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Up With People gets down in town this weekend
Energy and positivity take center stage today at Brenau
The Up With People cast get warmed up Friday afternoon in front of Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium before a rehearsal inside.

Up with People show

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 22
Where: Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville
Cost: $20 adults, $15 students children and seniors, $65 for family of four
More info:

The international cast of Up With People will present upbeat musical performances twice today at Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University in Gainesville, with proceeds benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Hall County.

The group has spent the week working with Habitat for Humanity of Hall County at sites around the county and at Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, building a miniature model Habitat for Humanity House.

Performances are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

More than 70 homes opened their doors as host homes for the cast and crew of Up With People, including a returning Gainesville resident, Reed Partrick, who is in the second semester of performing with the group.

“It’s definitely been a crazy dream and I’m honored to be able to be part of this,” said Partrick. “It’s been a huge step up for us, to give back to my community has been so amazing to watch and be a part of, it’s definitely a blessing for sure.”

Up With People is celebrating its 50-year anniversary.

“It’s so great to be able to come to one of our student’s hometown,” said Chelsey Panchot, U.S. sales and tour manager. “It’s really nice to see the excitement surrounding him being here and traveling the world.”

More than 700 people were expected to attend Friday’s performances. All ticket proceeds will go directly to Habitat for Humanity of Hall County. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students, seniors and children; and $65 for a family four-pack.

“It’s been an outpouring of support from the community and such a warm welcome from everyone that we’ve worked with,” Panchot said.

The support from the community is one reason Ann Nixon, executive director with Habitat for Humanity, likes to call Gainesville home.

“It’s an honor, it’s an absolute honor, and we were extremely lucky Up With People had one week out of their entire year schedule and we were able to slide in there, and it’s because of the Partrick family,” Nixon said.

“We just feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to be so tightly woven into the community. It’s an honor them to come work with us.”

The program has sparked interest from community leaders from Hall County and those around the state including Gov. Nathan Deal, who attended the performance Friday with first lady Sandra Deal.

“What I really like is that the governor is recognizing when something extraordinary is happening in his hometown and he’s willing to go through the effort of joining us,” said Nixon.

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