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Kiwanis Talent Contest ready for entrants

Holly Giese, accompanied by her mother, Ditto Hennen, competes in the 2009 Kiwanis Talent Contest. Giese later performed at the Minnesota State Fair's talent show. File photo by Nancy Woodke, Sun Tribune.

Are you a singer? Maybe you excel in dance? Are you part of an instrumental quartet or jazz band?

If so, those or any other talents will place you in the spotlight during one of four June evenings at Eastside Park in Morris during the Morris Kiwanis Club's Annual Talent Contest.

Winners of each evening's contest will take home cash and the right to come back in July for the contest finals for bigger cash, as well as the opportunity to perform at the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Contest.

Competition begins at 7 p.m. in the band shell at the East Side Park on June 3, 10, 17 and 24.

These evenings have become a community event preceded by a picnic-type supper at the park. Contestants are required to put down an entrance fee along with an application form available from the Kiwanis Club so that the Kiwanians can plan for the necessary stage settings.

Singers may bring a CD for use on the complete sound system. A piano is available for pianists or accompanists. Judges will score contestants on originality, appropriateness of the work for the entrant, quality of the performance and audience appreciation.

Cash prizes for the June 5 contest are $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for the third place finisher. All three receive the right to compete at the contest finals in July during Prairie Pioneer Days. First place winners for the balance of the evenings receive $50 and second place finishers receive $25. The third place finishers along with first and second place winners also receive the right to compete at the contest finals in July.

The winners of the finals in July receive $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place.

"These events have become a community favorite with up to several hundred in the audience on warm June evenings," said Kiwanis Talent Contest chairman Ken Hodgson. "

The contest is preceded by a hamburger or brat supper served by the Kiwanis Club for a fee. All funds raised by Kiwanis are invested in community projects for youth.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Morris Kiwanis Web Site: and the Morris Chamber of Commerce site. Forms are also available from Willies Super Valu, Sarlettes Music, the Morris Chamber of Commerce Office, and John's Total Entertainment.

Contestants complete entry by forwarding an appearance bond ($50) to Morris Kiwanis Talent Contents, c/o chairman Ken Hodgson, P.O. Box 173, Morris, and MN 56267. Appearance bonds, in the form of a check held until the contest date and are then 100 percent refundable. Earliest postmarks receive choice of date for competition.

For more information call either Ken Hodgson at (320) 589-4468 or Jim Thoreen at (320) 585-5383.