Magician performs to raise money for animals, supplies

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

Mike Bliss and the Incredible Bliss Brothers performed a magic and comedic act in order to help raise funds for the Brookings Regional Humane Society.

“Mike Bliss is great with kids and has a really interactive show,” said Tiffany Haynes Reed, director of the Brookings Regional Humane Society. “It was fun to see all the kids participate.”

Haynes Reed attended the show at the Performing Arts Center on Jan. 24. The Mike Bliss event was co-sponsored by the SDSU equestrian team.

Comedian Mike Bliss was a general fundraiser for an anesthesia machine, and after expenses the group made about $1,200, said Haynes-Reed.

Bliss, who traveled from Branson, Mo., for the event, has been entertaining for more than 20 years. His sons, Zachary and Stephen, make up the Bliss Brothers part of the show. They are two of the youngest magicians in the country, at ages 10 and 9 respectively.

“Reza Borchardt (a magician from Brookings) recommended Mike Bliss, so he must be good,” said Haynes Reed.

Mike Bliss and the Incredible Bliss Brothers appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2007 and reached the top 35 acts out of 100,000. His show includes juggling, mind reading, comedy, unicycle riding and audience interaction.

The Humane Society was happy with the amount of money raised from the magician’s event, said Haynes-Reed, encouraging college students to volunteer.

“We have two students that work here and a lot of student volunteers,” said Haynes Reed. “Any college kids who need a little animal time should come down and help out.”

The Brookings Regional Humane Society is open Monday through Friday from 12 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m.

“I am a huge animal lover,” said Paige Hemmah, a journalism graduate student. “I live in an apartment where no pets are allowed so I usually try to come twice a week and volunteer.”

The workers and volunteers do a wide variety of tasks while at the Humane Society including feeding, watering, cleaning out litter boxes and anything else that needs to be done.

“Anyone who has an interest in animals should definitely either come work or volunteer at the Humane Society,” said Chelsea Anderson, a sophomore pre-med major. “I have worked here since October and normally come in two days a week. I get my animal fix since I still live in the dorms and can’t have pets.”

Hemmah agreed, “You can volunteer whenever you have time. It’s a great way for students to spend their time.”