John Byrd, of western Chesterfield, was named the 2014 Senior Idol Winner during the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield 4th Annual Greater Richmond Final Competition.
Winning with his comedy ventriloquist act along with his dog, a basset hound named Lucky, who thought he was a sheep dog, Byrd has been performing his act for several years and has been practicing ventriloquism since the age of 10.
With voice talent from the likes of Eugene Zega Jr. and his rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “A Wonderful Life” and Penny Elizabeth Humphries singing Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” including strong performances by June Knight’s “Bad Bad Leroy Brown and L. T. Holmes’ “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and eight more talented senior contestants, the packed house at Victory Tabernacle Church of God, the venue for the annual event, the judges had a difficult decision last Friday night during the final legged of the competition.
Coming in first and second with strong stage performances were L. T. Holmes, first runner-up, and June Knight, second runner-up.
The Shepherd Center of Chesterfield gave the public an opportunity to pick a People’s Choice Award. With 2,000 entries on the center’s website, Ed Pettersen, who performed a Billy Joel Medley on his piano, took home the award.
Cavell Phillips, a radio and television host; assistant marketing director, McEachin & Gee P.C.; board member, the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield emcee the event.
The funds received from the Senior Idol ticket sales help provide the following services to seniors in the community: Volunteers provide free and accompanied rides to and from medical appointments, the pharmacy and the grocery store; HandyHands - minor home-repair service for those who are on fixed incomes or who otherwise are unable to afford the costs of such repairs; and Adventures in Learning – a low-cost mini-college that offers more than 30 classes three times per year. Each class meets one day a week for eight weeks.
The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield passionate volunteers contribute their time, talents, professional expertise and resources to help the elderly in Chesterfield County and surrounding communities stay active, healthy and independent. The volunteers create and conduct all of the programs and provide all the services offered by the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield.
To volunteer or to make a donation call 804-706-6689 or visit www.shepcenter.org.