Sunday, October 1, 2023

Coronado’s Talent Raises $30K+ for Coronado Schools Foundation

Eric Carlson and Bella Frost
Coronado’s Talent Contestants Eric Carlson and Bella Frost. Photo by Kel Casey, Courtesy of Coronado’s Talent

….And that’s a wrap! The 3rd Annual Coronado’s Talent contest held at Coronado High School Theater on Saturday, February 23rd was the most successful Coronado’s Talent fundraiser to date — resulting in more than $30K raised for Coronado Schools Foundation (CSF) this year.

Sponsored by Alan Kinzel Professional Realty Group and generously underwritten by Donna Salof, the 2019 talent competition featured twenty-five acts and a wide range of skills including dance, music, yo-yoing, and aerial gymnastics to name just a few.

Now in its third year, Coronado’s Talent has become the event to attend or participate in. Each year the program has strengthened in numbers, talent, execution – and most importantly —  fundraising. Alan Kinzel, the mastermind behind the successful community talent program credits the event with multiple benefits to the community:

Alan Kinzel and Larry Delrose
Coronado’s Talent 2019 Hosts Alan Kinzel and Larry Delrose. Photo by Kel Casey, Courtesy of Coronado’s Talent

“Coronado’s Talent is a celebration of our special community and the very talented people among us. Many of the performers tonight wouldn’t otherwise have a forum to showcase their talent, so we are thrilled to be able to offer a venue and the opportunity — all for the benefit of our schools.”

In addition to the varied range of contestants, the judges also earned their front-row seats. Each is an important and influential member of the Coronado community.

This year, judges included Mayor Richard Bailey; Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist Jane Mitchell; Director of Membership and Special Events at Hotel del Coronado, Wayne Harth; co-owner and chief instructor at Coronado Training Center, Dan Boyle; founder and namesake for the Steven J Wampler Foundation, Steve Wampler.

Awards were determined by audience and judge ballot count, with first, second, and third-place prizes awarded for both youth and adult categories.

Winners were as follows:

1st Place Youth: Chelsea Snow
1st Place Adult: Jonathan Silver
2nd Place Youth: Luke Cantrell
2nd Place Adult: Sue Shirey and Rich Gomez
3rd Place Youth: Ella Gray
3rd Place Adult: Guadalupe Medrano

Jonathan Silver
Coronado’s Talent First Place Adult Winner Jonathan Silver. Photo by Kel Casey, Courtesy of Coronado’s Talent

In addition to those who earned top marks for talent, The Top Vote Getter Award was granted to youth performer and 3rd place winner, Ella Gray.

Each first-place winner received a three-month membership to the Hotel del Coronado, valued at $4000.

Participating audience members also had an opportunity to win. Each $25 spent voting earned an entry for The Ultimate Loews Staycation valued at $7500. The winner, Stacey Frost, was drawn live on Monday.

According to the show’s founder and creator, Alan Kinzel:

“It was a great show. Everyone puts a lot of work and heart into it, and there are just so many people to thank who made it all happen.”

One of the most popular acts of the night was an impromptu surprise which was independent of the competition. Due to an injury among the dancers of the City Ballet of San Diego, the final act featured centenarian, Eleanor Holsten. At 100.5 years young, Eleanor delighted the crowd with her hula (complete with a cheeky booty-shake) which was met with resounding applause and a standing ovation.

Eleanor Holsten
Coronado’s Talent Guest Appearance by Eleanor Holsten. Photo by Kel Casey, Courtesy of Coronado’s Talent

All’s well that ends well. Congratulations on another successful year!

For additional information regarding contestants and program, visit

To make a donation to Coronado Schools Foundation, visit

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