A F U N D R A I S E R P R E S E N T E D B Y C H A M P A I G N W E S T R O T A R Y
7. La Dizon
When it comes to music, this is no mystery to La Dizon, a 31-year old Piscean who originated from the Philippines and grew up in Chicago. La’s biggest motivation is her father who also loves music. She grew up listening to different genres of music, especially in Tagalog which is her native language from the Philippines. She has the heart and soul for music and is very passionate about her singing. “It’s my way of expressing what I feel,” says La who has been singing since she was three. After performing Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” at a talent show, La knew she was going to pursue a life in music. Though it has not been easy to pursue her music, she believes in her talent and was excited to audition for The Voice 2015.
5. Aaron and Abigail Chen
Aaron and Abigail Chen have danced all over the nation, as well as abroad, working with companies from Polarity Dance Theater all the way to the Jose Limon Company. They met at a dance company audition and Aaron knew from day one that “she was the one”. Abigail is the general manager for Cassel Home Comfort, and Aaron owns and operates Dragon Claw Academy of Kung Fu. They reside in Champaign with their two children, Iris and Isaiah. They love dancing together and look forward to performing and helping Champaign West Rotary raise much needed funds for the community.
4. Kyle Fleming
Kyle Fleming is a board certified music therapist working at Cunningham Children's Home in Urbana, who loves writing and performing original music and acoustic covers. In college, he won the campus-wide "Battle of the Unsigned Artists" two years in a row, winning "Crowd Favorite" each year. In 2015, his song "When Can I Say That I Love You" was featured on the popular podcast "Welcome to Night Vale." Most recently, Kyle performed at Porrima, an art and music showcase put on by local non-profit organization Rattle the Stars to address themes and topics related to mental illness and suicide prevention.
6. Matt Wheeler
Matt Wheeler is a singer/songwriter and has been playing music since he could hold a wooden spoon to bang on pots and pans. He began writing songs at age 11 and never stopped. He grew up listening to the music his parents enjoyed; artists like Elton John, Toto, Queen, and John Denver, all who made an impact on Matt and his music. He also has been influenced by modern artists like Ed Sheeran and John Mayer and hopes to one day earn a place among the great song writers of this century.
9. The Chicklets
Becky Preston (left) and Kay Greene (center), both long-time residents of Champaign County, and Ellen Schmidt (right), a lifelong resident of Champaign, are friends and members of Champaign West Rotary and know how to have fun. They enjoy music, singing, theatre, and decided to get back on the stage and “use it before we lose it”. In it for the fun and to make a difference in the community, these fun friends have teamed up to deliver a performance that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear.
Stay up-to-date on everywhere we've been!
10. DJ Wang
David (D.J.) Wang is a happy 8-year-old pianist. He began playing piano at the age of 5 and had the honor of playing at Carnegie Hall four times after winning Gold Medal in the 17th AADGT (American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented) International Young Musicians Festival, 1st place in American Protégé International Piano and String Competition, and 1st place in the AFAF (American Fine Arts Festival) Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition. He frequently performs in C-U local venues such as churches and nursing homes. In addition to music, D.J. enjoys making short films. In 2017, he won both Pens to Lens screenwriting & filmmaking competitions, and his works premiered at the Virginia Theater. D.J. is currently homeschooled, and his favorite subjects are reading, algebra, programming, and science. He wants to be a scientist and a concert pianist in the future. D.J. is a big fan of Jesus and hope to use his talents to shine for God.
3. Kelsey Sharp is a Champaign native, graduated from Illinois State University in 2012 with a Bachelor's in Music Business, and since moving back to Champaign a year later, has been pursuing her music career full time. Kelsey is a multi-instrumentalist; she plays piano and flute and is self-taught on the guitar and accordion. She also took voice lessons for four years in high school but piano was her first passion, starting at five years old. Twenty-three years later, that passion is still burning strong and she now uses her song writing for therapy to cope with grief and trauma:
"I lost my parents six years ago from a homicide-suicide. It was sudden and unexpected, and it flipped the world upside-down for me, my family, and all of our friends. I have spent every day the last six years learning how to heal from this trauma while grieving the sudden loss of my parents. Music has been a constant saving grace on many occasions, and it continues to be a beautiful tool for healing while honoring my parents’ legacy. Now, I feel like it is my duty to share my story and help others realize they're not alone and that there is a reason to hold onto hope."
Kelsey currently works at Guitar Center, where she has been teaching piano for three years. She is a member and volunteer of the Independent Media Center in Urbana and Perimeter Road Sound Recordings at Parkland College. She performs regularly in two local bands; with singer-songwriter Fiona Kimble and electronic producer 'Snayl'-and occasionally, as a solo artist. Kelsey plans to release her first album as a solo artist in the fall of 2018.
1. Hannah Belanger Pfefferle is 28-years old and has lived in the Champaign area for the past nine years. She's married to her loving husband, Daniel, and a proud mother of two young daughters, Lucille and Danielle. Hannah began her journey as a singer at a young age. Her father took her along with her brother to sing karaoke at local venues. It was there that she discovered her love of singing and since then has wanted to pursue a career in music. She will be auditioning for the NBC television show The Voice so she might share her love of music and make a dream come true. For now, one can find Hannah any given day at Meatheads Burgers and Fries! Hannah thanks everyone who is voting and wishes the best of luck to all the contestants.
Two of Champaign’s finest, Officer Dane Kaldahl and Detective Chad Shipley continue to make a difference in the community. Taking the night off from the Champaign Police Department, these talented fellas team up to deliver a performance that’s sure to entertain.
8. Larry Williams
Recently retired from St. Joseph-Ogden High School, where he taught English and speech for 33 years Larry Williams also served as SJO’s drama director, producing more than 90 shows. Williams has performed and directed over the years at the Station Theatre, Parkland College, and Champaign Urbana Theatre Company. His retirement was short lived, as he now works for Christie Clinic’s Transformation Weight Loss Program as a Health Coach and Maintenance Lifestyle Instructor.