“Back when Daneise Archer started ‘Every Child’s a Star,’ it was the only fundraiser that Advocates even had,” said Patty Eagar, executive director for Advocates for Children. “So our entire fundraising event season was just that one event. So it was the foundation of our fundraising events efforts for the last 20 years. It has become not only a fundraiser though, but it has become an awareness raiser as well.
“And it’s really been great for the kids who have tried out and been in the show. It helps their esteem, their self-confidence. They get to perform on a stage with bright lights. It’s really a part of the formative years of many of these children, in fact several have gone on to be in movies and commercials and make a life in performing, and being in ‘Every Child’s a Star’ was one of the steps along those paths. So we’re excited on a lot of different levels to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Every Child’s a Star.’”
This year, the talent show aims to generate at least $8,000 for Advocates for Children, which serves about 2,600 area youth each year through the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter and providing services that assist in the awareness, prevention and treatment of child abuse. Since about 55 percent of Advocates’ annual $1.6 million budget is raised by the local community, benefits like “Every Child’s a Star” are integral to the nonprofit’s success.
Auditions for the next “Every Child’s a Star” will be held at Expedition Church, 32 Center Road in Cartersville, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon and Dec. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.
At no charge, each youth will perform a two- to three-minute audition, which can range from dancing and comedic skits to singing and magic. Participants must provide CD audio for their routines, all of which will need to be age-appropriate.
Performers will be selected for the event’s five categories: primary school, elementary school, middle school, high school and group. Along with bragging rights, each category winner and an overall victor will receive awards for their accomplishments. Placing an emphasis on community service, the show requires each contestant to sell at least 10 tickets at $10 each for the Feb. 15 benefit.
“Cartersville fosters young people in so many areas,” said Archer, who directed “Every Child’s a Star” for about 15 years. “It is the most supportive community that you can find, where individuals and people are willing to back these children. It is of course supporting Advocates for Children but it’s supporting all these children. And we’ve always said this can be intervention because we’ve had children who have auditioned and they’ve been having struggles in their homes and they’ve overcome.
“We had one young man at one of the very first shows who dropped out of school but he went back to school because he wanted to be in the show, and you think, ‘That’s life changing.’ So I just look at this as not a talent show but an opportunity to encourage and applaud the talents of our youth.”
With the benefit’s milestone coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Advocates for Children, Eagar said it will be a “double celebration” in 2013.
“We particularly want to celebrate the past as we look toward the future,” Eagar said, adding the talent show will be held Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Woodland High School Performing Arts Center in Cartersville. “That’s why we’re looking to have people who were in the show in the early years [or] all through the years come back and share some of their memories with us, share their home videos that they may have made and their snapshots that their parents took and files of photos that other people might have so that we can really celebrate it.
“... Our thought is if we get enough good pictures of prior years, we will put together a video slide show that will be showing as soon as people start coming into the performance, while they’re getting settled and seated and reading their programs. They’ll be able to look at the pictures of the former performers as they flash on the screen and we’ll show it again at the end when everyone’s leaving.”
For more information about Advocates or auditioning for “Every Child’s a Star,” call 770-387-1143 or visit www.advochild.org. Past performers are encouraged to email photographs to Eagar at Patty@AdvoChild.org.