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'Lake Orion's Got Talent!'

Variety show to offer $1,000 prize

January 26, 2011 - Dust off your dancing shoes, tune up your tuba and master your magic tricks.

The first-ever "Lake Orion's Got Talent!" is coming March 19 to Lake Orion High School.

The event benefits 1,000 Conversations about Mental Health in Lake Orion and features four $250 prizes and a grand prize of $1,000.

"The idea is to do something positive and healthy — especially this time of year — and to let people know we're out here," said Karen Hudson, a 1,000 Conversations founding member.

The event is open to amateur performers in individual and group acts, who will compete in four categories: Age 5-10; age 11-13; age 14-18 and age 19 and up.

But only the first 100 people to register will have a chance to audition. Auditions, three minutes each, take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1950 S. Baldwin Road, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

From those, three finalists will be selected from each of the four age groups to compete the night of the show.

A panel of judges will choose one winning act from each group, and each of those will not only pocket $250 in prize cash, but will also have an opportunity to move onto the final round to compete against the winners from the other three groups for the $1,000 grand prize.

"You might have a young-Michael-Jackson-age kid who goes up against my 105-year-old grandma, who's able to roll around in her wheelchair and make it funky-fresh," said Yvonne Blackmond of MINDS, the parent organization of 1,000 Conversations. "It's a fun, upbeat way to increase our voice and get many more in Lake Orion talking about mental health to reduce stigma."

Just about any G-rated talents are welcome – singing, instrumental, dancing, gymnastics, magic, drama/acting, impersonations, etc. – Blackmond explained, as long as no dangerous elements, such as fire or knives, are involved.

In addition to the opportunity to win a cash prize, contestants may also find fame -- Orion Neighborhood Television will be on hand to record the auditions and finals both, in a program to broadcast on the cable channel.

All applicants must return a completed and signed participation form by 5 p.m., Feb. 21. Applications and additional information is available at

Organizers are also looking for program supporters, with sponsorships levels available from $25 up.

For sponsorship information, please call Yvonne Blackmond at the MINDS office 248- 644-8003.

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