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Both amateur and professional performers age 21 and older can showcase their skills before a panel of renowned celebrity judges from Broadway, TV, film and the music industry in the 2021 Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition that will raise funds for the nonprofit Zzak G. Applaud our Kids Foundation.

Contestant auditions are being accepted through Oct. 25. Interested performers can send a video of their performance, along with their contact information, to Jodi Grinwald at

The 4th Annual Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talented Competition will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2 at Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant. The winner will receive a cash prize and the Zzak G. Spotlight Award. There will also be an Audience Choice Award that raises funds to help children who face financial barriers to taking lessons in the performing arts. Donors can support their favorite contestant online, and support the nonprofit’s mission at the same time, for $5 per vote.

The nonprofit Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, established by Jodi and Melissa Grinwald, is dedicated to allowing children in need to benefit from creative expression, increased self-esteem, improved academic focus, a vital sense of belonging, and positive reinforcement through the performing arts. The foundation provides 100% direct funding for children whose families cannot afford ongoing vocal, instrumental, acting, or dance lessons at local performing arts studios close to their homes.

Lessons for children ages 7 to 18 who meet financial need requirements can be funded for up to 11 years. Proceeds from this year’s event will support those students and help fund the AOK Performance Group, where youth volunteers can showcase their talents at various events, and a community outreach program that brings qualified performing arts instructors to facilities where multiple children can attend ongoing lessons in one location.

To learn more about the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation and updates on the 2021 Step into the Spotlight Soiree & Talent Competition, please visit