The East Springfield Community Center sponsored its first-ever karaoke competition, and an evening of great music it was.
Despite some wintry weather that developed late on Feb. 15, the center attracted a full house of supporters to hear 25 performers in the youth category of age 16 and under and the adult category of age 17 and up.
The musical selections were as diverse as the performers themselves, giving the panel of three judges - Rich Hendrix, his son Ric Hendrix and Jean Taylor of Wellsburg - a tough job deciding who would claim the top three spots in each category and as such take home cash prizes.
WINNERS — The winners in the East Springfield Community Center karaoke competition held Friday were, front, Rylie Zook, first place, youth; and, from left, back, Mariah Mantos, second, youth; Allison Crawford, third, youth; Mary Petrisko, second, adult; Robin McKee, first, adult; and James Wood, third, adult.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
When it was all said and sung, the winners were: adult category, Robin McKee, first, "No Place That Far," $100; Mary Petrisko, second, "Here for the Party," $75; and James Wood, third, "Long Black Train," $50. The youth category winners were: Rylie Zook, "Better Dig Two," first, $50; Mariah Mantos, second, "Not Ready to Make Nice," $40; and Allison Crawford, third, "Mean," $30.
All the contestants went home with a prize of some sort, however, as each received a gift certificate for a variety of things, thanks to many generous donors.
The other karaoke competitors included Joyce Dimitro, "Blue;" Allayna Arbogast, "Blessings;" Tiffany Geiger, "Put Another Log on the Fire;" Kristen Everly, "Black Velvet;" Bob Flanagan, "Always on my Mind;" Jim Grant, "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine;" Alexandra Kane, "Rock Me;" Adam Kiaski, "Look at You Girl;" Dee Upright, "You Were Meant for Me;" Sara Loff, "Want You Back;" Denise McCourt, "Country Roads;" Troy Nom, "The Thunder Rolls;" Stephanie Pethtel, "When You Say Nothing At All;" Tammy Rotella, "Blown Away;" Carrly Roudabush, "Crazier;" Tracey Serder, "Forever and Ever Amen;" Brad Wine, "Wonderful Tonight;" Chris Horvath, "Let Me Be There;" and Alicia Licause, "Glitter."
Just to note here, Better Half and I went there specifically in support of two performers - our son Adam and my stepdaughter Alicia Licause, who were the hands down winners in our mind. Everyone did well, but yep, we're prejudiced.
Dale Holcomb, president of the center's board, served as emcee, welcoming everyone to the event and expressing gratitude for the "phenomenal" turnout and to disc jockey Chelsea Matta for providing the music.
The evening included a 50-50 drawing and refreshments courtesy of center supporters who also organize monthly fundraiser dinners at the center, which is one happening place with activities being held there and improvements continuing to occur, including the kitchen being renovated.
There were some familiar faces there - Jack and Betty Carroll attending just as a show of support for the center and event, and Ed and Sue Frye of Bloomingdale, who appreciate all the local venues that there are for area talent - and it was nice to meet Chuck Roberts, who made a point to introduce himself and share that he had worked with my dad, Jay W. "Pidge" Hout, on the railroad and that he was a nice guy.
All in all, a great night out in the community of East Springfield.