UK student competes on ‘Family Feud’

By Morgan Eads

meads@kykernel.com

A UK student competed on “Family Feud” with the hopes of raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Psychology junior Luke Williams went to Atlanta to compete in the game show with his family, which will be aired Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Fox.

The family entered the contest planning to donate to an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

“When we auditioned a year ago, we decided as a family that if we won the $20,000 we would donate it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Williams’ aunt and fellow team member Mary Leonberger said.

The family had personal reasons for helping out the organization.

“My son had a bone-marrow transplant when he was seven and was part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Leonberger said. “It has affected all of us, so we decided together to help them out.”

Leonberger’s son donated to the foundation before the family knew they were going to be a part of “Family Feud.”

“Once his wish was granted he wanted to give back to the organization,” Leonberger said.

The boy, now 13, has donated more than $10,000 to the organization through different fundraisers.

It was interesting to see how the show is filmed, Williams said.

“I enjoyed actually seeing a TV show being filmed in front of a live audience,” Williams said. “You see the final product on TV, but you don’t see how long it takes or how much editing is involved.”

One aspect that most viewers are unable to see is the person who precedes host Steve Harvey.

“He has this guy who warms up the crowd,” Leonberger said. “He used to play a chipmunk at Disney World and Steve Harvey saw him, liked his energy and brought him to work with him.”

Harvey himself was a big part of the show’s draw, Williams said.

“He’s a hoot,” Williams said. “He was pretty entertaining. You can tell he enjoys his job; he’s a comedian.”

There were about 2,000 people at the Louisville tryout location alone that Williams had to compete with.

“You have to compete, but your stage presence matters more than if you win or lose,” Williams said.

Once the family was chosen to be on the show, they were taken to Atlanta, where the show is filmed.

“They came to the airport and picked me up in a limo,” Williams said. “It was kind of a big deal, or at least that’s what they wanted us to think.”

According to Williams, there were about eight shows filmed in two days, and all of the families were there for them, not knowing when they would compete.

“We met a lot of interesting families. It was cool to talk to them and see where they came from,” Williams said. “We played a military family.”

It was Williams’ aunt and fellow team member Theresa Schuering who really wanted to be a part of “Family Feud,” Williams said.

“I’m the one who kind of talked everyone into it,” Schuering said. “I just love the show; I’ve always loved it.”
Williams said Schuering gained a lot from being part of the show.

“It was one of those dream-come-true situations,” Williams said. “She had always watched it, answered the questions and wanted to be on the show.”

Playing on Family Feud was, most importantly, a family event, Schuering said.

“We are all really close,” Schuering said. “So it was great to experience it together.”