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Talents on display
The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event has always been a part of Jarret Cox's life, but when he took the title of team captain last year at Needwood Middle School, the art teacher did not realize just how personal it would become.

"This really has a personal feel for me," he said. "My wife, Susan (a teacher at Brunswick High School) was diagnosed with breast cancer."

Cox wanted to do something special this year to raise funds for cancer research - something that could involve the entire school.

He came up with idea of the school hosting a talent show, which will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today in the auditorium at Needwood Middle School, 669 Harry Driggers Blvd., Brunswick. Nineteen acts will be featured.

For $3, guests ages 4 and up can come support the students and Relay for Life. Children age 3 and under will be admitted free.

"We really wanted to do something big and get the community involved and if we generate a little money, that's great," Cox said. "But it really gets the kids engaged in community service. It's a great way for them to have fun and give back at the same time."

The students were buzzing with excitement Wednesday afternoon during a dress rehearsal. Sixth-grader Fatima Garcia, 13, is eagerly awaiting her chance in the spotlight.

"I'll be singing 'Who Says' by Selena Gomez," said Fatima, who's wheelchair bound. "I picked it because it meant something to me. In the song, she says that she's not perfect. Even though she's famous, she's just like every other girl - just like me."

Fatima, eager but a little nervous, has a surprise planned for the audience.

Marissa Miller, 15, is no stranger to the stage. Having been in several singing groups in past school years, the eighth-grader is ready to sing "More Like Her" by Miranda Lambert.

Still, she shares some of Fatima's feelings.

"I'm very excited, I'm a little nervous, but I really think it's a good thing to do this for Relay for Life," Marissa said.

Following the 19 acts, the band Southern Strut will perform while the judges decide on the winners.

Relay for Life is set for April 26 and 27 at the Brunswick Exchange Club Fairgrounds, off Altama Avenue, south of Community Road. The fundraising goal is $302,000.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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