11/13/06 — Wayne's Most Talented winners are ...

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Wayne's Most Talented winners are ...

By Lee Williams
Published in News on November 13, 2006 1:45 PM

Good looks, deep country music roots and a soulful singing style that chills the spine are no doubt why 42-year-old Jeff Lane of Rosewood was crowned Wayne's Most Talented during a singing contest held over the weekend.

More than 20 local singers competed for the title during the Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers 21st annual telethon held from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. The telethon, which was patterned after "American Idol," was featured on Time Warner Cable's PACC 10 TV. Winning the title of Wayne's Most Talented was no easy task.

Viewers had to call in and make a pledge, and each pledge translated into votes. A $10 pledge equaled one vote. A $25 pledge equaled three votes. A $50 pledge equaled three votes and a DVD of the singers' interviews and performances. A $100 pledge equaled four votes and a DVD copy of the singers' interviews and performances.

Lane, who won the most votes, walked away with the title and the top prizes, which included a half-day recording session at Tutt Productions in Kinston and $1,000 cash. Lane said he planned to use the money to buy a new set of golf clubs and a present for his son.

Lane, who says he is spiritually grounded, said he chose "Believe," a Brooks and Dunn hit because it touched him personally. He wanted to move others just as the song had moved him.

Reaching the audience was Lane's chief goal. Winning the $1,000 cash and a half-day recording session was hardly his motivation for entering the contest, he said after filming his live performance on Oct. 19 at Wayne Community College.

"Even if I don't win, I enjoyed just singing and just touching people with my music," Lane said. "If I can just touch one person, I know I've done something."

The second-place winners were Kenny Stern and Meghann Flores. The third-place winners were "Shorty" Mooring and Emily Perkins.

The pledges spelled votes for the contestants, but they also translated into dollars for the Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers team. More than $33,314 was raised during the two-day telethon.

Officials, who decided to step away from the old and try something new this year, were ecstatic with the results, which topped last year's total of $30,067. Bill Troutman, executive director for Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers, added the organization plans to use the same format next year.

"We're pleased with the response today," Troutman said Sunday as the show wrapped up. "It certainly looks like something we can use and grow."

Officials said they plan to open up the competition to singing groups, as well as individuals, next year. The telethon serves two main purposes, he said.

"We do this program to raise money in order to pay rewards and secondly, we do the program to get out the telephone number, 735-2255, that people can call in the event that they have information that will lead to the arrest of an individual who committed a crime."

Callers can remain anonymous and they could receive up to $1,000 if their information leads to a felony arrest.

The purpose of Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers is to keep the community safe, Troutman said.