Chase Beta Club ready for nationals

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 04:39 AM

Chase students are taking their talents to the national level this summer.

The Chase High School Beta Club is in the midst of preparing for the National Convention in Richmand, Va. June 25-28. When the group attended the State Beta Club Convention in February student Tyra Phillips was voted in as State Beta Club Secretary and the club won first place in group talent. Phillips will run for National Secretary this summer and the group will compete for the top national prize.

According to Ashley Garland, beta club sponsor, Phillips is the eighth consecutive Chase officer elected during the state convention. Her speech was based on the theme "America's Next Top Secretary."

"I talked about how you don't have to be a size 2 to be a model. You need to love yourself no matter your size or the color of your skin," Phillips said. "All my life I downed myself about my looks. I got made fun of when I was little and Mrs. Garland thought it would be good to get that out of my system."

Garland said she chose Phillips to run for the position because of her dedication and personality.

"She has always had an exuberant personality, she's hilarious and she's sincere. I knew she would have dedication," Garland said. "She has a personality I've never seen in anybody. When she took the stage before her speech, she already got a round of applause."

As the state secretary, Phillips will help run the national convention and will lead beta service projects.

The club's group talent is called "Power of the Dream," and it is based on the Holocaust. The performance includes dancing and singing and props the students painted themselves. It begins with the theme from Shindler's List and follows the story of a girl in a red coat and her time in a concentration camp.

"I wanted to do something different because we usually do something Disney and glitzy. We knew we had to go away from what we've done in the past so the judges would look at us in a new light," Garland said. "This is emotional and it's deep and dark."

The talent includes a mash-up of other songs and quotes from Elie Wiesel's book "Night". Students Madison Reep, Cassidy Pinkerton and Bailey Campfield are the main singers. Garland said the girls took chorus class this year to better prepare for group talent.

"I love how it teaches the lesson of the Holocaust and I like performing with my friends," Campfield said. "Beta Club is a good experience and I feel like more people should join. It takes dedication and you have to love it."

The end of the performance has a happy ending as the little girl is released from the camp. Garland said she chose the theme because as an English teacher she was always fascinated with the Holocaust.

"We wanted to tell a story that was meaningful and would touch people. This was a huge risk doing something that wasn't Disney and piecing it together and getting the emotion in there," Garland said. "Before we went on stage at state we were crying. I told them you have to have emotion for this. Your face has to tell the story."

The club will start practicing the talent again soon to prepare for nationals.

Other honors the club won at the state convention include sixth place in quiz bowl, Morgan Deck placed second in Biology and Kaleb Morrow placed fifth in math.

Now the club is tasked with raising money for its trip in June. They have several fundraisers planned. One of those was performing the group talent for the Chase student body on Friday, March 28. Students could pay $1 to view the performance.

"I want to encourage the arts with the students," Garland said. "The kids sing, dance, act and they painted the props. There is also a technical aspect because they put the lights together for the show. This involves everyone in the school from the agriculture department to the art department."

There are many ways the community can support the Beta Club. They are selling Belk Charity Day tickets for $5, selling donuts and holding a Zaxby's night on Monday, April 14. Community members can also donate online at http://www.gofundme.com/6q4ha8.

For more information on how you can help the betas get to Virginia call the school at 828-245-5883.