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Madera’s Got Talent ready for sixth year

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Nova Krumm, winner of Madera’s Got Talent! hosted by the Leo’s Club of Madera performs “Moonlight Sonata” during the 2018 Madera Pomegranate, Fruit & Nut Festival.


What started as a fundraiser for the Madera Leo Club to raise money for shoes, socks and coats to needy children in Madera, Madera’s Got Talent has taken a life of its own and is now in its sixth year.

“This idea came from Abel Perez to help us raise money for coats,” Madera Leos Adviser Ruth Nishimoto said. “This was six years ago. We were trying to do everything to raise money. He was telling us to do something big. This became a whole different ball game.”

Auditions are being accepted (email for information) until Friday for the newest installment of Madera’s Got Talent, which will be performed live at the Madera Pomegranate, Fruit and Nut Festival on Nov. 6 from 10-11:30 a.m.

“It’s going to be a fun show. We’re looking forward to it. I’m hoping to get more eyes on this,” Nishimoto said.

As of Friday, audition submissions were slow, but Nishimoto won’t be worried until after Friday.

“I just think they are going to wait until the last day,” she said. “I’m not going to worry like every year. I’m not going to stress until October 23. I’m thinking they are deciding or working on something.”

She is hoping to get between 20-25 submissions to be able to perform at the Pomegranate Festival. They had about 20 in 2019 and about he same number during last year’s pandemic show.

“I would be happy with about the same.” she said. “At the most, we’ve had 25 or a little more. If we have between 20-25 kids, that’s good. The Pomegranate Festival only gave us an hour and a half. That’s a long show.”

Because the Madera’s Got Talent isn’t a stand-alone show in the past where the Madera Leos were able to charge admission and sell from a snack bar to raise money, they are offering sponsorships for the show from Bronze level ($150) to Platinum ($1,000).

“We’ve been pretty good with our sponsorships,” Nishimoto said. “Fitzgerald, Alvarado and Ciummo are Platinum sponsors. We will accept sponsorship until Nov. 1. I just picked up a gold sponsorship. There are quite a few businesses that have been supportive in the past and want to help out again.”

Nishimoto is hoping to keep up the momentum from last year’s show, which was a success and shown on the big screen at the Madera Drive-In.

“It’s nice to raise money for our projects for the Leos, but last year, we didn’t know how to do it,” she said. “We felt bad for the contestants that look forward to this every year. It was really fun to have it shown at the drive-in. It made the kids feel so special. The parents told us it was highlight of their year to be on the big screen, especially being stuck at home.”

Nishimoto knows there will be repeat performers and is hoping for some new ones. She said that some parents and performers look forward to Madera’s Got Talent and wait for the day they can submit audition videos.

“I reached out to those parents,” she said. “One parent was wondering if I was going to contact them. I know there’s going to be a few that will come back. I’ve seen these kids since the fifth grade and now they are in junior high or high school.”

Nishimoto isn’t sure what to expect at the Pomegranate Festival, but is hoping for a great show to help raise money for the Madera Leos and their shoes, socks and coat drives.

“It’s going to be a different experience where it’s outside and live,” she said. “We’ve done live and indoors. What was nice when it was our show, the Leos helped be a part of it. It was a Leos Madera’s Got Talent. This is hard because we have Leos to be a part of it. We are trying how to get them involved. We’re looking forward to performing. Thank goodness for the sponsorships, we will be able to provide the shoes, socks and coats.”


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