09 February 2010

By Nick Mattera


A teenage heartthrob with a thing for double chocolate dip donuts, Sour Patch Kids and singing love songs is coming to Niagara-Wheatfield’s Edward Town Middle School thanks to an effort by students and staff to raise money for a good cause.

Edward Town was the top school in the 2010 Kiss 98.5 School Spirit Competition, beating out 56 other local schools and raising $16,927 for Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. The grand prize, a free concert by teen music sensation Justin Bieber has left the school buzzing.

Students walked the halls in shirts with the 15-year-old’s face screen-printed on them while they sang songs made famous by Bieber played by Principal Laura Palka over the school’s speakers.

“I went crazy when I heard it on the radio. I even cried a little bit,” said 13-year-old Ashleigh Burglo, an eighth grade student at the school. “This makes me proud to say I go to Edward Town.”

The group of students all willingly admitted to having posters of Bieber on their walls, could also name his favorite foods, birthday and hometown with little effort — and if you didn’t believe them you could just read it on their shirts.

“I love him, he’s so cute, I can’t wait until he comes. I might faint,” 11-year-old Cheyanne Lewis said laughing.

The contest began around Chirstmas time and school officials said the effort was successful thanks to everyone at the 950-student school.

“Everyone worked together, and everyone realized the difference they were making,” said sixth grade teacher Angela Gramza. “While the boys would never admit to wanting Justin to come here, they helped out because it was for Children’s Hospital.”

Edward Town defeated Gowanda Middle School by more than $2,000. In all, the contest raised $152,637 for the orthopedic spinal surgery suite at Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Twelve-year-old Deanna Todino said that as excited as she is for Bieber to come to the school, she’s just as proud of what the school was able to accomplish.

“It makes you feel good because I know that Children’s Hospital is for kids my age,” she explained. “The money we raised will really make a difference for them.”

The group of teachers and students weren’t willing to divulge all of their fundraising tactics but did say they couldn’t have done it without support of the entire community. The teachers collected money daily in homerooms and said they ran fundraisers at a recent dance and parents garnered contributions from local businesses.

“This whole process taught our kids a bunch of different lessons,” said math teacher Ashley Wood. “Overall it proves to them that with hard work and dedication for a good cause, you can achieve anything.”

A representative from Kiss 98.5 said that a date for Bieber has not been determined yet but negotiations are under way with his management team.



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Justin Bieber is currently one of the hottest young artists in the world. The 15 year old has impressed teenage girls the world over and label boss Usher with his soulful voice.
And on his recent trip to the UK MTV grabbed a chat....
MTV: So Justin what can we expect from the album My World?
My World is actually going to be a lot of fun, it was so much fun recording, I think it shows that I was having fun recording it and I think you guys will have fun listening to it. It’s got a kinda r ‘n’ b/pop feel.
Tell us how you got signed and a little about your relationship with Usher?
So, basically I was twelve years old and I was posting videos online just for my friends and family and other people started watching it and I started getting a lot of hits and views
Then a manager contacted me and ended up flying us down to Atlanta where I met Usher and was then flown out to LA and Memphis to meet with Justin Timberlake. We ended up signing with Usher at Island Def Jam.
He’s a great guy just as I met him I actually sang him my own song You Got It Bad. I was a little nervous but it was a lot of fun.
It must have been amazing at twelve, what did you think did you think your whole world was going to change or was it just a bit of a dream?
Well at the time I really didn’t know what was going on, I was kind of like ‘pinch me I’m dreaming!’ It was definitely a big change but I’m having a lot of fun.
Usher starred in the for video One Time…
He didn’t star in it I starred in it! He made a co-appearance, in my video. He wouldn’t star in my video, that wouldn’t make sense right?
What kind of advice has he given you?
Usher gave me a lot of advice and I think the best advice he’s given me is basically just to stay humble through this whole experience.
Now is it true there was a bidding war between Usher and Justin Timberlake?
Well I don’t really know about it all I know is that they were going back and forth. So, basically I think Justin and Usher both wanted to sign me it was kind of like a bidding war, it was kind of like they were in a ring and Usher knocked him out so…
Have you seen J.T. since you decided to go with Usher?
I haven’t seen Justin Timberlake since the whole deal went down but I think he’d have no hard feelings. He seems like a really nice guy, he seems cool.
What’s the craziest fan experience you’ve had?
I had one of here just a few days ago and we were driving and these little girls they were running in front of the vehicles. They nearly got hurt- we were driving and they were still running in front of the vehicle. So that was probably one of the craziest.
Tell us about the accident you had on stage where you were supporting Taylor Swift in the UK, you broke your foot didn’t you?
Yes! I actually broke my foot on stage performing with Taylor Swift I was opening up for her which was a lot of fun- although it definitely wasn’t fun when I broke my foot. I was running down stage and there was a little dip in the stage and I rolled my ankle and broke it and I finished the song but yeah, it was still a great night.
Would you like to work with Taylor in the future maybe have a duet with her or something?
I would love to work with Taylor in the future she’s a great writer, song writer, musician, singer so she’s an all round great person, so I think it would be great.



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