July 28, 2008

Resident Hopes ‘Hometown Idol’ Catches On

By Penny Williams, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Jul. 28--SANDOWN -- If there's hidden talent in town, Shawn Allen hopes to discover it.

The rescue squad captain is behind "Hometown Idol," with auditions set for next month.

Allen plans to videotape the auditions and produce a series of shows to be broadcast over local cable Channel 17 this fall as a weekly program. The weekly shows will lead up to a grand finale, when the finalists will compete in what he hopes will be a live cable segment.

"We are looking for the best and for the worst, so everyone should come and give it a try," Allen said. "The whole purpose is to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation and to help the local food pantry. Participants will be asked to bring canned goods or paper products to the auditions, as well as pay a small entrance fee."

There will be judges, and the show will follow the basic "American Idol" format. Auditions are open to anyone 13 and older.

As far as Allen is concerned, the more contestants who show up to audition, the greater the fun for everyone.

"The Sandown Rescue has a booth at Old Home Days Aug. 9, and people are invited to stop by and find out more about the 'Hometown Idol' event. ... We may even have some auditions right then and there," he said. "We will be collecting food items, paper products and hygiene items for the food pantry at the booth during Old Home Days. If you want to audition, bring some with you when you come by to audition and a small donation for the Make-A-Wish Foundation -- and do so even if you are just coming by to say hello."

Allen is working with other area town local cable committees to see if the Sandown weekly "Hometown Idol" show can be run on their channels as well. He plans to work with Hampstead and Chester, among others. That way, he said, information about what is needed at the food pantry and where to send donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be given out weekly in more towns than just Sandown.

"I believe we're the only one doing this for charitable purposes and as a weekly television show for local cable channels," he said. "That should make it all the more fun and hopefully interest more people to come and audition. Everyone is welcome."

Local businesses are donating prizes. The winner will receive eight hours of recording studio time and DJ karaoke service, as well as a cash prize.

Got talent?

What: Sandown's "Hometown Idol"

Who: Anyone 13 or older

When: Auditions Aug. 22 and 23, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Town Hall.


To see more of The Eagle-Tribune or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.eagletribune.com/.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.