The Cornerstone of Faith Methodist Church in conjunction with Coventry's Substance Abuse Task Force are co-sponsoring the first annual "Coventry's Got Talent!" competition on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Cornerstone Church (1081 Main St.)
Auditions will be held this Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cornerstone Church, 1081 Main St., next door to the Coventry Police Department. Auditions are free and potential contestants are asked to call 459-6686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, type of act and phone number to set up an audition time slot in advance. Coventry residents of all ages are invited to audition with any talent that they may have. Singers, dancers, musicians and even a hula hoop performer have registered so far.
From the auditions, three judges will choose 20-25 finalists who will move on to the first round competition on Oct. 26 and 10 finalists will go on to compete at the Nov. 2 competition. There will be four winners who will be awarded cash prizes; $250 for first place, $150 for second and $50 for third and fourth place. The cash prizes have been made available through a grant from the Substance Abuse Task Force.
The event will be be a community-building opportunity as well as a fund-raiser for the church. Snacks will be sold to audience members on both audition nights as well as during both competition rounds. Once selected to move on to the competition, finalists will be asked to pay $15 per person and audience members 13 years of age and up will be asked to donate $5 per person on both competition nights.
Funds raised will be used to support the mission and ministry of the church which provides meals, support groups and activities to community members on a regular basis. A free community dinner is offered to families and residents each month as well as weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, a Young Moms' Club, Cub Scout pack and frequent donations of gift cards and blankets to those in need. The Church hosts donation collections for Thanksgiving baskets and has also recently begun collecting supplies and personal care items for members of the 169th Military Police Company consisting of multiple Coventry residents currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Rev. Edward Bove of Cornerstone Church explained that aside from the fund-raising aspect of the competition, he is excited to offer the residents of Coventry a way to come together in a fun and positive environment.
"This represents a really positive and family-friendly event where people can get together and celebrate their talents," he said.
Rev. Bove also stresses that the judging of the competition will not be the stressful situation seen on many television competition shows, but will instead focus on the positive aspects of the performances while offering construction criticism.
Between acts, representatives from town departments and programs will also present brief one-minute "commercials" to promote some of the numerous community groups, organizations and services that are offered to Coventry residents.
Rev. Bove expressed his desire to promote and invigorate town spirit that has diminished since the Coventry Old Home Days was discontinued some years ago.
"One of our main focuses is to hook residents up with local resources to provide a network of support," he said. "I hope that this event will do that and also allow us to give back to the community."