FINDLEY LAKE - A 28-year-old singer from Corry was crowned the third Findley Lake Idol during the community's annual Harbor Festival, held over Labor Day weekend.
Laura Deane was voted the winner of the competition, singing ''Think'' by Aretha Franklin during the final round. For her efforts, she was awarded a $1,000 grand prize by Jack and Sherri Hamilton, the owners of the Findley Lake Marine and Findley Lake Market.
''(Laura) was clearly the winner,'' said Justine VanderSchaaff, who heard all the competitors throughout the weekend as the DJ providing the music and sound for the competition.
Laura Deane of Corry sings during the third annual Findley Lake Idol competition on Sunday, Sept. 5. She was named the winner later in the day.
The event was held under a tight schedule on Sunday, Sept. 5, and ran late into the day, as its semifinals were rescheduled from Saturday by inclement weather. Ms. Deane was announced as the winner by emcee Jeff Horner under partly sunny skies in front of a large crowd Sunday afternoon.
Joining the eventual winner in the event's finals were Rachel Ann Gollhardt of North East, Chris Hooks of Findley Lake, and Linda Dee Smith of Erie.
Ms. Gollhardt, 17, showed the crowd a little bit of everything, event organizers said. She opened by singing ''Roxy'' from the Broadway show Chicago and later sang ''Midnight Train To Georgia,'' complete with a change of wardrobe in between. She was rewarded with a second-place finish.
Hooks impressed the crowd with performances of Michael Buble's ''Home'' and Billy Joel's ''She's Got A Way'' on his way to a third-place result. Ms. Smith took home a fourth-place finish after playing the guitar in addition to singing each of her songs throughout the competition. She said she loved every moment of the competition and enjoyed the visiting the community, event organizers reported.
Judges for the event were David Calvert of Findley Lake, 2009 Findley Lake Idol Andrew Silbert, and news anchor Scott Bremmer of WSEE in Erie.
Prior to Silbert, Shawn Wilder won the first Findley Lake Idol competition in 2008.
Our Own Candle Co., Horner's Cottage Rental and Jeff Richards Construction donated second-, third- and fourth-place prize money. Plans are already under way for Findley Lake Idol 4, its organizers stated.