Cornerstone of Faith Methodist Church in conjunction with Coventry's Substance Abuse Task Force are co-sponsoring the second annual "Coventry's Got Talent!" competition this month. The Semi-Final round of competition will take place on Oct. 19 and 20 from 6-9 p.m., and the Finals from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.
Auditions will be held this Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. at Cornerstone Church, located at 1081 Main St., next door to the Coventry Police Department. Potential contestants are asked to call (401) 459-6686 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.
From the auditions, judges will choose 20-25 finalists who will move on to the first round competition on Oct. 19-20 and 10 finalists will go on to compete at the Oct. 25 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. Cash prizes have been made available through a grant from the Substance Abuse Task Force.
The event will be a community-building opportunity as well as a fundraiser for the Church. Snacks will be sold to audience members on audition nights as well as during both competition rounds.
Auditions are free, and once selected to move on to the competition, finalists will be asked to pay $20 per person. On competition nights, audience members 13 years of age and up will be asked to make a $5 admission donation per person.
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 fundraising 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.
When planning the first Coventry's Got Talent event in 2012, 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. We hope to highlight local talent, while also raising awareness of substance abuse prevention."