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Southwest Florida’s Got Talent! winners announced

By Staff | Sep 19, 2011

Talented performers came from around the area to the third annual Southwest Florida’s Got Talent! competition held over the weekend.

Cape Coral resident and young singer Spencer Sasso came in first place for the under 18 category, and the duo of dancers Nery Garcia of Cape Coral and Giana Ontoya came in first place for adults.

Runners-up were Keana Jordan for under 18 and Freddy Portillo for adult, both from Fort Myers.

Other young, talented performers included Evelyn Elizabeth Baca, Elicia Clark, duo Derek and Maryann Connolly, brothers Alvin and Sammy Ingram, Melanie Seife, Daniela Soto, Chelsea Thomas and Emily Zochling. Other adult performers included Max Coley, Fawny Frost, Adrine Georges, Jennifer Gilmore, Dean Piccirillo and Orlando Vargas.

The showcase of talent was sponsored by the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Shell Factory & Nature Park and, in-part, by CONRIC PR & Marketing.

“It was definitely a great event,” said Veronica Culbertson, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We were very happy to once again have the ability to have members of the community show their talent. We do this event for the community.”

The event was held at the Shell Factory & Nature Park. Vice President Pam Cronin acted as hostess for the evening.

“I was a judge last year and thought it would be a great event to bring to the Shell Factory,” she said.

This year’s judges gave their critiques of each performance, much more detailed than other like area shows or even reality TV talent shows.

Judges included cartoonist, musician and author Doug MacGregor; North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Constantine; “Downtown Diva” Stephanie Davis; and Eric Raddatz of the Fort Myers Film Festival.

MacGregor said, “It was wonderful. They were all special in their own way and they can learn so much from the experience. It isn’t easy to be up on stage,” he said.

“Having talent in Southwest Florida is exciting,” said Raddatz.

The singers, dancers and musicians were selected from auditions in August, and entertained the many guests at the event.