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Talent competition to benefit orphanage, school play



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April 20, 2011 - Who needs an endless stream of reality television shows when there's an abundance of talented folks in this community, just waiting for a venue to express themselves?

The First Annual "Oxford's Got Talent" competition will be held at the high school's 800-seat Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 21.

Starting at 7 p.m., the contest/show will feature 20 acts including singing, dancing, gymnastics, bands and instrumental performances.

"It's a little bit of everything," said OHS teacher Debby Brown, adviser to the Oxford Theater Company, the group putting on the event.

Contestants will range from kindergartners to high school seniors.

The winner will be determined by a vote of the audience during intermission and a panel of three judges.

Each will count for 50 percent.

Judges will include Pastor Dave Gerber, Katelyn McQuater, a 2009 OHS graduate, and former OHS choir director Margaret Payne, who spent 21½ years with the district before retiring in 2007.

Tickets for the talent competition are $3 each for both adults and children.

Proceeds will be benefit both the Oxford Theater Company's fall play and the Children of Israel Orphanage in Haiti, which is home to 28 youths.

In about three weeks, Adrianne Schmidt, a 2008 OHS graduate, will head to Haiti to work at the orphanage from May until the end of August. She approached the Theater Company about doing a combined fund-raiser.

"She came up with the idea of Oxford's Got Talent," Brown noted.

This will be Schmidt's fifth trip to the impoverished Caribbean island nation since she was 16 years old.

"I'm going to be doing a lot of work with the orphans like teaching them English and how to sew and cook," she said. "I'm also going to be doing traveling evangelism to different villages and tent cities."

Schmidt's planning to use this upcoming trip to help her decide whether or not she'd like to move to Haiti on a permanent basis.

"I am there to see if God's calling me to spend the rest of my life there," she said. "Being down there by yourself is a lot different than being with a mission team.

"I'm going down for such a long period of time to see if I like it when I'm alone as well as on a mission team. I have organized different mission teams that will be coming there throughout the summer."

Schmidt currently attends Oakland University and is scheduled to graduate next spring.

Her major is communications and her minor is sociology.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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