Application deadline for “Henry Has Talent!” approaching fast

Annual event to raise money for promoting childhood literacy

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Do you have a penchant for performing?
Perhaps you’re looking for a place to show off a particular skill.
If so, your answer could be right around the corner.

Gym Tech Fusion was among the top three finishers in last year’s “Henry Has Talent!” competition, along with second-place winners Upstage Dance and first-place winner Keeley Adkisson. Gym Tech includes (left to right): Giselle Pugh, Amy McCoy, Kavon Sadler and Erin Moore. Registration is ongoing for the 2016 talent show. Special photo

Registration is ongoing for the eighth annual “Henry Has Talent!” show, sponsored by the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy and the Kiwanis Club of Henry County. Auditions are scheduled for Jan. 23, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Henry County Performing Arts Center, 37 Lemon St., in McDonough. The deadline is Jan. 20 for audition applications and payments by check.

The show is slated for Feb. 7 at 3 p.m., also at the PAC.

Patti Brown is the chairperson for the Henry chapter of the Ferst Foundation. She says the competition is an opportunity for individuals and groups of all ages to display their skills.

“We’re expecting another terrific show this year and can’t wait to enjoy the best talent that Henry County has to offer,” says Brown. “We are looking for talent of all kinds to audition for the show. Musicians, dancers, actors, tumblers, magicians, jugglers, mimes, comedians, and other performers, come out to show us your 2-3 minute act!”

Brown says the Henry County community has shown a great deal of support for the event over the years. She says the show typically shines a light on local residents with a vast array of talents.

“We have a great turnout,” she says. “It’s just amazing to see what kind of talent we have right here in McDonough, Ga. We’ve had everything from acting to music to instrumentals, singing and dance. We do have a special category for high-school singing. We usually get between 40 and 70 acts that audition. Approxi-mately 24 will advance to the show.”

Kiwanis board member and “Henry Has Talent!” co-chairman David Shofman says the level of talent in the show “runs the gamut” regardless of age. He says the youngest participant in the 2015 show was six years old, and that some grandparents participated as well.

“Nobody’s too old to perform and nobody’s too young if they have a talent they want to present,” says Shofman

Until last year, the Kiwanis Club’s talent show was specifically geared toward high-school students. Shofman notes that one of them, Keeley Adkisson, took home the top prize in that event.

“We still award the highest high-school winner with a $500 educational scholarship for post-secondary education,” says Shof-man.

The Ferst Foundation will use all proceeds from “Henry Has Talent!” to purchase books to mail to preschool children in Henry County. Brown adds that the foundation’s goal is to ensure that every child in Henry County is ready to learn to read upon entering kindergarten.

“If they register at birth with the foundation, they’ll receive 60 books through the time they turn five years old,” she says. “Kids start learning at birth. They’re building their confidence, their vocabulary and their love for reading. If we can get to them early, they have a better chance at succeeding when they get to school.”

Approximately $4,000 was raised through last year’s talent show. Brown says the funds were essential in helping to launch children on a path to reading.

“We were able to sponsor 111 kids for the year,” she says. “Each of those kids received 12 books for the year.”

The Ferst Foundation is partnering with Kiwanis for the second straight year to put together “Henry Has Talent!” Prior to that time, each group produced its own event.

Brown says combining the resources of both organizations made the 2015 show that much better.

“We had a bigger group of people,” she says. “Kiwanis is a bigger group than the Ferst Foundation. They have the experience, and they have the manpower to have a successful event.”

Tickets for “Henry Has Talent!” are $10 each for adults and $5 for children, and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Applications for the talent show can be mailed to: Patti Brown at the Ferst Foundation of Henry County c/o Henry Has Talent, 626 Elliot Road, McDonough, GA 30252.

For registration forms visit For more information about the talent show, call Brown at 678-432-4542. For more on the Ferst Foundation, visit www.hen or www.ferstfounda