In its third year, the Barton County’s Got Talent fundraiser is anticipated to draw about 500 people and raise about $10,000 for Barton County’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The dinner theater is a spin-off of the network television show “America’s Got Talent” and features a variety of local performers. A winner and a runner-up are selected by a panel of local judges with backgrounds in various areas of the performing arts.
The talent competition is set for Saturday, Jan. 21, at Grace Community Church, 210 McKinley in Great Bend.
Two types of tickets are on sale for this event. Individuals and couples can come between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. and for a meal prior to the start of the show for $25 per person. For those who just want to get in on the competition at 7 p.m., tickets are available for $15 per person. Talent show tickets will also be for sale at the door.
“Every year, we draw more and more people to audition for the talent competition,” said Habitat Board President Rachel Mawhirter. “We have the best line up of performers we’ve ever had, and will also be featuring some semi-professional guest performances as well.”
There will be 21 performers vying for the title, Mawhirter said. “It’s a packed show.”
However, in addition, there are several guest performers recruited to entertain the audience. These acts will not be eligible for the contest.
The show will open with the first guest performance of the evening, the Great Bend High School Madrigal Singers. Later in the first act, Jenny Allford will perform at the piano. Allford was a child prodigy, playing for three state governors by the age of 9. After college, she taught music for over 40 years. Her most recent accomplishment was being inducted into the Great Bend High School Hall of Fame in 2010.
Closing out the first act will be Dan Dan the Magic Man, also known as Dan Heath. Heath is the drama instructor for Great Bend High School and co-owner of the A440 Music Store in Great Bend.
Act two will feature guest performances from two singers. The first is Kaleigh Glanton of Wichita. Glanton’s father taught her to play classical guitar at the age of 4, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that she added singing to her folksy performances.
Closing out the second act will be last year’s Grand Champion Shelly Ramsey. Ramsey is a seasoned performer, having starred in Barton Community College’s “Cinderella” musical and other live stage shows. Ramsey took home the Grand Champion trophy last year after a heart-wrenching rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”
Habitat for Humanity uses the funds raised at this event to support its building projects that provide decent, affordable housing to families in Barton County that may not otherwise be able to own their own home. “We partner with our families to sell them a home at low costs and with no interest,” Mawhirter said. “Once the partner family starts making payments on their new home, our board can then use those funds to help another family. It’s like the donations just keep on giving.”
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets or making a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit organization should contact Mawhirter at 620-786-4896 or email@example.com. Tickets are also available at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. Find Habitat for Humanity of Barton County on Facebook.