Talent show honors former West Memphis resource officer

Rodney ‘Kool-Aid’ Riley remembered by community

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

Area youth displayed their talents in the honor and memory of Rodney “Kool-Aid Riley” at RiverPAC in West Memphis Saturday Night. The late Riley, who passed away in 2008, had been a school resource officer at West Memphis High School and worked to organize the annual talent show in his day. The brothers of the Xi Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. carried on, hosting their annual Rodney “Kool-Aid” Riley Talent Hunt as part of the 9th District Omega Psi Phi Meeting. The aim of the talent show is to help give the youth progress toward positive future goals using their talents and other life skills. “The Annual Talent Hunt is always dedicated to the honor and memory of Brother Rodney ‘Kool-Aid’ Riley for his tremendous efforts and contributions in organizing the event prior to being called home to glory,” said Terrence Sesley with the fraternity. “It is a goal of the Brothers of Omega Psi Phi to uplift the children in believing in themselves to accomplish positive to go far in life.”The event was filled with surprises as well as tough competition. The Brothers of the Alpha Zeta Chapter from Arkansas State University kicked off the event with some marches and theatrics. They hyped up the crowd along with guest DJs Ena Esco from K97FM, iHeart Media, and locals Big Rod and Mike Brown. The trio served as dynamic hosts of 11 acts, Dab contest, a $10 gift giveaway to the oldest person in the crowd, and other guest performers. Dance groups and soloist of all ages stormed the stage to and performed their best. The eleven acts consisted of seven dance groups and four soloists. In they eyes of the Brothers of the Xi Rho Chapter and the judges, each one of these young people were winners. However, a close voting process of the competition only yielded three winners. The events winners are as follows: 1st Place – Nikki Higgs; 2nd Place – Pink Hearts; 3rd Place – Dazzling Diamond Elite Sr. Dance Group, senior dance group Hover Board – Devontae Bolden; Oldest Present – Miss Shirley. To round the night out were performances by Bluff City and the LOL Girls. A choreographed performance by P.A.C.B. inspired the crowd with enthusiastic synchronized moves and formations. Up and coming R&B group Bluff City provided a taste of their harmonizing style. The LOL Girls added their hype version of hip hop with a performance to warm to the heart.The Brothers of the Xi Rho Chapter in West Memphis extended thanks, appreciation, and gratitude to all the performers, to the West Memphis Civic Auditorium for the open door, along with special thanks to the parents, group coordinators and sponsors.

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