VAN WERT – Over the past few weeks The Times Bulletin has talked to
many talents who will be participating in Ohio Has Talent on Saturday.
Singers, bands, performers, dancers and many more will compete for the
number one spot, but it is important to note what impact Ohio Has Talent
has on the community.
Kim Mason, event coordinator at Community
Health Professionals, talked about the benefits the show has on those
who need the most help.
“The money always goes back into our
patient care fund,” said Mason “I always emphasize with all of them
[performers] that they’re giving up their talent and they don’t know
who, down the road, is going to get this type of care because they gave
up their time.”
All the ticket money goes to the Community Health
Professionals patient care fund, excluding a slight percent that the
Niswonger Performing Arts Center keeps for its handling fee.
of the prize money, the rental cost of the PAC, is all covered by
sponsors,” said Mason. “So when somebody buys a ticket, it’s not going
to prize money, it’s going straight into the patient care fund.”
the first few years the money went to help out the financial building
costs of the Inpatient Care Center, but now that that building is
completed, the money all goes towards the Hospice Patient Care Fund. The
Inpatient Hospice Care Center was built around nine years ago.
Hospice Patient Care Fund provides home health and hospice services to
individuals who are not able to provide care for themselves or who may
not have the funds to do so. Community Health Professionals is a
nonprofit agency and relies on donations and fundraising, such as that
coming from Ohio Has Talent, to continue giving support and assistance
to those in need.
The organization does not deny care to any
individual due to lack of financial resources. Ohio Has Talent has been a
huge help in allowing it to raise money for the patient care fund.
people come in and their medicines are several thousand dollars a day,”
said Mason. “That money helps to cover what we don’t get reimbursed for
so that we can stay non-profit, so that we don’t have to turn people
Mason said that hospice not only sees the elderly, but
children as well, noting that within the first year a 15-month-old baby
used the facility. Mason said that the average age they see is around 48
years old, noting that many people may not be aware of the young ages
of people they care for.
For Mason personally, she has enjoyed
being a part of Ohio Has Talent, stating that she worked as a music
teacher for 14 years at Delphos Jefferson and also sings in the
well-known local Christian group, Trinity. While working at CHP and
doing Ohio Has Talent, Mason has been able to combine her love for music
with her love for helping others.
“I came out of teaching because
I wanted to do more of that [caring for others], and I got a job here
as a social worker,” said Mason. “I also go out and do music ministry
where I go out and visit hospice patients and sing to them.”
is excited for this year’s show which has already sold about 900 out of
1,200 seats. Mason stated that the CHP still has tickets and said that
they are selling the center orchestra and center balcony sections, where
as the Niswonger Performing Arts Center is selling the side sections.
Ohio Has Talent winner is based on an audience vote. This means that
there will be an insert in the program that will allow the audience
members to vote for who they feel should win. Employees in the Community
Health Professionals finance department will collect the ballots,
calculate them and then the winner will be announced by the end of the
The first prize winner will receive $1,000, second place
will receive $500 and third will receive $250. There will also be two
honorable mentions. Although the reward is monetary and will not
necessarily guarantee the winners will advance their talent to a bigger
audience or place, Ohio Has Talent does put their performances online so
that they have the opportunities to be seen by any producers or record
labels. This was what past participant Mati Lyons credited her success
to, despite not having won the talent show.
“We put all of those
out on YouTube, because the PAC is a very professional venue, sound-wise
and video-wise,” said Mason. “This is a great video for them to have so
that they can go on.”
Each year Mason and other qualified
individuals judge around 30-60 acts to determine who has what it takes
to go on to perform in front of the Ohio Has Talent audience. This year
there are 17 acts that made it to Ohio Has Talent.
“It’s a nice
evening, knowing that when you buy a ticket where the money is going to
and coming out to see a great talent,” noted Mason. “A lot of people
will keep in touch with these people, too, like following them on
Facebook, people like to keep up with what they are doing.”
Niswonger Performing Arts Center is hosting Ohio Has Talent on Saturday
at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the NPAC box office or through
Community Health Professionals.