Berkshire Idol Raises Over $15KBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, May 02, 2006
North Adams-The April 29 "Berkshire Idol" fundraising talent competition generated lots of interest and pulled in over $15,000 to be split between the Louison House shelter and the Mill City Productions theater troupe.
Louison House is expected to receive 75 percent of the donated revenues and the theater company is expected to receive 25 percent of the funds, according to event committee co-chairwoman Joelle Brookner.
Catherine Damon, Krista Duplantis, and Nina Schneider captured the three top prizes during the Saturday night event at Drury High School.
Catherine competed in the age 7-11 category; Megan Belanger earned a second place finish in that category. Krista competed in the age 12-16 category, the second place winner was Ben Bethoney. Nina competed in the 17 and older category; the second place winner was Abraham Oyola.
First prize winners each received $250 in cash and an opportunity to record their music at the recently-launched Skyboro recording studio in the city.
On May 27, Catherine Damon, Krista Duplantis, Nina Schneider, Megan Belanger, Ben Bethoney, Abraham Oyola and Honorable Mention singers Holly Saunders, Kendra Stepenuk, Ashley Volf and Mary Alice Wieland are expected to perform at Gideon's Luncheon and Nightery on Eagle Street. Performances are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and a $10 admission is in place. The public is welcome to attend the special live performances.
"Berkshire Idol" performances were judged by Williamstown Theater Festival Director Roger Rees, an actor known to many people as the "Cheers" television series character "Robin Colcorde," record industry producer John Souchak, 17-year-old Williamstown singer Ananda Rose, local writer and musician Bruce Whitney and renowned folk singer Bernice Lewis. Tred Hulse, a popular "Morning Show" radio personality featured on the 99.5 "The River" radio station served as the event emcee.
Over 600 people attended the event, and over 400 advance tickets were sold, Brookner said during an interview about the event last week.
Susan Daugherty shared event committee chairwoman duties with Brookner. The Berkshire Idol committee is hoping that "Berkshire Idol" will become an annual fundraising event and will become a funding resource for other area non-profit agencies.
Videos of the "Berkshire Idol" performances may be viewed at a www.iberkshires.com/berkshireidol/ web site.
[Editor's Note: Those unable to attend the April 29 performance are encouraged to view the videotaped performances. Each and every "Berkshire Idol" contestant is an amazingly talented individual and delivered a stellar performance. I am truly sorry to have missed the event.]