March 4, 2016

Superheroes, princesses have a ball with Kolton Stewart

Jacob Robinson / Simcoe Reformer

DELHI – The list of Canadians that would turn down a trip to the ‘City of Angels’ during the dog days of winter is minuscule at best.

For Kolton Stewart though, getting the chance to help his former school and reconnect with some familiar faces during Saturday’s Princess and Superhero Ball in support of St. Frances Cabrini was too good to pass up.

“I’m really excited to do this,” the 16-year-old actor/musician said before taking to the Belgian Hall stage. “I was supposed to go to Los Angeles today but I rescheduled because I really wanted to come here and perform. I’m happy to be back with the St. Frances crowd.”

The ball was hosted by the school’s parent council with the hope of earning a chunk of cash that will go towards purchasing equipment upgrades.

“Every year parent council has some kind of fundraiser,” said council member Jenn VanDeVelde. “In the past, we’ve done calendar draws and that kind of thing. Christine (D’Hulster) came up with this great idea. Holy Trinity (Catholic High School in Simcoe) had done something similar in past years and decided they were going to take a break from doing it this year so Christine saw a really great opportunity and ran with it.”

In addition to over 100 silent auction items donated by the community, which included an entire children’s penny table, having Stewart on hand for both a performance and meet-and-greet helped put the event over the top, VanDeVelde said. About 350 tickets were sold ahead of Saturday’s big show with many more expected for Stewart’s performance.

“We’re just thrilled with the response from the community and donors as well as families attending – we hope to make it annual now,” she said.

“Having Kolton Stewart was a huge push forward for our event. He was a St. Frances alum so a lot of our older students knew him and a lot of our younger students watch him on TV right now. That was very exciting.”

The night brought with it dozens of unique costumes, a predictable result knowing the student body’s affinity for both heroes and princesses.

“That was just a clear fit,” VanDeVelde explained. “It’s certainly something when you’re in our school is very prevalent. We have ‘Superhero Day’ and we have kids dress up as everything from Mother Theresa, who is a superhero we feel strongly about, to Batman and Elsa and all the princesses.”

It wasn’t all that long ago that Stewart was roaming the halls of St. Frances. Now he’s starring in a hit TV show – Some Assembly Required on YTV – and serving as an idol to current students.

“Sometimes I forget that I’m on TV and that I’m someone’s role model,” he said. “It’s really humbling and I love when I get support like this.”

Having performed before numerous audiences, including a stretch as ‘Simba’ with Disney’s North American Tour of The Lion King, Stewart admitted to getting some butterflies when singing for a Norfolk County crowd.

“I always get nervous and I always say I’m more nervous when I perform in front of people that I know,” he said. “I’m assuming this crowd is going to be really awesome and I’m just happy to perform for them.”

As he met, gave autographs to and posed for photos with current St. Frances students, Stewart hoped to be an example of what can come from hard work.

“One of the main things is to always follow your dreams,” he advised students. “It might seem like a really long goal but it’s not – if you work hard you’ll get to where you need to be. I’m still pushing forward and still working at my goals – you’ve always got to keep pushing.”