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Pointer Sisters to entertain at Rialzo III on May 19

Mar 14

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012  RssIcon

Jermaine Jackson (right) brother of late pop icon Michael Jackson, performs a Michael Jackson song with the Pointer Sisters in 2009 during the Save the World Awards in Austria. The Pointer Sisters will be coming to Muncie on May 19 for Rialzo. / The Associated Press 


MUNCIE -- Hank Milius is so excited. And he just can't hide it.

On Thursday morning, the CEO of Meridian Health Services announced the Pointer Sisters would perform at Rialzo III, the black-tie fundraiser for the behavioral health agency's children's services program.

"There's a great deal of support for Rialzo regardless of who the band is, but I know people are already wanting to see the Pointer Sisters," Milius said. "It's also a chance to celebrate our treatment programs available for children in our community. This will be a great time."

The crooners of He's So Shy, Jump, The Neutron Dance and I'm So Excited are expected to get Rialzo attendees swinging their hips for 75 to 90 minutes on May 19.

The fun will get going before the trio hits the stage when the agency's arts partners -- Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Muncie Civic Theatre and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra -- showcase their programs with performances from their artists.

"Last year, people really got into the performances by the arts partners so we decided to double the time guests had with them," said Scott Smalstig, vice president of fund development and a coordinator of Rialzo. "The partners realized that was a great time to highlight the talent we have here in Muncie and we're looking forward to introducing them to even more people."

More than 500 guests attended Rialzo II, headlined by R&B band Kool & the Gang.

Rialzo has a history of bringing "big-name" bands to perform -- the first year saw entertainment by the group The Fifth Dimension -- but Milius acknowledged future events might see other groups headlining the stage.

"There are plenty of good bands that don't have the same name recognition as the groups we've brought and they are also entertaining and fun," he said. "We'll be exploring that in the future."

The fundraiser provided dollars for the arts partners' programs and also honored a Meridian employee with the Spirit of Meridian award. A community resident also received the honor.

The Spirit of Meridian awards will again be presented during this year's event, which will also include a live and silent auction with what Smalstig said was "double the amount items to auction."

A football helmet with the signatures of Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning, Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning and their father and former NFL quarterback Archie Manning will be auctioned off at Rialzo III, as well a puppy and the opportunity to sing with the Pointer Sisters on stage during their performance.

There will also be a movie poster from the film Hoosiers, with signatures from the late Dennis Hopper, and Gene Hackman and Barbara Hershey, stars from the film.

"We have something for film fans, for sports fans, for everyone," Smalstig said. "We're excited about what the night is about ... and about the Pointer Sisters being a part of it."

Contact news reporter Ivy Farguheson at 213-5829

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Tags: News , rialzo , rialzo 2012
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