Sitting and watching the multi-talented people in Brown County at “The Next Big Thing” talent show Thursday night reminded me of why I love living in this community.

If you missed the talent show at Brown County High School, you lost the chance to see amazing young people – and some not-so-young – brave the stage and an audience of more than 300 to compete for $200 in prize money donated by We Care Gang.

The performances included singing and dancing and rock bands. The roster had interpretive dance and acting. There were musical performances and a monologue. There was even a violinist who played while twirling a hula hoop.

If you were searching for entertainment, the high school was a good place to look.

As each person stepped onto the stage, I was amazed at the bravery they exhibited by just entering the spotlight in front of hundreds of people. The fact that they then began to perform and let their talents shine was thoroughly entertaining. At one point, I leaned over to my husband and said, “I love being a part of this community.”

What made this event even more spectacular is that the 34-act contest was the brainchild of senior Angelica Nevins, who wanted to raise money for the Brown County Relay for Life effort against cancer. She handled all the arrangements, from promotions to recruiting acts and everything in between.

Who could not be proud of young people caring for their community? Each of the acts paid an entrance fee that went directly to the Relay for Life effort. Each participant was encouraged to help fill the audience for a nominal fee. People caring about people.

This community has many such young people whose hearts are broken to the perils of others. They step out and seek to make a difference and instigate change.

Too often, the only young people who get noticed by the portion of the community not directly connected to the schools are those who make headlines or hang out in town causing trouble.

I commend Miss Nevins for all her hard work and her compassion. She helps make this community what it is: an amazing place to call home.