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MLK performance showcase will continue to make a difference, even after the final curtain

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While the nation remembers the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Central PA will also commemorate the civil rights activist - with the MLK Performing Artists Showcase.

For 16 years, the program has made a difference in the lives of everyone involved.

And although this will be the last year, I learned how it will continue to make a difference for years to come.

The lights are on and the stage is almost set for the MLK Performing Artists Showcase set for Monday.

The organizers and performers getting some last minute rehearsal in before the big day.

Jeremiah Christian has been performing in the Showcase for about 8 years now and is one of many who come back after they graduate high school.

The 19-year-old shares how this is making a difference in his life.

“Meeting a lot of people, networking with people, talented people. Sharing your talents and gifts with others. Putting together a nice performance year after year, you know and that even pushes you to do what you do, to the best of our abilities seeing so many talented young kids," said Jeremiah.

This year's Dream Showcase will be bittersweet, because it will be the last -- after 16 years.

Organizer Phyliss Bennett says donations and sponsorships are drying up - and for very disappointing reasons.

“The past 8 - 9 months, I've been trying hard to get new sponsors. And they'll say, 'Well, it doesn't fit our end line or that's not what our mission is.' And I'm like how can children not be your mission? How can children not be any of our mission?" asked Bennett.

Especially when you hear these children -- not only perform but speak about how it's making a difference.

12-year-old Kayla Long says, "It's doing something that you love for the community and giving back. It's to show the community that anything is possible."

17-year-old Isaiah Valdez says, "It's to celebrate how we can all come together and create such a beautiful thing with different talents, singing, dancing, acting and all that. It all comes together and it plays out very well."

Emily Cruz, 13, believes, "This whole thing is about honoring his memory and all the amazing work he did. So they have all these people make the showcase and all these people come to it and it shows this is a really important thing for Martin Luther King himself."

The 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Artists Showcase is Monday, January 21st.

The program starts at 3:30 at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg.

Admission is free, but please bring a non-perishable food item for the can drive.

Call 717-319-9240 for more information or to get tickets.

CBS 21’s Sherry Christian will serve as co-emcee.

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