hew, 12, and Sharlene Duong, 8, take the stage. These sword-wielding girls will wow the audience with a taekwondo demonstration. Aleena and Samantha attend Rolling Hills Middle School; Sharlene goes to Oak Meadow Elementary.

And for a little relaxation (just close your eyes and pretend you’re on the beach) kick back and enjoy the Lazer Strings — Chase Forsberg, 8, Zack Foster, 10, and Preston Forsberg, 10. This trio from Blue Oak Elementary performs Hawaiian music on the ukulele, toere and bass drum.

Auditioning for the show? That was all “mom’s idea,” the Forsberg boys confessed. Natasha Forsberg runs Aloha Dancers in Shingle Springs and Folsom.

With all this unbelievable talent, Miller said she hopes to fill all the community center’s seats. This fundraiser will supplement what the Buckeye Education Foundation has already done for the district and expand its reach.

“For the past two years donations have helped to fund elementary PE and library aide positions to the benefit of every child in the district,” Yoffie said. “Looking ahead, we are raising money and working with the district to also enhance world language and technology programs district-wide.”

Tickets to Buckeye’s Best at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive in Cameron Park, are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

For more information e-mail [email protected].

Noel Stack


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