Dublin Villager

'Senior Idol' contest to raise money for Parkinson's research

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

It may not draw millions of viewers or offer a record contract, but Senior Idol will seek to entertain and raise money for Parkinson's disease from 6 to 8 p.m. April 24 at the Abbey Theater.

About 15 central Ohio senior citizens auditioned last week and the finalists are expected to fill the Abbey Theater in the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road, said event-organizer Emily Jones, director of community relations at HomeWell Senior Care in Worthington.

"We had Seniors Got Talent in October and it was a huge hit," she said. "We decided to do Senior Idol."

Last week's auditions narrowed down the field to 10 who will vie for the top spots.

"Some are playing the piano and singing, some are playing the guitar and singing and others are singing with background music," Jones said of the performers.

Each senior will be judged based on their singing and stage presence by three judges: Dublin Mayor Tim Lecklider, CEO and founder of HomeWell Senior Care Joshua Hoffman and Sara Terry, vice president of Optimum Life at Brookdale Senior Living.

"Sure the crowd reaction might have a little bit (of impact on the judges)," Jones said. "The judges have dry erase boards and talk about the talent and what they saw through the presentation. It's very similar to American Idol."

Similarities end at prizes, though. A flat screen TV is planned for the first place prize instead of a recording contract. Second- and third-place winners will get a spa package, a stay at a hotel or dinner package.

Another difference from the national TV show lies in the cause behind the show. Proceeds will benefit the National Parkinson Foundation of Southeast/Central Ohio, Jones said.

"It's Parkinson's awareness month," she said.

Seniors Got Talent drew a crowd of 140 and Jones is fully expecting Senior Idol to sell out the 200-seat Abbey Theater.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling Jones at 614-506-1417.