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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mary House sings Cher's “Believe” in front of guests Sunday at Byron's Got Talent!, an annual talent show hosted at Byron Health Center on Lima Road.

  • Judd Hargis, 79, chose Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” to sing Sunday. at Byron’s Got Talent!

Monday, March 26, 2018 1:00 am

Strong display of talent

Byron Health Center hosts annual singing competition for residents

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Byron Health Center set the stage Sunday to give residents and staff the star treatment.

In wheelchairs and folding chairs, audience members snacked on popcorn and drank punch in the dimly lit Eakin Family Room while welcoming performer after performer to a stage awash in light. Four judges sat to their left; emcee Jack Hammer sat to their right.

This was the fifth annual Byron's Got Talent!, a friendly competition that offered bragging rights for singing chops and other skills. Awards were given in four categories, including most original act.

Located along Lima Road just north of Carroll Road, Byron Health Center provides long-term care for adults with complex needs.

The talent show has become an anticipated event, with participants beginning to think about their act around the holidays, said John Drebenstedt, director of marketing and public relations.

He and Hammer credited the participants for their willingness to be in the limelight. They're braver, Drebenstedt said, than he is.

Stage fright didn't seem to grip any of the performers, some of whom took the stage twice. The 14 acts included soloists and group numbers; one pair even had backup dancers wearing leis and grass skirts.

Along with ribbing the judges, Hammer encouraged the audience to whoop, holler and clap throughout the show so the Audience Choice winner could be determined.

Sandy Behling cheered on her mother, Vickie Kidwell, after she took the microphone to perform a duet of “I Can't Help Falling in Love.”

Behling, who sat with her husband, daughter and son, said her family made attending the talent show a priority.

“This is good for her to socialize,” Behling said.

Renditions of Cher's “Believe,” Elvis Presley's “It's Now or Never,” Meghan Trainor's “Me Too” and Carole King's “I Feel the Earth Move” earned this year's accolades.

“Those bragging rights last throughout the year,” Drebenstedt said.