PERU - Whether you can carry a tune or you're tone-deaf, there's one karaoke contest that is relying on your support.
Make-A-Wish Idol, an annual event celebrating its fifth year, will return to Murphy's Tavern in Peru Friday, March 27. The six-week event raises money for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, which grants requests of children with life-threatening illnesses.
Organizer Alyssa L. Rosio said while the event is mainly known for being a karaoke competition, there are several other facets to Make-A-Wish Idol that make it possible for anyone attending to have a good time.
"Some people hear it's a karaoke competition and think because they don't sing, they don't want to go," said Rosio, owner of Absolute Entertainment DJ service. "But, we have 50/50 drawings, raffles, auctions. There's something for everyone."
Stephanie Blair, co-owner of Murphy's Tavern, agreed.
"It's a big family event," said Blair. "Most of the people who come bring their kids."
The competition, which will begin March 27 and continue each Friday through May 1, has categories for children and adults, she added. Some show up just to watch, then end up competing.
"It's because it's great fun and it's for such a good cause," she said.
"We jumped at the opportunity to host it five years ago because it's a great organization," Blair continued, speaking of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "After we did it the first year, we just wanted to continue with it."
Since Murphy's Tavern began hosting Make-A-Wish Idol, nearly $60,000 has been raised through donations and contest entry fees, benefitting children who live within the 518 area code region. Last year, the event raised more than $20,000. It's Rosio's hope that kind of generosity will continue.
"It's hard enough to raise money and with the way the economy is, it's been an even rougher year soliciting donations," said Rosio. "I've had a hard time collecting donations."
Rosio is continuing to seek donations for auctions and raffles to be held each night of the competition. Those portions of Make-A-Wish Idol, are almost as big as the singing portion, she said.
"Honestly, there are some nights when we may only have 10 singers, but we'll drag it on for three or four hours because I'll just keeping do auctions. That's why a lot of people come," said Rosio.
There will be no charge for admission during the weekly competition. However, there is a $10 entry fee for those wishing to participate during each night. Every week two winners and a runner-up will be selected to move on to the next round, if they so choose. In the end, contestants will vie for cash prizes.
Anyone interested in making a donation to the event or to volunteer to help at the event may contact Rosio at 420-5372 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.