Reality talent competitions have never been more popular on television and the shows have inspired some local organizations to add a glitzy, Hollywood style to their local fundraising efforts.
The next few months hold several opportunities for Oklahomans to participate in talent show fundraisers that will benefit Children's Miracle Hospital Network, an organization that changes the lives of children with dire health circumstances.
Get in the groove
Love “Dancing with the Stars?” Then the “Dancing for a Miracle” gala is for you. The evening includes a ballroom dancing exhibition and competition that features 10 local celebrities paired with professional ballroom dancers. The teams have been training since spring for the event. The celebrity dancers include Rufus Alexander, Alex Christensen, Kelly Crull, Dr. David Hunter, Sarah Libby, Danielle Looper, Jenny Love Meyer, Diane Stockton, Scott White and Dr. James Royall. Anita Blanton and Jeff George will emcee.
The women in the dancing contest will all wear actual costumes on loan from “Dancing with the Stars,” designed by Randall Designs.
“I think it's great because obviously people love reality shows, so bringing that aspect into our state, I think it makes the fundraising a little more fun and really entertaining,” said Taylor Treat-Burget. She was Miss Oklahoma in 2009 and was featured as a celebrity dancer in last year's event. This year, Treat-Burget is acting as honorary chairman for the event. “You're not just giving money, but you're also getting to see a show and can have a great night out. So the combination of the two I think is what makes it so successful.”
The dancing event will feature a live and silent auction and one of the most impressive auction items is a Sonoma, Calif., home that was donated by an Oklahoma family who wishes to remain anonymous. The celebrity dancer who has raised the most donations individually will be the “2012 Dancing for a Miracle Star.” You can donate to your favorite dancer at www.okchf.org.
Singing for a cause
Did you wait for hours to audition for American Idol last month? There's another singing competition coming to the state, with a charitable twist. Offer up your singing talents to the Heartland Opry's vocal competitions. In conjunction with the Opry, The County Music Singers Association of Oklahoma is presenting a series of three singing competitions and three group events, all of which involve music and excitement.
“We want to promote Oklahoma's music and entertainers and at the same time help people in our state and our community by our efforts,” said Helen Moore, advertising and promotions chairman of the CMSA Heartland Opry.
The contests include one for individual singers in various age categories called Voice for a Cure. A songwriting contest called Song for a Cure will be open to songwriters of all ages and genres. Song lyrics should keep with the Song for a Cure theme. And an Idol for the Cure competition will feature celebrity impersonations.
The Country Music Singers Association has about 800 members in the metro area, Moore said. But that doesn't mean that singers are limited to country music.
“We love country, but it's Voice for the Cure, so it doesn't matter,” Moore said.
The fundraising series also includes opportunities for nonperformers to participate. Gospel Praise Night Gathering is a gospel music show set for 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Grand Boulevard Baptist Church. Various church gospel singers will perform and present contributions from their churches.
A Bluegrass and Country Show and Dance will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Country Western Museum Hall of Fame in Del City.
Night at the Pumpkin Patch is an evening planned for 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Milkes Family Farm, 42610 N Wolverine Road in Shawnee. There, association members and other participants will reveal the donation amounts they've raised through sponsors. Miracle Kids and their families are invited to the event which will feature singing around a bonfire, a cookout, hay rides and a petting zoo.
“It's like a treat for the Miracle Kids and yet a way to raise money for the foundation,” Moore said. The CMSA singing competitions will culminate with a finale performance on Oct. 20 where finalists in each category will perform and winners will be announced.