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Talent show reeling in locals


Some of the district’s brightest talent will be joining performers from northeastern Minnesota tomorrow night to participate in a fundraiser for the United Way.

“Hooked on Talent” takes place at 7 p.m. at Backus Auditorium in International Falls in conjunction with the Governor’s Fishing Opener.

Of the 18 singers signed up so far, eight are from Rainy River District.

Among them are Melanie Bodnar of Fort Frances singing “River Deep, Mountain High” by Tina Turner, Cara Coran (Fort Frances) singing “My Give a Damn’s Busted” by JoDee Messina, Brittany Hayes (Fort Frances) singing “Midnight in Montgomery” by Alan Jackson, and her mother, Dawn Hayes, singing “Goodbye Time” by Conway Twitty.

Also performing will be Sarah Hebert (Fort Frances) singing “How Far” by Martina McBride, Michael Jensen (Fort Frances) singing “Clockwork,” Kayla Lauzon (Emo) singing “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood, and Karri Tougas (Fort Frances) singing “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin.

Performers from International Falls will include Rose Carlson, Mark Gierszewski, Rod Otterness, Paul Schwartz, and John Streiff.

Group performances include the Evangelical Covenant Gospel Choir and Riverside Theory (made up of Araina Boyd, Jim Boyd, and Jesse Godfroy).

Courtney Jourdain of Thunder Bay, Gordon Lewis of Birchdale, Mn., and Susan Morin of Littlefork, Mn. also are on the bill Friday night.

Performances will be judged, with $600 going for first place, $350 for second place, and $250 for third. There also will awards for People’s Choice ($400) and Contestants’ Choice ($200).

Members of the audience will choose the People’s Choice winner by voting: $1 for one vote, $5 for eight, $10 for 13, or $20 for 30 votes.

“Hooked on Talent” is a fundraiser for the United Way of northeastern Minnesota, which partners with various agencies, including family, youth, and senior programs.

In the past five years, $550,000 has been raised for the United Way and been invested in Koochiching County.

Tickets for the event are available at Northwoods Gallery & Gifts here in Fort Frances. They cost $8 (U.S.) for adults and $5 for children in advance, and $10 and $6, respectively, at the door.

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