By Curt Yeomans
Nearly 200 people came to Pointe South Middle School Oct. 26, to see a lot of singing, a few dances, and some children strutting their stuff down the cat walk.
The people were at the school for the 10th annual Clayco Connections fund-raiser, which benefits Pointe South Middle School and its partner in education, Community Reach, Inc., a Riverdale-based Supplemental Educational Services (SES) provider.
This is the second year the event has been held in conjunction with the middle school.
Clayco Connections raised $600, but a portion of that money goes to cover the expenses incurred by the event, such as purchasing trophies for the talent competition and getting someone to provide musical accompaniment. The remaining $275 will be split up equally between Community Reach, Inc., and Pointe South Middle School.
"That money will allow us to get supplies for our tutoring program, such as books and various computer programs," said Geoffry Tate, the co-director of Community Reach, Inc.
In addition to the talent competition, the event included a fashion show, and featured performances by Batiste, a gospel duo made up of brothers, Lionel and Lyndon Batiste, who graduated from Riverdale High School in 1994, and 2000, respectively.
There were seven participants in the talent competition and Pointe South Middle School eighth-grader, Jaivanique Neapoleon, took home the championship trophy for her rendition of the gospel tune, "I Believe." Her fellow Pointe South eighth-graders, Amber Holmes and Jakari Johnson, took home second and third place honors, respectively.
All three participated in the fashion show, that included five "scenes," which ranged from "Going to the movies," to "Going to church." The participants were students at Pointe South and other middle schools in the county. They wore clothing supplied by Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.
The scene that got the crowd laughing was "What not to wear," in which the models mixed articles of clothing, or just wore them out of place, like wrapping a tie around the top of a model's head, while another wore "Cat in the Hat"-style head gear.
"The event went really well," said Rose Tate, wife of Geoffry Tate and co-director of Community Reach, Inc. "This event is designed to bring middle school students together and show the community some of the good things that are going on with the young people of Clayton County."
The Batiste brothers echoed Rose Tate's sentiments about the county, with Lionel Batiste adding, "This is home for us. We love to show people there's a lot of good here."