The votes are in and winners have been chosen in the third Kershaw County’s Got Talent.
The competition featured nearly 40 contestants in three nights of preliminary auditions before a three-judge panel narrowed the field to 16 finalists who performed in the recent live finale.
Vocalist Anna Ferris of Camden was named the winner in the youth division, while Richard Strater and Stephanie Hornsby of Lugoff claimed top honors in the adult division for their alternative acoustic rock band, Lost in the Middle.
Ferris recently moved to the area from Ohio, where she was part of a bluegrass band. She played the guitar and sang “Suds in the Bucket.”
Strater and Hornsby — who recently began touring the East Coast and are releasing a CD this month — performed an original song on acoustic guitars.
Dorca Madrid was the runner-up in the youth division and Audrey Belton was the runner-up in the adult division.
“We had a good turnout this year,” said Jane Peterson of the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, which sponsored the event.
Peterson said organizers believe the competition was enhanced by dividing the competitors into age groups this year. “It seemed more fair to everyone and we were very pleased with the production.”
Honoring years of excellence
Columbia’s Wilma Weeks has been named a Southern Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer.
The awards recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H while promoting service through volunteerism as an opportunity and a privilege.
Weeks is noted for 59 years as a 4-H volunteer leader. She was formally recognized during the Southern Region 4-H Volunteer Forum earlier this month at the C.A. Vines 4-H Center in Little Rock, Ark.
After joining the 4-H club, Weeks later started the first 4-H club in Fairbanks, Alaska, with 151 members. She has served on the State Extension Advisory Committee, the State 4-H Advisory Committee and the County Advisory Committee several years.
Weeks worked with youth in South Carolina and North Carolina on such projects as gardening, crafts, poultry, sewing, foods, nutrition and special interest camps.
“Wilma Weeks is the image of an ideal 4-H volunteer,” said Pamela Ardern, a state 4-H program leader from Clemson University. “She has poured her heart into over 3,000 youths who have gone on to become productive members of society — a true testament to the impact she has made on their lives.”
Weeks received a plaque and $200 for the 4-H organization of her choice — the Richland County, South Carolina 4-H program.