Charlotte Idol

By RUSTY PRAY

Go Correspondent

Sixteen singers survived the audition round to move to the finals of the seventh annual Charlotte Idol, a vocal competition that serves as a fundraiser for the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition.

The sixteen were culled from a group of 26 auditioners who performed July 26 for five judges and a sellout audience at Florida SouthWestern State College in Punta Gorda.

The finals are scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Doors open at 6 p.m., 5 p.m. for VIPs. General admission tickets are $20; VIP, $75.

“There was a lot of good talent at the auditions,” said Darcy Woods, volunteer and event coordinator for the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. “We had talent from Bradenton all the way down to Naples participate. They were all really good.”

The five judges were Chris Lansdale, owner of Punta Gorda Beef O Brady’s; attorney Mark Martella; Matt Jones, owner of Jones Family Insurance; Kathy Nash, from State Farm Insurance in Punta Gorda; and Amanda Stacey from Trilogy Home Health Care. The MC was Charlotte County schools spokesman Mike Riley.

The same judges will choose the 2019 Idol from among the finalists. The MCs for the finals will be Kris Chana of Chelsea Pace and Melissa Lockhart of Helping Hands.

The competition, which roughly works along the lines of the “American Idol” TV show, has become a signature fundraising event for the Homeless Coalition and its second-biggest revenue generator behind the Mistletoe Ball.

It was originated by the staff of the Charlotte Sun seven years ago, when publisher Glen Nickerson was president of the Homeless Coalition board.

“The first year was a fun event,” said Woods, a Sun staffer before moving over to the Homeless Coalition. “I can’t say that it was a money-making event back then. I think we broke even. But it was so much fun, we decided to keep it going.”

The goal this year is to raise $13,000.

“Getting more people involved with the Homeless Coalition and Idol are key,” Woods said.

For more information, contact Woods at darcy.woods@cchomelesscoalition.org, or call 941-627-4313, ext. 134. All proceeds will benefit the Homeless Coalition’s programs and services.

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