ELIZABETH — Six local singers will soon compete to see who can raise the most money for a local nonprofit.
LifeSpan Resources’ inaugural Voice and Vino at the Casino fundraiser will take place Thursday, Nov. 1, at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The event features wine tastings from local wineries and a singing competition modeled after NBC’s “The Voice” reality show.
“We want this to be an event people feel like they can’t miss,” said Michael Kolodziej, LifeSpan’s community engagement director.
All proceeds from the event will go toward LifeSpan. The Southern Indiana nonprofit assists the elderly and people with disabilities with independent living, so the money will support services such as home-delivered meals, in-home care management and transportation.
LifeSpan serves more than 4,000 people across Clark, Floyd, Scott and Harrison counties. The nonprofit always has a waiting list for its home-delivered meals, and the fundraiser will help them reach more people in need, Kolodziej said.
The goal is to reach at least $50,000, he said. Tickets cost $60, and people will also be able to use a website called BidPal to donate money and vote for specific singers.
About 500 people are expected to attend. LifeSpan has presented annual fundraising galas in the past, but the organizers wanted to do something different this year by adding more entertainment with Voice and Vino’s voice competition.
“There’s not really a singing competition over here,” Kolodziej said. “We’re hoping that it will be unique and special, that people will want to keep coming to the event and that we can continue to grow.”
The six performers represent various professions, businesses and community organizations.
They include attorney Alan Applegate, attorney Steven Lohmeyer, Paul Ogle Program Director Donna Eswine, One Southern Indiana’s Paul Holba, Huber Winery mixologist Lise Kruer and CPA Scott Olinger.
The singing competition also includes four judges, including Maxwell’s House of Music owner/Louisville Crashers frontman Mark Maxwell, Horseshoe Foundation Executive Director Jerry Finn, Executive Director, Kye’s and Kye’s II owner Kye Hoehn and WDJX-FM personality Sarah Jordon. The judges will even sit in red swivel chairs like those featured on “The Voice.”
The singers have received multiple lessons from Maxwell’s House of Music to prepare for their onstage performances in front of a large audience. They’re all good singers, Kolodziej said, and it won’t be like a karaoke contest.
“There’s just talent everywhere,” he said. “They are local people who have talent and want to sing.”
Voice and Vino will feature complimentary tastings from Huber’s Orchard & Winery, Turtle Run Winery, Old 502 Winery and Best Vineyards & Winery. There will also be a cash bar, a wine pull and an Italian dinner buffet.
Attendees will also have the chance to win items such as an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset, a drone, a Yeti cooler and local gift certificates at a raffle.
For Finn, his biggest challenge as a judge is to emulate the personalities on the popular reality show.
“I’m not sure I have the personality of that group, but I’m looking forward to hearing the different talented folks who have agreed to sing and are out raising money in the community,” he said.
Finn said he is looking forward to supporting LifeSpan’s work in the community.
“The work they do is so important, whether it’s delivering meals to seniors who can’t get out or being a support system for families with aging relatives or being advocates for the elderly who might by in nursing homes or in home care,” he said.