Performers of all ages showed off their talents in front of family and friends at Hall’s Pond Park last summer in the West Hempstead Community Support Association’s inaugural “West Hempstead’s Got Talent.” Roughly 100 residents gathered around the park’s gazebo to watch a variety of acts that included singers, comedians and musicians. Now, the talent show is set to return on July 14 at Hall’s Pond Park, and the civic hopes to recapture the thrill from the inaugural event.
“It was great to see all of the community members supporting each other,” said Zehava Schechter, the group’s recording secretary. “The judges, along with the people in the audience, were really trying to encourage and bring out the best in each performer.”
WHCSA vice president Aisha Crumpton said that she was surprised to see the number of young performers showcase their talent. “I thought that it was very brave of them to get up and perform in front of a bunch of strangers,” Crumpton said.
The association proposed the idea at one of its summer concerts in 2017. Crumpton and Schechter had noticed that some of the group’s events were not well attended, and they saw a talent show as a way to generate interest in community events and causes.
“It’s one thing to live in a community, go to work and pay taxes,” Crumpton said. “But being a neighbor means participation. Those things are so important because they contribute to the things that make a community. All of the work done in this community — not only in this group — but in other groups in West Hempstead, is done through volunteerism. We do it because we care about the community.”
In addition, since longtime resident Rosalie Norton stepped down as the civic group’s president last year, the group seeking more volunteers to help fill in positions.
“There’s not enough of us to go around,” Schechter said. “Somehow we make it work. We’re not trying to diminish the quality, but we had to reduce the quantity. We’re a diverse group, and I think it’s important for us to continue to promote that because we’re a diverse community.”
The group invites input from the community as to what programs they would like to see throughout the year. For this year’s talent show, the civic urges residents to bring blankets and lawn chairs to kick back for an evening of fun. The group hopes that this event will continue to develop as a new tradition in the community..
“We have a myriad of programs,” Schechter said. “There’s something to like for everybody. We try to be very inclusive to the entire community.”
Deadline to sign-up for “West Hempstead’s Got Talent” is May 26. WHCSA’s next public meeting is on June 20 at West Hempstead High School, at 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.westhempsteadcivic.org.