“When it was founded it was really almost the only fundraising effort that we did,” said Patty Eagar, Advocates for Children’s president and CEO. “And it was done partly as a service to the community to actually allow the kids to have a talent show and then it also did raise money.
“... We have adults out there now who were children in the early years of being in ‘Every Child’s a Star,’ and I think it’s a tradition that’s here to stay. There is always a new crop of talented kids in this community and we’re glad to do our part to help showcase them.”
Auditions for the next “Every Child’s a Star” will be held at Expedition Church, 32 Center Road in Cartersville, Jan. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Jan. 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. For those who cannot attend either date, they need to contact Advocates regarding information about sending in a video audition performance.
At no charge, each youth will perform a 2- to 2 1/2-minute audition, which can range from dancing and comedic skits to singing and magic. If needed, 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, an overall victor and the top ticket seller 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 March 21 benefit at the Woodland High School Performing Arts Center in Cartersville.
This year, the talent show will aim to generate at least $5,000 for Advocates for Children, which serves about 2,600 area youth each year through the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter and programs, such as Court Appointed Special Advocates and A Better Way Children’s Advocacy Center. Since about 55 percent of Advocates’ annual more than $1.7 million budget is raised by the local community, benefits like “Every Child’s a Star” are integral to the nonprofit’s operations.
The upcoming benefit will be directed and produced by Regina Gilbert, who has been involved with “Every Child’s a Star” since her daughter, Mary-Clayton Gilbert, directed the production in 2012. Having seen the impact that a student director could have on the show, the benefit continues to seek input from young adults, with Kristy Montgomery, Daniel Craven, Abbey Hufstetler, Thomas Gilbert and Brooke Rucker being named to the event’s steering committee.
“There’s several reasons I love to work with this event,” Gilbert said. “The first one is because our community needs the work of Advocates so much. Through my work, I have become more aware of what this initial program does. That’s the first reason. The second reason is because there is so much talent in our community.
“Every year I am amazed at what our small town offers in the performing arts. ‘Every Child’s a Star’ has been around for so long. It’s very interesting to me that many young adults now that are performing professionally have graced the stage of ‘Every Child’s a Star.’ So it’s a great beginning stage for the young performer. It helps the performer and it also helps the community. So it’s just a win-win in both situations.”
For more information about auditioning or becoming a sponsor for “Every Child’s a Star,” call 770-387-1143 or visit www.advochild.org.