Winners in this year’s Franklin County’s Got Talent competition are, from left, Ashley Hammock (first place), Walker Coffey (second place) and Kristen Leary (third place).
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Singer and guitarist Ashley Hammock took the top honor Friday night in the "Franklin County's Got Talent" competition at the high school.
Hammock, a student at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, won $250 for her first-place finish in the fourth annual event.
"The turnout was the biggest yet, around 500," said Greg James, president of Franklin County Public Schools Education Foundation. "The contestants were fantastic, and the crowd was very enthusiastic and supportive of them. I wish we would make them all winners."
The second-place winner was Walker Coffey, a Franklin County High School student, who is a singer and guitarist as well. He won a $100 prize.
Third place went to Kristen Leary, a singer from FCHS. She received $50.
The talent show featured 21 acts from singing and dancing to clogging and instrumentals. There was even a gymnastics routine.
All proceeds from the talent show go to the Franklin County Public Schools Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to make a difference in the lives of many county students. The foundation directly helps students whose financial situation is negatively impacting their educational success.
Judges for this year's competition were Carlton Wilkes, Josh Grice and Tony Wright. Judges for last month's auditions were Sheldon Johnson and Brian Hodges.
Foundation board members were thrilled with the talent, audience turnout and participation, said James.
"We appreciate all the volunteers who make it a success every year," he said.
The contestants included:
•Lauren Naff, dancer, BFMS
•Katie Nichols, singer, FCHS
•Jacob Flora, dancer, Boones Mill Elementary
•Noah Flint and Michael Saul, singers/instrumentalists, FCHS
•Owen Shaver, singer/dancer, Lee M. Waid
•LeeAnna Gardner, Bailee Heatwole and Katlyn Mullins, gymnasts, Rocky Mount Elementary and BFMS
•Samantha Austin, singer, FCHS
•Danielle Foutz and Davanna Law, singers/dancers, FCHS
•Kristen Leary, singer, FCHS
•Ashlynn Haigler, dancer, Lee M. Waid
•McKenna Hamrick, singer, BFMS
•Haley Bowling, Kynston Boyd and Taylor McPherson, dancers, BFMS
•Zackery Arrington, singer/guitarist, FCHS
•Grace, Marah and Samantha Flora (Autumn's Cloggers), dancers, BFMS and FCHS
•McKenzie White, singer, Glade Hill Elementary
•Colyn Thompson, dancer, Snow Creek Elementary
•Walker Coffey, singer/guitarist, FCHS
•Kaitlin Wray, singer/pianist, FCHS
•Rowan Abshire-Sims, pianist, BFMS
•Ashley Hammock, singer/guitarist, BFMS
•Gaby Gudiel and Morgan Wolters, dancers, Burnt Chimney Elementary.
This year's competition was sponsored by Member One Federal Credit Union, Angie McGhee and Associates, Larry Moore, Dr. Al Angle, Paul Crawford, Stone Engineering, Inc. and Redwood Fuel & Propane.
The foundation board seeks and accepts donations that can be used to enhance student learning, promote instructional endeavors and be used for special projects.
"This event provides Franklin County students a way to show their skills in front of a large audience," said James.
Anyone wishing to make a direct donation can send it to Franklin County Education Foundation at 25 Bernard Road, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 or contact Janet Stockton at (540) 483-5138. Donations are tax exempt.