Talent quest raises $17k

JO BENNETT
Last updated 14:52 20/01/2014
zoe scott
JOANNE BENNETT/ Fairfax NZ

TALENTED: Senior section winner of Pleasant Point's Got Talent, Zoe Scott.

mya george
JOANNE BENNETT/ Fairfax NZ
AMAZING: Junior section winner of Pleasant Point's Got Talent, Mya George.

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Pleasant Point certainly does have talent, but what's more - they also have a wonderful sense of community and a spirit of generosity.

In its third year, the 2014 Pleasant Point's Got Talent competition raised $17,750 for the Aaron Otley Memorial trust, $5750 more than the previous year.

Geraldine's Zoe Scott, 15, won the senior section with her rendition of KT Tunstall's Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, and Pink's Mr President.

Timaru girl Mya George, 8, was placed first in the junior section singing Grenade by Bruno Mars and Dynamite by Taio Cruz.
Both Zoe and Mya are taught by Timaru vocalist and singing tutor Sharleyne Diamond.

It must have been a very difficult decision for judges Alice Sollis, Derek Tutton, Calvin McKechnie, Jenny Harraway and Bex Murray, who were faced with ten extremely talented finalists.

Teenage band Royal July headed by the brilliant Hannah Austin were a real stand out, as was Kate Esler, who performed with effortless charm.

Hayden Bell, 10, was particularly endearing playing guitar and singing a song he wrote himself called Move On.

Master of Ceremonies Rob Martin said per head of population South Canterbury has an ''incredible number of talented people".

The audience packed into the Legends Cafe courtyard area on Sunday night. Rain threatened to fall, but fortunately held off and didn't dampen the tangible community spirit.

Special guest ex-All Black Grahame Thorne said the evening was ''fantastic''.

''For a small town like Pleasant Point to have an event like this, for such a good cause, it's just fantastic. The young performers should be very proud, and it's great to see such a big crowd supporting,'' Mr Thorne said.

The Trust's namesake, Pleasant Point boy Aaron Otley, was just seven when he died in 2002 after developing a tumour.

The foundation has been set up to support Pleasant Point families who one day might find themselves in the same position as the Otley family.

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- The Timaru Herald

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