FLINT, Michigan — Get ready, ‘cause here they come. This Friday, Sept. 22, Flint’s longest-running lip sync showcase 'Mott, Motown & More' will kick off the culmination of Mott Community College’s Centennial celebration. “This promises to be a night to remember,” said Lennetta Coney, President of the Foundation for Mott Community College.
The event has been running for nearly two decades and for the first time will be held at Flint’s Capitol Theatre. “It’s always been my dream to take it downtown so the entire community could be involved,” stated Coney.
Her dream was supported by FIM CEO Rodney Lontine who embraced the move from campus to the 95-year-old theater to properly celebrate 100 years of the school. After the show, there will be a gala celebration and dance held in the lower level of the theater.
This year’s affair will feature some of the lip sync show’s favorite celebrity performers from throughout the event’s 17-year history. One of those local celebrities is Flint-based neurologist, Dr. Sunita Tummala.
This is Tummala’s second year taking part as a performer. “Initially, I was a little hesitant,” said Tummala. “I didn’t know if I had what it took and finding time to rehearse was challenging.” Yet, Tummala, who was born and raised in Flint and has built her practice here, felt it was crucial to find the time to fit the weekly rehearsals into her already busy schedule. “It is important to me to give something back to the city that has given so much to me,” said Tummala.
Not to mention, she had much more fun performing than she would have imagined. According to Coney, Tummala’s 2022 performance was so well received that the organizers asked her to reprise her performance again this year. For those who weren’t at last year’s performance, Tummala morphed into pop star Dua Lipa.
Last year's 'Mott, Motown & More' featured a performance from former Community Foundation of Greater Flint President and CEO Isaiah Oliver.
“When people like Dr. Tummala volunteer their time, it’s monumental because many times, it's not the type of person you’d expect to not only be able to find the time but also eventually step on stage,” said Coney. Many of those performing spend at least a couple of hours, once a week rehearsing with a choreographer who donates her time for free as well.
The show is just the start of the weekend’s festivities to celebrate Mott Community College’s 100th year. The celebration continues all day Saturday beginning with a parade through downtown Flint, along with an open house and festival on the main campus. The on-campus festival will include tours of the college, games, live music, and food trucks. The centennial celebration closes with a fireworks show at dusk in Flint’s historic Kearsley Park. All of Saturday’s festivities are free to the public.
Tickets for Friday’s 'Mott, Motown & More' performance are $35 each and $85 for both the show and dance combined. All proceeds from the event go toward Mott’s Centennial Scholars Fund which has been designed to increase student success.
Coney explained that many of Mott's students are just one crisis away from dropping out, so the money from this particular fund is allocated to meet both a student’s academic and non-academic needs. Personal or family needs like food, shelter, childcare, transportation, and other resources such as health care are also those Coney emphasized as vital. “If we can prevent some of the outside stressors then these students are able to focus on their education,” she said.
The goal is that all students receiving help from the Centennial Scholars Fund finish with either their Associate’s or Bachelor's degree. This aligns with the mantra of Mott’s President, Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, which is, “Find them. Keep them. Complete them.”
Tickets for Friday’s event can be purchased at mcceventsonline.com or through the FIM online ticket center at: thefim.org/event/mott-motown-more
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