This weekend an annual fundraising event to benefit children in need truly lived up to its name. The third annual "Southern Oregon's Got Talent" showcased some of the hottest up and coming performers from the Rogue Valley to the Klamath Basin.
More than 50 contestants competed this year to get the opportunity to perform live at Medford's Craterian Theater. They were whittled down to the top 24 contestants. Those performers' videos were aired during the Semi-Final show on NBC5 and viewers called in to vote their favorite act into the Finals.
On Saturday, the top 10 finalists took center stage, performing acts in song, dance and even magic tricks. They were all vying for the title of most talented.
The event is also a fundraiser for CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, who help promote the safety and well-being of children who have come under the care of child protective services due to abuse or neglect.
The always entertaining talent showcase was hosted by NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh and KISS-FM's DJ Gemineye.
And in a record turnout, organizers report more than
$40,000 was raised for CASA Saturday night. That's the most in the history of the three year event.
Placing in the top three of the People's Choice were Kenny Witte and Andre Hunter as well as Epitome by E.T.E.
In the end, the People's Choice winner went to South Medford High students, Tim Smith and Ben Anderson. They won $1,000.
The Judge's Choice winner was Joy Weems, who takes home a generous prize package. Weems will also get the opportunity to audition for NBC's America's Got Talent.
Congratulations to everyone who participated.
Laura Cavanaugh anchors NBC5 News at 6 and 11.
She brings incredible experience to the NBC5 news team. In addition to producing television news in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Laura worked with Dateline NBC and ABC’s Primetime Live, Nightline, World News Tonight and Good Morning America.
She earned a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish and Business from the University of Michigan. Laura won USC's Annenberg Director's Award for Excellence.
While working in New Mexico, Laura was recognized by the Associated Press for outstanding work and won two awards from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
As a former Spanish teacher, Laura believes in community service. In her free time, she spends her weekends volunteering and fundraising for organizations that benefit children, animals and people in need. Those organizations include CASA, S.M.A.R.T., Women's Crisis Support Team, Southern Oregon Latina Scholarship Fund and Dogs for the Deaf.
Laura enjoys salsa dancing, reading, good music, working out and college sports. She also loves to spend time with her miniature dachshund.