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Our Stars

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Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill

2016 - Dancer - TEAM LEADER - Team: Angels of Assisi

Lisa O’Neill is the Executive Director at Angels of Assisi, a nonprofit community pet clinic, adoption center, and farm sanctuary.  In 2001 the agency started with a mission of decreasing pet overpopulation and adopting homeless pets, and in recent years has expanded from one of helping animals to also embracing the people who care for them, including programs for victims of domestic violence, hospice patients, and accessible veterinary care for underserved neighborhoods. In addition to these services, Angels of Assisi has performed over 110,000 spay/neuter surgeries, offers wellness and sick animal medical care, and has become the top adoption agency in the Roanoke Valley.

Prior to joining the Angels of Assisi team, Lisa was a registered nurse for dialysis and transplant patients, implementing programs to increase quality of life for both patients and their caregivers. She has been awarded the Loving Care Award from the National Kidney Association, The Renal Rehabilitation Award from Medicare’s Dialysis Initiatives, the President’s Award from the Virginia Animal Control Association and with her team won First in Division in the national ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Adoption Challenge. Her favorite accolade, however, is the reputation that Angels of Assisi has for being “the hardest working charity in town”.

Lisa is married, with 2 two children, 3 dogs, and a backyard backing up to 200 farm animals at the sanctuary.  Her kindergarten teacher wrote on her report card that she was the peace keeper of the class, and loved working with people towards a common good, a trait that she has enjoyed utilizing in  our community. 

 

Current Donation Level
$7290.00
  


Lila Dickerson

Lila Dickerson

2016 - Dancer - TEAM LEADER - Team: New Vision

Lila is an Employee Benefit Consultant for Business Solutions in Salem, Virginia. She has been in the insurance field for nearly thirty years. She loves helping businesses create employee benefit packages that are affordable and beneficial to the employees.

Lila is married with one son and her first grandchild was just born on June 16th. 2016. Prior to entering the insurance field she worked as an artist and taught Commercial Arts at the Arnold R. Burton Technology Center.

Lila has been with New Vision for nearly twenty years and currently serves as President of the Board. The most wonderful thing she has learned in this experience is that with adaptation, vision loss and blindness do not need to limit the abilities of anyone. Lila has heard many stories of real life change from clients who have benefited from New Vision's services. She is excited that the funding received from Talent Challenge for Charity, Ltd. will provide New Vision with additional opportunity to improve and expand its programs in the community.

Current Donation Level
$12043.00
  


Blue Connection

Blue Connection

2016 - Band - Team: Angels of Assisi

Blue Connection is a hard driving traditional style bluegrass band based in Roanoke, VA. They have been together a little over three years and enjoy playing venues such as festivals, weddings, private parties, community events, etc.  The band is composed of Matt Spence on guitar singing lead and harmony vocals, Kenny Hamblin on banjo singing lead and harmony vocals, Paul Boone on mandolin singing lead and harmony vocals and Andrea Valderrama on bass singing lead and harmony vocals.  For more information or to contact them, please visit www.blueconnectionbluegrass.com or www.Facebook.com/blueconnectionbluegrass.

Current Donation Level
$480.00
  


Dennis and Angela Helms

Dennis and Angela Helms

2016 - musicians/vocalists - Team: New Vision

Dennis Helms was born in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. He has been blind since birth. Music has been a major part of his life through singing and playing guitar. He has been a part of two bands; "I.S.F. & The 3 D's". He has played through out the community at nursing homes, churches and has enjoyed playing a few times at talent shows and on cruise ships.

Angela Helms like her father has also made music a major part of her life. She began playing and studying piano at the age of 4. Since then she has been heavily involved in the music department at her church and in other organizations. She was a member of the Patrick Henry High School and Emory & Henry College band. She also sang in the Emory & Henry choir. Angela continues to pursue music and hopes to continue with music as a career.

Current Donation Level
$565.00
  


Four 4 You

Four 4 You

2016 - Vocalists - Team: Angels of Assisi

Raymond C. Bishop (Bass) member of the Virginia Gentlemen chorus 22 years, uniform chairman 22 years and sings in the Four 4 You Quartet Program. Also sings in the Bonsack Baptist Church Choir.

Bob Johnsen (Tenor) lives in Daleville and currently serves as The VA Gents Chorus Manager. Bob has sung with the "Footlighters" of Poughkeepsie, NY, "Expression of Harmony", "Planet Harmony" and "Sound Policy" of Hartford, CT.

Dave Lloyd (Lead) a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch and is currently the President of the Virginia Gentlemen. Dave sang Tenor in "Ben and the Boyz", a quartet which won the Southern Division Novice Championship.

Kirk Olinger (Bari) introduced to barbershop music in 2013 and joined the Virginia Gentlemen. He is the current VP of Music. He has a BS in Music Education from Shenandoah University, a BS in Computer Science and Economics from a college in Kulmbach, Germany.

Current Donation Level
$519.00
  


W. Michael Galliher

W. Michael Galliher

2016 - Dancer- Team: New Vision

W. Michael Galliher is a community advocate for the Roanoke Valley. He was the creator and manager of the social media campaign Deschutes 2 Roanoke, which successfully assisted in an $85 million investment by Deschutes Brewery to establish their East Coast Distribution facility in Roanoke City. He is a Roanoke County employee, a Rotary Club--New Generations member and is involved within the community with multiple volunteer activities.

Current Donation Level
$278.00
  


Frog Hollow Boys

Frog Hollow Boys

2016 - Musicians/Vocalists - Team: Angels of Assisi

The Frog Hollow Boys are a group of musicians comprised of Oakey Funeral Services employees. The group is the brainchild of Oakey's former vice-president and CFO Mike Spessard, who led (and continues to lead, even in his retirement) devotional every other Friday morning at the funeral home.One day he decided to add a few gospel songs at the conclusion of the devotional and the rest is history. The Frog Hollow Boys are named after an old church that was purchased by John and Mildred Oakey who the converted it into a cabin. The Frog Hollow Boys are Mike Spessard, Charles Garner, Alan Clark, Robert Strong and Andy Smith. Devotionals are held 7:45am every other Friday at Oakey's Roanoke Chapel and are open to the public.

Current Donation Level
$975.00
  


Dr. Michael Johnson

Dr. Michael Johnson

2016 - Dancer - Team: New Vision

Dr. Michael Johnson graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1999. His study of optometry was completed at Pennsylvania College of Optometry where he graduated in 2004. While at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, he received a Clinical Excellence Citation. In 2003, while attending PCO, Dr. Johnson participated in a Student Optometric Service to Humanity mission, providing eye care services to an underserved population in Tijuana, Mexico.

After finishing his O.D., he completed a Veterans Affairs Optometric residency in Salem, VA, through the Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee,

 Primarily at our Valley View Blvd., location, Dr. Johnson works in Primary Care Optometry with an emphasis on disease diagnosis and treatment, contact lenses, dry eye diagnosis and disease, routine vision care services, eye examinations and glasses.  

Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Optometric Association, Virginia Optometric Association, and Southwest Virginia Optometric Association.  Dr. Johnson is former president of the Roanoke Jaycees, and an Eagle Scout.

Current Donation Level
$3803.00
  


Heidi Marer

Heidi Marer

2016 -Dancer - Team: Angels of Assisi

With more than 20 years in the television industry and a passion for health and fitness, Heidi left TV to begin a career in Wellness.  Prior to moving to Roanoke to be closer to family, she worked as the Health and Wellness Coach for the American Maritime Officers Union in Dania Beach, Florida.  She currently works as a senior corporate health consultant and field trainer for Schumacher Clinical Partners Wellness Works.  Her love for dance led her to Ballroom dance over 20 years ago.  Currently she devotes most of her dance time to her favorite dance West Coast Swing.  

Current Donation Level
$1619.00
  


Revelation

Revelation

2016 - Vocalists - Team New Vision

Revelation is a men's quartet singing songs we like of many different types.  Together about sixteen years, Revelation has been singing at church gatherings, organizational events, baseball games, retirements, nursing homes, all sorts of events where people gather to hear good music and entertainment.  Begun initially as a gospel quartet with Norm Vincel (bass), Barry Powell (baritone), Chris Monroe (lead), and Steve Fulton (high tenor), the group later added the band, Gari and Wanda Melcher, bass guitar and piano, and Rick Foutz on the drums.  We soon found that our audiences appreciated many other types of music in addition to the gospel favorites, so we picked up other song styles we enjoyed singing such as barbershop, doo-wop, movie hit songs, patriotic songs and Christmas songs.  Together longer than most professional groups these days, we still enjoy singing wherever and whenever we can.  

Current Donation Level
$844.00
  


Len Hale

Len Hale

2016 - Vocalist w/Guitar - Team: Angels of Assisi

Len was born and raised in Vinton, VA to Leonard and Helen Hale (former educators and Roanoke College Alumnae).  He is a proud William Byrd Terrier who is a charter member of the "Reindeer Club" formed at William Byrd High School.  Len attended Randolph Macon College and Roanoke College and flys VA Tech and UVA flags as he is fond of both schools.  Been married...not now....get along well with them...now!!! Had children, Angela, Laura and Joshua and grandchildren, Logan and Dylan.  Hobbies are outdoor stuff, golf, Civil War History, photography and doing stuff with family and friends.  

Len has been recognized by the "Youth of Virginia Speaks Out" organization for his speaking and involvement with teens addressing "Safe Teen Driving".  A  video referencing that subject by Len is presented in many high schools as the organization has chapters in most high schools.  He also speaks on Civil War History, Estate Planning, Retirement planning and etc.

Talent  "not much"---Low Budget, Low Talent, Talent (LBLtT)  

Len is proud of the Roanoke Valley and all of its amenities like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Smith Mountain Lake and the Folks here.  He is also a proud Virginian.

Current Donation Level
$3292.00
  


Wayne Spencer

Wayne Spencer

2016 - Vocalist - Team New Vision

I am originally from Christiansburg, VA. I attend New Life Church on Airport Road in Roanoke.  I have been singing as far back as I can remember.  I started singing as a child in Church with my family.  Also, I have sung in school choirs and at funerals, special events and weddings. I toured in Europe with the U.S. National Chorus; sang in the Billy Graham mass choir and placed fourth in 2014 Smith Mountain Lake Idol competition.  

Current Donation Level
$1318.00
  


Valley Dance Troupe

Valley Dance Troupe

2016 - Dance Troupe - Team Angels of Assisi

Leslie Arthur Miller has been the owner of Valley Dance Productions for 17 years.  She has been teaching dance for over 25 years.  Leslie has been dancing since the age of 7 and fell in love with dance from the beginning.  She is an active member of Dance Educators of America.

 Valley Dance Production's dance team is as follows:  Juliette Cdebaca, age 15 is a rising sophomore at Patrick Henry High School.  She has been dancing since the age of 5 and has danced competitively with VDP since the age of 8. Chrissa Kate Garber, age 13 is a rising 8th grader at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Franklin County.  She has been dancing since the age of 3 with VDP and has danced competitively since the age of 7.  She is excited to be returning to the Talent Challenge for Charity stage again this year.  Anna Gentiluomo, age 14 is a rising sophomore at Cave Spring High School.  She has been dancing with VDP since the age of 5 and has danced competitively with VDP since the age of 8. Lauren Hall, age 17 is a rising senior at Northside High School.  She has been dancing for 6 years with VDP.  She began competing only 2 years into her dance career.  Ryann Miller, age 14 is a rising freshman at Lord Botetourt High School.  She has been dancing with VDP since the age of 2 and has danced competitively since the age of 7.  She is excited to be returning to the Talent Challenge for Charity stage again this year.  Madi Paine, age 17 is a rising senior at Salem High School.  She has been dancing with VDP for 4 years and dances compeitively with VDP. Prior, she was a competitive gymnast.  Riley Spitnale, age 15 is a rising sophomore at Salem High School.  She has been dancing since the age of 4 and competitively since the age of 8 with VCP.  Riley is also excited to return to the Talent Challenge for Charity stage once again. Katharine Williams, age 14 is a rising sophomore at William Byrd High School.  She has been dancing with VDP since the age of 3 and has danced competitively since the age of 8.    

Current Donation Level
$2448.15
  


Riley Emick

Riley Emick

2016 - Vocalist - Team New Vision

Riley Emick was born in Roanoke, Virginia on September 10, 2002.  She has had a love and talent for music for as long as she can remember. She attended Greenfield Elementary School and currently is a freshman at Hickory High School in Chesapeake, VA. At Greenfield, she performed in numerous talent shows and was also selected to sing in the school choir as a 4th and then 5th grader.  While in the 5th grade, she was selected to sing in the Roanoke College Children’s Choir, now known as the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir.  While in the 5th grade, Riley received her first guitar.  After attending lessons for a short time, she elected to continue development by teaching herself to play both guitar, piano, and more recently the ukulele.  As she began middle school, her music interests have diversified from pop to alternative rock, indie, folk and even show tunes. 

As a 5th grader, she performed live and on stage in a local pageant where she received first place for her rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song”.  Wanting to grow her musical abilities, she began taking music more seriously, practicing her musical instruments and voice for hours a day.  She put up her first You Tube Video singing “Youth” by the band Daughter at the beginning of her 7th grade year.  Receiving a positive feedback from friends, family, and others on the internet, the video now has roughly 2,000 views.  She has since produced additional online cover videos, including “18” by One Direction and “Riptide” by Vance Joy.

In 2015, Riley was approached by a family friend who had seen Riley’s videos on You Tube.  Following a successful application process, Riley was awarded the opportunity to sing live at “Festival in the Park” in Roanoke.  Riley gladly began work on a 45 minute set list, during which she would be playing the guitar and singing.  She played and sang live for a group of friends, family, and strangers. This led Riley to continue her love and devotion to music in the hopes of receiving additional opportunities to perform.

Also, in 2015 Riley was invited to perform as a contestant in the Talent Challenge for Charity, talent show held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in November.  She was awarded the 2015 Best Vocal Performance by a panel of five judges.  She has been cordially invited to participate in the Talent Challenge for Charity, Ltd. event in 2016.

Current Donation Level
$728.00