Homeless of McMinnville Effort’s inaugural Warren County’s Got Talent competition raised the roof and much-needed funding Saturday night.
Twelve acts faced off for a prize of $200. Ranging from singing to dancing, the acts were evaluated by three judges. The crowd was permitted to vote for their favorites by donating $1 for each vote in favor of their chosen talent. Chosen as the crowd’s favorite with 250 votes was Terian Roller whose rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” charmed the masses.
Performing a piano version of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” and claiming the distinction of first place was Halle Drue, a 16-year-old singer with a gilded voice. The teen wowed both crowd and judges alike, eliciting cheers during her moving performance.
Halle Drue is a Warren County native who currently attends WCHS and has recently taken a more vested interest in getting her voice heard. In the last year, she has begun to give live performances at Short Mountain Distillery and step outside her comfort zone to add more songs like “Tennessee Whiskey” to her skillset.
“I’ve been singing since I was old enough to walk,” Halle Drue said. “My mom is a singer, I always heard her singing and when she noticed that I could carry a tune, she started fostering that in me. She’s been my biggest support in my singing and always pushed me to get out there.”
Saturday was not her first brush with a talent show. She had previously performed at WCHS’s talent show in the past. “Music is pure emotion. You get on stage with just you, your music and your voice,” explained Halle Drue. “It feels so good to win tonight. I can’t gauge my own talent, and so knowing that other people like my singing is so reassuring and is a really nice feeling.”
Coming in second place was Lanae Hodge with her guitar and singing performance of Randy Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses. “Third place went to Taylor Addington singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
While the night was an opportunity for entrants to show their talents and take home a tidy sum in winnings, it was also a chance for HOME to generate some funding. It helps to assist homeless members of the community by housing them in rooms for the night, supplying them with much-needed essentials and for running the Prosperity Point, where it will soon be housing individuals in six-month increments to help them get back on their feet. As of Saturday, the organization has assisted at least 209 individuals.
“Tonight was great and we are so pleased with the amount of people who turned out to support us and the talented people who competed tonight,” said ministry director of HOME, Chad Cagle. “The money from tonight will go to help us pay for the winter, by offsetting the cost of hotel rooms.”
Cagle is hopeful the event will make a return next year following the success and high attendance the show enjoyed this year. “We loved seeing how happy it made the crowd,” said Cagle. “Seeing the way they reacted to the performers and how involved they got. It was truly awesome.”