DAZZLING DUET — On left, Sheridan Johnson dances with singer Ali Wakkinen during their duet performance at Kids Karaoke for Cancer. The girls’ choreography and singing talent earned them first place in the competition. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
Mitch Hauer took the stage to present the talent during the Karaoke finals competition on Sunday. He recited a poem from Community Cancer Foundation (CCF) founder Darlene Denzer who has since passed from cancer.
Hauer holds another deep connection to the CCF as his brother, whose birthday was also Sunday, is also a cancer victim. The crowd gave a moment of silence to those who have fought cancer and lost.
The CCF benefits residents in Pondera County who are receiving treatment for cancer. Approval is not based on income.
Currently, 31 people in Pondera County are being helped. Each person can receive $300 at one time and up to $2,100 in their lifetime. The CCF’s number one request is for fuel cards to get them back and forth from treatments.
This year’s Kids’ Karaoke for Cancer was successful in raising $10,366. Sunday’s one-day total was $7,253.
Coming from Choteau, new to the competition this year, is Raging Dragon Karaoke. Owner, Jeramy Buckman donates half of his time to the CCF and the other half is paid by Gloria Augé, owner of Ed’s Tavern.
First to come on stage was Daniel O’Brien. He wasn’t a contestant of the competition but he did help to take the edge off and began the event with Chim Chim Chery from the classic movie Mary Poppins.
The four contestants from the 10 and under group were next to hit the stage.
Hayden Dugan came on stage with a smile singing Hot and Cold by Katy Perry. The judges, who were Jake Fagan, Carol Johns and Steve Monk, gave her great reviews and a score of 24.
Nyssa Welker came back with her star performance of Perfect by Pink and received a score of 25.
Shariden Johnson took the stage with The Show by Lenka. Fagan commented, “I like your song choice.” He wasn’t the only one, the judges agreed across the board and each gave her a score of nine.
Sugarland’s Stuck Like Glue was performed by Aspen Petrosky and she earned a score of 25.
Contestants ages 11-17 rounded off the competition and first to hit the stage was Cooper Daily. He sang Forget You by CeeLo Green and received a 26.
The only duet of the competition, Sheridan Johnson and Ali Wakkinen, sang Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood. Their matching outfits and choreography earned them the first 10 of the afternoon and a total score of 28.
Andrea Awtry came on stage with Don’t Rain on my Parade by Barbra Streisand. The judges commented on her good moves and gave her a score of 26.
Kira Mills gave the final performance with Unlove You by Elise Estrada. Her emotional performance landed her with a 28.
The contestants took the stage one last time in hopes of winning the grand prize. First place winners from both age groups were able to choose from an XBOX 360, IPAD, laptop or flat screen TV.
For the 10 and under division, Dugan took third, Richter took second and Welker got first.
In the 11-17 division, Awtrey got third, Daily got second and the duet of Wakkinen and Johnson took first.
Both first place winners selected to take home an IPAD.