Spotlight shining on Benton

An Altoona man is working his way into Hollywood.

Troy Benton, 20, will appear in two major motion picture productions scheduled to be released this year. “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

“Oz” was released Friday, and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is expected out in November.

In both movies, Benton plays a little person – a Munchkin in “Oz” and a member of a professional sports team for little people in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

A 2010 Altoona Area High School graduate, Benton is performing alongside a decorated cast of stars in each film – James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz in “Oz” and Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Benton’s success is a perfect example of how it doesn’t matter how big, or small, a person might be and that determination can overcome physical challenges. What some may see as a physical limitation, Benton has used to gain a wonderful opportunity.

We congratulate Benton, offer him a thumbs-up and hope he follows the yellow brick road all the way to his dreams.

Others worthy of thumbs-up mention:

Thumbs-up to Sue Kuhn, latest winner of the prestigious Angel of the Arts award, which is presented annually by the Blair County Arts Foundation. Kuhn has been a longtime BCAF board member and volunteer who has contributed a variety of talents and service.

While on the subject of the arts, thumbs-up to the Blair County Arts Foundation on another outstanding evening – A Night for the Mishler – to celebrate the arts and the Mishler Theatre on Saturday. A capacity crowd of 873 was on hand to hear a tribute to the Bee Gees and Abba, and while there’s nothing quite like the original musicians, these tribute bands have the drill down quite well. In fact, the Bee Gees and Abba are two of six tributes scheduled for the Mishler over the next couple of months. The others include tributes to The Beach Boys (March 21-22), Frank Sinatra (March 23), John Denver (May 24) and Neil Diamond (June 7-8).

Thumbs-up to Albert Boscov, the first inductee into the Pennsylvania Retailers Hall of Fame. Boscov, who has a store at the Logan Town Centre, is a giant in the history of Pennsylvania retailing and the state’s business community and a fitting choice to be recognized by the new hall of fame.