Plenty of fans and supporters came to cheer for a local star on Wednesday night.
Organizers prepared for about 75 people to come to the fellowship hall at Trinity United Church of Christ to watch Crystal Bowersox on the "American Idol" results show.
About 120 people came, many dressed in red T-shirts that read "Crystal Bowersox Our American Idol" on the front and "Elliston Ohio supports Crystal Bowersox and I do, too" on the back.
"We've got a really good turnout," said Nancy Turnow, one of the event organizers. "There was a whole group of us."
Between five and 10 women prepared the food and the hall, according to Ava Bodner. "We're called the TLC group," she said.
Her husband Dale provided two flat-screen television sets from his Sears dealership in Tiffin. "They're my floor models," he said. "Tomorrow morning they'll be back on the shelf."
He brought them to the fellowship hall in his pickup truck and spent about a half an hour hooking them up so the crowd could watch the show. The sound was routed through the hall sound system, so everyone could hear when host Ryan Seacrest told Bowersox she was safe to compete again next week.
"They put fliers in all of the paper boxes on Sunday," said the Rev. Lowell Peters, pastor of Trinity UCC. "We just thought it was a good idea to get the community together."
This week the show started a half-hour after the community Lenten service, which was celebrated with members of the neighboring Zion United Methodist, finished.
Old and young alike were fixated on the show. Evelyn Schimming, whom many jokingly call the "mayor of Elliston," couldn't pick one of Bowersox's performances to call her favorite.
"I just like them all," she said. "Everyone's excited about her and I think she's put our little town on the map."
For most of the program, 8-year-old Olivia Jensen, 9-year-old Rachel Jack, 9-year-old Baylee Wyss, 9-year-old Abby David and 10-year-old Hannah Follman were camped out in front of the television sets.
All five predicted Bowersox would win the competition and become the next American Idol.
The event was also a bit of a fund-raiser for a cause that is close to the singer's life.
Before the show, Mary Brown Grieger of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Northwest Ohio Chapter, gave a presentation. Bowersox has diabetes, but has not let it take her out of the competition, even though one performance was delayed because she was hospitalized.
"She wants to help other people," Brown Grieger said. "The fact that she's diabetic is not the sole focus of her. She's an awesome singer who has diabetes, rather than a diabetic that sings."
(Source: Port Clinton News Herald)
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