Community, Education, Latest News

‘Mohigan Idol’ brings in more than $30K for children’s hospital

If Saturday’s “Mohigan Idol” show on the stage of the Metropolitan seemed like it had some Hollywood aura attached, that’s because it did.

That was given the diversity of the acts performing under the lights, on that storied stage, at downtown Morgantown’s iconic venue.

This weekend was the 15th edition of the talent show that has raised more than $200,000 for WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital during its run.

The big check hoisted on the Met’s big stage Saturday night was written for $30,700.

Acts rolled in from all across Monongalia County Schools for the eclectic evening.

There the were the interpretive dancers, poetry-slammers and metal bands – the province of the older kids. There were the grade-schoolers, bravely plinking out their first tunes on piano. And the acoustic guitar troubadours-in-training, with their ballad covers and heartfelt lyrics on the songs they wrote.

There were the local celebrities, too.

Baylee Miller, this year’s WVU Medicine Children’s “Champion Child” for 2023 was there with his parents, Nick Miller and Jodee Hensley.

Twin brothers Stephen and Nathan Boone from Morgantown High School’s Class of 2008 also came back to serves as judges.

Stephen was senior class president and Nathan got himself elected student body president at the red-bricked school on Wilson Avenue.

MHS was the birthplace of “Mohigan Idol” way back in that year of the Boone brothers.

Student council had a charitable idea then that would also play off the popularity of “American Idol,” the network television juggernaut.

“We’ll do our own version,” the budding policymakers said. “We can raise money for the hospital.”

“Have at it,” MHS teacher and student council advisor Gretchen Gibson said.

That first year was open to MHS acts only and raised $250.

The year after that, University High came on the bill and the charitable take was $1,000.

Last year’s show brought in $40,000.

At the height – or depth – of the pandemic in 2020, “Morgantown Idol” had to go virtual. It still raised around $10,000.

“The kids were a little bummed that first year,” Gibson remembers, “but I said, ‘You know what? Give it time. I think this thing is gonna grow.'”

WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital has grown over the years, also: Young patients from all 55 counties in West Virginia undergo specialized treatment there. Their parents bring them from surrounding states and across oceans, too.

The hospital is known for its neonatal care and the accolades its physicians receive nationally and internationally for their work.

It now has its own 10-story tower, adjacent to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.

TWEET @DominionPostWV