Magnificent Singing Machine features local talent

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Community Living Tillsonburg presents the Magnificent Singing Machine on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

A truly local fundraiser that started 30 years ago in Tillsonburg was revived in 2013, and is still going strong in its third year back.

"It started in the 80s, then they stopped it for about 10 years," said Sandra Bray, Events Coordinator and Fundraising at Community Living Tillsonburg.

"Throughout the years they have raised $133,795," Bray said, noting proceeds go to Community Living Tillsonburg. "Last year they made just over $10,000."

For those familiar with the Magnificent Singing Machine, the format will be familiar if you attended it in the 80s or 90s.

"Exactly same – and it's always been local performers," said Bray, adding they do have do have one 'out-of-town' performer from Guelph who has in-laws in Tillsonburg and was happy to volunteer his talent. "He automatically said yes – this is third year coming back."

Typically there are 15-18 performers – singers, musicians, and comedians. This year, they might have 19. Performers include Scot and Charlotte Bolton, Jim Vantyghem, Dan Demeester, Jeanine Assel, Bill Irvine, Virginia Armstrong, Kevin Grundy, Hank Harley, just to name a few.

"Oh, and Steve Molnar, he's singing too, can't forget him," Bray laughed. "Better not forget him!

"Dinner is at 6:30 (catered by Beres Catering) and they start the entertainment around 7:30," said Bray.

Other highlights on the evening include the auctioning of a print by Robert Genn and Emily Carr, and prize draws.

"It's a good meal, good entertainment, a lot of laughs."

And it's local, she emphasized.

"They're listening to people that they know. One man looked at me and asked, 'why have you been hiding this for years?' He had just never been to it."

Tickets can be purchased at the Livingston Centre, 96 Tillson Ave., at the front desk for $40. Call 842-9000 ext 224 for ticket info or ask for Debbie Clarke. A total of 272 tickets will be available this year – and last year it sold out.

"It sold out last year and we're trying our best to do it this year," Bray summed up.

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