By Bonnie Mentel

IMPACT is a non-profit organization that promotes healthy living and relationships through their Teen IMPACT program. The program encourages students to commit to being drug-free, alcohol-free, and tobacco-free, while practicing abstinence.

In order to meet its goal of educating teenagers, IMPACT has programs in the Hillsborough County schools. Its Classroom Education program sends trained speakers into schools to educate teens on the importance of sexual risk avoidance, while also teaching them refusal skills, and encouraging students to set boundaries in their dating relationships. Lecturers discuss the benefits of abstinence.

“These teens kind of agree to give up their summer. They go from 9 to 3, it’s kind of like a full time job. They do this Monday through Thursday, all summer long,” said Jennifer Crumm, parent and talent show coordinator.

IMPACT is hosting its second annual talent show, IMPACT’s Got Talent, on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale High School, located at 1700 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

The fundraiser began as a way to earn gas money. The organization has discovered that the most expensive part of the program is purchasing gas for the vans. Although several vans were donated, the program still needs to meet the expense of purchasing gasoline.

“We were just trying to find a fun way to help raise some gas for the summer program. We thought this was a great idea. Last year, it was so much fun. We had 20 acts and they were able to raise enough money to get them through the summer program; around $3,000,” Crum said.

This year, IMPACT held auditions for over 30 acts. Twenty-four made the cut to perform at the talent show.

The event is charging $5 for students and $10 for adults. They hope that many students and families from local schools will attend and support the students in the show.

“We do a silent auction. We go around and get donations from local businesses so we can have silent auction baskets. We have a 50/50 raffle. Last year, we had a grand prize of $100; this year we’ve bumped it up to $250,” Crum said.

The panel of judges include Abby from the Big, Big, House Morning Show on Spirit FM; Cristalyn Stokes, director of Entertainment Revue; Bruce Wawrzyniak from Now Hear This; and Doug Westlake from LLT Academy.

“We have everything. We have singers, dancers, a step team, a monologue, a self-taught piano player who doesn’t even know how to read music, violinist, musical theater – all kinds of different things. Our youngest contestant is a little first grader who is going to come in and sing. Our oldest is 18,” she said.

Visit the Impact’s Got Talent 2016 Facebook Event page or

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