Thursday, November 12, 2020

Champions movie screening will include ‘star power’

Antoine McKay
Gregory Jbara
The Champions program will get a boost of star power Saturday with the virtual screening of Unclaimed, a movie starring a Wayne High School graduate.

The film, the story of a crusty old black guy and a lonely white kid and a reluctant friendship built on cremating dead folks nobody wants, was written, produced and directed by TW Miller who spent 20 years around Hollywood honing his craft.  

Starring in the film is Antoine McKay, a alumni of Wayne Memorial High School, who has appeared in television shows such as ER on NBC, Prison Break and Empire on FOX. 

The virtual screening of the movie and the Champions of Wayne documentary is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. The screening is a benefit for the Champions of Wayne program and will include special guest appearances from Westland native and emcee for the evening, Gregory Jbara.  Jbara is currently staring as “DCPI Garrett Moore” on the CBS hit police drama, Blue Bloods.  He will be joined by Willie Horton and Dave Coulier.

As with many other programs, Champions of Wayne has been adversely affected financially by the current pandemic, prompting the unusual virtual screening of the film to achieve attention to the program.

The innovative Champions of Wayne academic program at Wayne Memorial High School has repeatedly produced head-turning results in Wayne and has caught the attention of educators far and wide. The program combines mentoring, incentives, and goal-setting to bolster culture and achievement and has been offered at Wayne Memorial for nearly a decade. Beginning as a grassroots program in 2009 with a trophy and a number 2 pencil, Champions of Wayne has grown to a robust 501c3 nonprofit and serves as a beacon to other schools in the state.

Once measured as a below average high school, Wayne Memorial has now been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of America's best high schools for two consecutive years has recent graduates attending colleges including Stanford, Harvard, and Georgetown as well as record admissions to Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. 

“Champions of Wayne has been an integral part of the changes to Wayne Memorial,” said James Anderson, school principal.  “The program has been a cornerstone in shaping the student-oriented culture at Wayne Memorial.” 

The benefit screening is supported by sponsors Beaumont Health System and Jack Demmer Ford.

Visit movie2020 for additional details, updates and to register for the screening.