SAVANNAH, GA. – March 28, 2023 – Mary’s Place: Sexual Assault Center of the Coastal Empire (formerly Rape Crisis Center) announces the celebrity lineup for the nonprofit’s inaugural lip sync competition, held at 7 p.m. on April 7 at Victory North in Savannah. The fundraiser and competition will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktail bar, silent auction, local celebrity performances, and cocktail dress attire. In addition to the competition, the event will feature special guest performances by local celebrity drag queens Treyla Trash, Blair Williams, and LaZanya Ontré.
Teams representing International Diamond Center, Georgia Southern University Sexual Assault Response Team, Marcia Banes, and Focus One Consulting will all compete for the 2023 Crystal Mic Award and crowd favorite award. All teams specifically chose their performance songs and have been rehearsing leading up to the big event.
Local radio personality Mia Mance will emcee the event, and will be alongside Savannah personalities Mayor Van Johnson, radio host Renee LaSalle, and local vocalist and performer Kim Polote as the featured judge panel.
Mayor Van R. Johnson II serves as the official head of the City of Savannah. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but with strong Savannah roots, Mayor Johnson is a New York City Public School System graduate who has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Savannah State University and Georgia Southern University. As a former radio talk show host, political commentator, and former author of local weekly columns, Mayor Johnson has distinguished himself as an independent, thoughtful, and passionate voice on current events. Mayor Johnson is nationally recognized as a thought leader in youth development and engagement through his service as the Director of the Chatham County Youth Commission. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, past Board Chair of the Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services, and is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi.
Renee LaSalle, long-time lover of all things Rock ‘N Roll, is just as much fun on the mic as she is on camera or in front of a crowd and loves putting her skills to work helping the non-profits and businesses in the Coastal Empire. A go-to in Savannah media for years, she now spends mid-days with locals on I-95: The Rock of Savannah as well as hosting the Cumulus Savannah public affairs show Coastal Spotlight.
Kim Michael Polote is a Savannah native is a full-time vocalist and motivational speaker. She’s the only native of Savannah to win the coveted Gold Medal in the International American Traditions Competition in 2001. As a motivational singer/speaker, Kim ministers in prisons, schools, civic organizations and as far away as Asia and Europe. A Cathedral Day School and St Vincent’s graduate, Ms. Polote has three grown children (all of whom are alumni of Notre Dame Academy) and two grandchildren.
“It is such an honor to have these incredible local leaders joining us as judges for our first ever lip sync competition.” said Executive Director Doris L. Williams. “Their experience and expertise will be vital to the competition and will be a guaranteed great time!”
Teams will be judged on overall accuracy, creativity, and performance to determine the 2023 Crystal Mic Award. There will also be a crowd favorite trophy up for grabs, which will be determined the night of the event by crowd participation. For more information about the event, to purchase tickets, become an event sponsor, please visit www.marysplacega.org and follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram.
Mary’s Place is committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault in the Coastal Empire and to implementing vital prevention and educational programs across the region.
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