By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2013
Rogers County United Way committee members are brushing up on their talent to get ready for the first ever Claremore’s Got Talent event, which will raise funds for the 2013 drive. From left: Mark Ogle, American Red Cross; Jessica Wilbourn, Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Savannah Haddock; Bailey Wilton; Donna Ross, RCUW executive director; Herb McSpadden, Rogers County Youth Services executive director; and Tobie Monroe.
Claremore’s Got Talent and so does Inola, Chelsea, Oologah and the rest of Rogers County. Singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and other performers of all ages from Rogers County are invited to enter an area-wide talent show to compete for $2,500 in cash prizes, with $1,000 going to the overall winner. Sponsored by the Rogers County United Way, the show is a fundraiser for the 2013 campaign drive, chaired by Richard Willhour, branch president of Inola RCB Bank. This year’s fundraising goal is $490,000.
In addition to winning cash prizes, area amateurs and unknown performers are given an opportunity to display their talents. There is no entry fee for participants.
Acts will compete in one of four categories: music (singing and/or instrumental), dance, variety, and youth. The youth category is open to individuals 14 and under as of November 23, 2013. Any performer older than 14 whose event does not fall into either the music or dance categories will compete in variety.
“This is a family-oriented event,” says Herb McSpadden, Rogers County Youth Services executive director. “All acts must be appropriate for a family audience and must not include profanity or lewdness.” Acts may not use any item or prop that could be hazardous or inappropriate, with the show committee having the final say on all issues regarding the appropriateness of an act.
Acts may be no longer than four minutes, with three minutes allowed for set-up, although exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the show committee. Vocalists may use recorded accompaniment tracks but must not include a lead vocal. Lip syncing is not allowed.
The first round of competition begins with a contestant’s video application entry, due by September 20. All contestants must perform the same act during all rounds. “The committee will select 10 people from each category to advance to the next round,” says McSpadden. “Semi-finalists will be notified by September 27.”
Forty semi-finalists will compete live on Sunday, October 6 at 3 p.m. Further information will be sent to competitors at the time of their notification. In addition, a completed biography form must be turned in the day of the semi-final competition.
During the semi-finals, four finalists and one alternate will be selected from each category. The final 16 will vie for prizes on Saturday, November 23 in the Claremore’s Got Talent event at the Robson Performing Arts Center. Competition will begin at 7 p.m. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of each category, with an additional $500 going to the overall winner. Three celebrity judges – who will be announced later – will determine the final winners.
Emcee for the evening is Mike Bliss, who has been recognized as one of the top entertainers in the country. Bliss has performed his one-of-a-kind illusions across the country from Miami to Fairbanks for the past 25 years. He has headlined his own show in Branson, which was voted “Branson’s Specialty Act of the Year.” He has also been featured on television hot spots such as Fox’s “30 Seconds to Fame” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
“People will really be entertained by him,” says McSpadden. “He will also be performing some of his own acts during the evening.”
Tickets, which will go on sale October 6 at $30 each, can be purchased at the United Way office, through any of the 26 agencies supported by United Way or at the Robson PAC. For more information about entering the competition or purchasing tickets to the event, call Donna Ross (918) 343-1165 or email her at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. Any businesses interested in sponsoring the event may also contact Ross.
“We have a lot of talented people in Rogers County,” says Ross. “We hope to have a good turnout for this event. It will be a lot of fun.”
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.