Children showcase talents while helping those in need
by John DeFoor
Mar 26, 2012 | 1524 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daniel Koutavas plays “Eighteen Miles Out” on his guitar at the annual Every Child’s a Star talent contest benefiting Advocates for Children held at Woodland High School Saturday evening.
JOHN DeFOOR/The Daily Tribune News
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Children from all over Bartow County used their talents to help other children at the Every Child's a Star talent show held at Woodland High School Saturday evening.

"We are raising money for the Advocates for Children," said Mary-Clayton Gilbert, director of the fundraiser. "Every single organization that is part of the Advocates is getting the money that we are raising tonight through the performance, through the tickets, and through the concessions."

Advocates for Children provides services that aid in the awareness, prevention and treatment of child abuse.

"I think this is a fresh opportunity for so many of the students, but also just a great time for them to be involved and make a difference," said Gilbert.

Among the performers was 17-year-old Noelle Lashley.

"I've never done Every Child's a Star," she said before the talent show. "I've done theater for four years and I've done music for most of my growing up but this is my first time in a band in Every Child's a Star and I'm very, very excited for it." Lashley performed in the group called Revolution, a band with acoustic guitars, drums, and keyboard.

"Justin [Beringause] and myself are singing. Justin, our singer, actually he wrote the song and music himself so we're performing a song called 'Let it Out.' We are benefiting Advocates for Children, which is the best reward," she said.

Every Child's a Star participants competed within five categories -- primary school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and group. Of each category, a victor was determined by a panel of judges. The talent show also found an overall winner and the participant with the most ticket sales.

The overall winner of the competition was Morgan Cornwell with the song "Pray On."

Madelyn Brooky gained the primary school category award for her dance routine to the tune of a Michael Jackson remix, complemented with a single white glove she wore throughout the performance. Halle Collins won the elementary school category, performing to a hip-hop mix. Samantha Sims was awarded the middle school category to the song "You're Never Fully Dressed." Barry Arrington gained the high school award with the song "Cry Me a River." Hannah Rhodes was recognized for the most ticket sales.

The group winner was The Newsies, who performed the song "King of New York." Members of the group included Tyler Bucher, Clark Cumbee, Thomas Gilbert, Evans Nichols, Matthew Pryor, Clayton Ries and David Pye.

"My brother won the group division about three or four years ago," said The Newsie group member Pye shortly before Saturday's competition. "Since we're a group, my goal has always been to get the group division. I'm definitely gonna work my hardest."

"The whole real importance of this program is just for Advocates for Children," he said "It's basically a giant talent show but we give back to the community, which I think is great."