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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Chesterfield Observer Reports On 2017 Senior Idol

Senior Idol contestants get down, fight for title
BY BEN ORCUTT CONTRIBUTING WRITER

As soon as L.T. Holmes and Steve Harris hit the stage Friday night at Victory Tabernacle Church for the 2017 Senior Idol contest, there was no doubt these guys were there to get down.

Resplendent in their black tuxes, black ties and black hats, the only question was whether they would sing as good as they looked. If so, they were going to be hard to beat. They did and they were.

The duo sang a rousing rendition of Billy Paul's 1972 hit "Me and Mrs. Jones" and claimed the first-place trophy and $300 prize in the seventh annual Senior Idol contest sponsored by The Shepherd's Center of Chesterfield.

A retired U.S. Army command sergeant and Prince George County resident, Holmes, 65, said Paul's Grammy-winning song was "very inspirational."

"[It's] one of those songs I think any audience can connect to, and so that's why we really enjoy singing it," he said.

Harris, 64, a retired school teacher and Chester resident, said he and Holmes were pleased with their win.

"It's a good thing," Harris said. "All the accolades, they are wonderful, but the thing is, what we enjoy most is singing in front of the crowd. If we win, it's OK. If we don't, it's OK also."

Harris said he and Holmes had narrowed down their choice of songs to sing for the 2017 Senior Idol contest to two.

"It was 'Me and Mrs. Jones,' and 'Just My Imagination,' by The Temptations," Holmes said. "Now, had we done that song, it would have been more choreography, because those guys, they just are on point at all times."

Harris and Holmes were on point throughout their performance.

"When I get up on stage, I'm in, like, a different zone," Harris said. "Once I step in front of the public, that's it. I'm in my zone, if you want to call it that."

Like Harris, Holmes said it was "great" that they captured first place and that "Me and Mrs. Jones" did it for them.

"I am excited," Holmes said. "I think that that's a great song, and [it's exciting] to have the opportunity to sing with my friend. We've been singing together since 2009."

Susan McCammon, executive director of the Shepherd's Center of Chesterfield, said Senior Idol is not only a fun event, but one that helps the organization raise funds to carry out its mission.

"Our mission is to help provide free transportation to doctors' appointments, grocery shopping, food pantries and dental appointments, and it helps with our HandyHands program and also our lifelong learning program," she said. "It's all to keep seniors aging in place."

The Senior Idol competition was open to seniors 50 and above, McCammon said, adding that this year's contest began with 22 entrants from the greater Richmond and Tri-Cities areas, which was narrowed to 12 for Friday night's final showdown. Kitty Fowler of Hopewell took third place in the Senior Idol contest, singing "The Tennessee Waltz," a song made famous by Patti Page.

A songstress for 45 years, Fowler, 73, said that when she was trying to decide what to sing for this year's contest, she came across "The Tennessee Waltz" and decided to give it a trial run.

"When I tried it, I said, 'Oh, I've got to do that song. I love it,'" she said.

Fowler said she was "happy, happy," that the judges and the audience enjoyed it as much as she did.

JoAnn Spain, a retired 66-year-old optician from Winterpock, has been singing for decades, and her stirring rendition of "Cabaret," from the 1966 hit Broadway musical of the same name, earned her a second-place trophy and $200 in this year's Senior Idol competition.

"I always did serious songs before, but this time I said, 'You know, I'm not getting any younger. I'm going to act up,'" Spain said of her decision to perform "Cabaret."

Spain said she didn't anticipate that she would place as well as she did.

"I came for the fun and to support the seniors," she said. "This organization does so much good for the seniors of this county."

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2017 Senior Idol Winners

 Winners 1st) Steve Harris & L.T. Holmes  2nd) Jo Ann Spain  3rd) Miss Kitty

The winners of the 2017 Senior Idol contest held on Friday, May 12th were from left to right:

Kitty Fowler — 2nd runner-up & Most Ticket Sales

Steve Harris & L.T. Holmes — Senior Idols

Jo Ann Spain — 1st runner-up

2017 Senior Idol Winners On Stage

Senior Idols Winners Back Stage

 2017 Senior Idol Contestants On Stage

Senior Idols Steve Harris & L.T. Holmess back stage before going on stage to win the hearts of the crowd

The 2017 Senior Idol Winners Announced

The amazing duet of Steve Harris and L.T Holmes singing "Me and Mrs. Jones" earned them the title of Senior Idol at the 7th Annual Senior Idol competition held at Victory Tabernacle Church of God last Friday night.

Greater Richmond's top 12 acts vied for the title. The first runner up was Jo Ann Spain singing "Cabaret." Kitty Fowler was named second runner up with "The Tennessee Waltz", and Kitty Fowler won the "Top Ticket Seller Award" for the fifth year in a row.

More than 300 people attended the event that consisted of acts in diverse styles and genres emceed by Brandi Pope, Mrs. Virginia America 2012. The event was generously sponsored by Lucy Corr and Victory Tabernacle Church of God.

The Shepherd's Center of Chesterfield, 501-c 3 non-profit helps encourage all seniors to lead a safe, healthy and active lifestyle. Since its inception in 2001, the Shepherd's Center has been enriching the lives of adults 50 and over by offering volunteer opportunities for community service and lifelong learning and helping them remain healthy, active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. This past year the Shepherd's Center's volunteers have provided the following services to our community: 669 free, accompanied rides to medical appointments and grocery shopping for senior adults, made over 41 minor home repairs to help those on fixed incomes and living in their own homes, offered 89 educational classes resulting in 328 low-cost class registrations and provided 1,400 lunches to those attending their Luncheon Forum.

Proceeds benefit the Shepherd's Center of Chesterfield's services for seniors. For more information

Senior Idol "Seniors with Talent" is a friendly competition to showcase the many talents of local seniors. The top three winners will win cash prizes and become the official ambassadors of The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield. Entertainers! Comedians, dancers, ventriloquists, musicians, singers and seniors with unique talents.

As part of The Shepherd's Center's of Chesterfield's Senior Idol final competition, the 12 finalists will have the opportunity to impress the judges and audience by performing one song. The judges will then select the top three contestants and one winner of the Senior Idol.

For more information about The Shepherd's Center of Chesterfield's Senior Idol, please call 804-706-9198.

2017 Senior Idol Contestants On Stage

 2017 Senior Idol Contestants On Stage

2017 Senior Idol Contestants On Stage

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