GLEN ROCK’S JORDAN MCMAHON HONORS CHILDHOOD PAL WITH TALENT SHOWS
The Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation was established by the Glen Rock resident’s family after he died in 2007 from leukemia at the age of 9. It puts on comic book workshops for children in Paterson with a professional writer as a tribute to Barron’s love for reading them and also making up his own superheroes.
One of Barron’s closest friends was also inspired to honor his creativity.
“Going into my freshman year of high school, I knew I wanted to find a way to keep Christopher there right along with me,” Jordan McMahon, who graduated Glen Rock High School this past spring, says. “My mind instantly went to performing since I’m a dancer.”
McMahon decided to stage a talent show in memory of Barron.
“Not only was this a great way to raise money for the foundation, but it also gave myself a creative outlet that I wouldn’t have had without this fundraiser,” he says.
The first show was held in the Glen Rock High School cafeteria.
“Fold-up chairs were taken out and lined up across the cafeteria floor. The stage wasn’t exactly a stage, but simply an elevated section of the room with no wings, no wooden floor and no spotlights,” McMahon says. “The attendance was around 250 people and we raised approximately $3,700. Not too shabby for the first year.”
By his senior year, the show had moved to the school’s auditorium.
“There was a legit stage, a wooden floor and multiple spotlights,” McMahon says. “The attendance was almost double that of the first year, and we raised more than $8,000 for the foundation.”
His favorite thing about putting on these shows was seeing his classmates’ excitement.
“The buzz throughout the school as the show approaches pushes me to make the show the best that it can be. The fact that the students all know who Chris Barron is, is what really brings me joy,” he says. “My goal was to bring Chris through high school with me, and I know I’ve reached that goal.”
McMahon appreciates how this has helped him grow.
“I’ve learned so much about myself and about putting together a production,” he says. “From choreographing my own pieces, to doing interviews, to hanging up flyers, to finding a solid list of performers, there is always so much to be done and I’ve taken away a great deal about what it takes to put on a successful show.”
He’s excited to start up at Ithaca College this fall and plans to get involved in community service projects up there, while also continuing to dance.
He isn’t sure if the show will still go on at Glen Rock High School, but “it was a great run for these past four years, so whether it continues on or not, I will still be very pleased with the impact it had,” he says.
For more information, visit christopherbarronlivelife.org.
SHOWSTOPPER Jordan McMahon performs a dance at the 2016 Christopher Barron Foundation Fundraiser.