Karaoke contest to benefit Relay for Life

January 27, 2011

Richard Smith has had a song in his heart through much of his life. Now he’ll have a chance to “Sing for Life.”

Smith, 78, will be among the local residents competing in the “Sing for Life” karaoke competition at 6:30 tonight at Rest Haven Convalescent and Retirement Home, 1500 S. Ingram Ave. All proceeds from the event, which will feature children and adults competing for trophies by singing their favorite songs, will go to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. 

While Rest Haven residents typically just come out to watch the performances, Smith, who lives at the home, has decided he wants to be on stage.

“Well, it’s something I love to do,” he said. “If you love to do it, then you’ll try to do it.”

Smith is not sure what he will be singing, since he hasn’t seen the song list. The last time he sang karaoke, he found only one song on the list that was his style: “Almost Like Being in Love” from the musical “Brigadoon.” He said if he couldn’t find any songs from musicals on the list, he’d really like to sing the cowboy classic “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” 

Smith had always enjoyed singing in the car to his wife, to whom he was married for more than 40 years before she died soon after being diagnosed with cancer.

Stephanie Louiselle, minimum data set coordinator at Rest Haven, encourages the public to participate. The cost is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 7 to 15. Children age 6 and younger will be admitted free. The contest includes three different age categories for children and an adult division. Last year, 22 people competed.

All singers will receive a number when they sign up and refreshments will be served. Louiselle said the residents enjoy not only watching the children sing, but seeing their reactions when they win. 

Rest Haven tries to host a variety of fundraisers to benefit Relay for Life between September and April, ranging from silent auctions to haunted courtyards, winter festivals and spring barbecues.