Reflections Of The King Raises $4,400 For St. Jude’s Hospital

WESTFIELD – The Reflections of The King Elvis competition and St. Jude’s Research Hospital fund-raiser had an international flavor to it this weekend as several Canadians and one Australian took part in the 14th annual event. The two-day event, held at the Westfield Moose, raised $4,400 for St. Jude’s. 
This year’s grand champion is Sylvain Leduc of Quebec, Canada. Leduc took the lead the first evening and padded his lead the in his final Saturday afternoon.
Steve Hunt, of East Pointe, Mich., who finished third last year, was in third after the first round Friday evening, but his closing set propelled him into second place for the event.
Patrick Balleux, of Quebec, Canada, had a powerful performance Friday and was in second place. He finished third in the event.
Finishing fourth this year was Rudy Elvis of Canvas, W. Va. He also won the Fan Favorite Award.
In fifth was Gordie McNeil of Fort Erie, Canada.
Ben King, of Perth, Western Australia, won the Spirit Award after travelling 13,000 miles, 38 hours by airplane, to compete. This was his first competition.

Pixabay Stock Image.

“I am very excited to have been a part of Reflections of the King 2018,” King told WNYNewsNow. “It was a wonderful event and for such a great cause like St Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee. I am also very proud to be this year’s recipient of the Spirit of the King award.”
There were 14 competitors and several “legend” performers who offered a range of tributes from Dean Martin to Ricky Nelson, Ronnie Milsap and Johnny Cash.
The event was emceed by Sterling Pollaro, who was at one time ranked first in the United States and second in the world as an Elvis Tribute Artist.
Hunt said Reflections is unlike any other competition in which he has participated.
“(It’s) unlike any other competition, you’re not a competitor, you’re family,” he said.
“(It’s) the only Elvis event with the “what if ” category. Great people, fans, organizers and a great cause.” Hunt, who been an ETA for 16 years, has won the Spirit Award at Reflections, the Alex Cashman Awards, placed third last year and second this year.
The “what if” category has ETAs sing a song Elvis never performed, but sing it in Elvis’ style.
Judges said each performer who was in the event last year, did better this year. They also noted that all 14 performers improved their scores Saturday as compared with Friday’s sets.

Kelly Hylton, of Rural Valley, Pa., who helped judge this year’s event and was 2017 Reflections Co-Champion, said this year’s event was hard to judge.
“Well what can I  say, it was a fantastic competition at Reflections of The King this year,’ Hylton told WNYNewsNow. “All the contestants stepped it up Saturday night, which made it extra tough to judge as they all did great, in my opinion. The fans that came out to experience the Elvis memories with us were very energetic and fantastic.”
“Thank you to Bobbie (Arnold) and Roy (Arnold) (who are owners of Reflections of The King) for putting their  time and energy through the years and keeping it going. Also thank you to the judges, Ryan Roth, myself, Rory Pollaro and Sterling Pollaro, also to all the contestants who participated. And thank you to all the fans and all who worked on this show. God bless you as He’s blessed me.”
Rudy Elvis, who was in his first competition, said he found a brotherhood among the ETAs.
“From the moment I arrived for set-up, through the two days of competition and until the final results were read, I was impressed with the mutual respect and love shown between my fellow ETAs. Sometimes I had to remind myself that it was a competition because I was rooting for “the other team”. Not only did I want to succeed but I wanted them to succeed,” he said. “Receiving the People’s Choice Award was an honor because without the audience, I would not be able to share my passion and dream of performing as the “King of Rock-n-Roll”. Earning fourth place solidified that I was on the right track but there was room for improvement.”
Also competing in this year’s event were Michael Paul Callahan, Dave Weaver, Dutch Reddy, Keith Lewis, Butch Felski, A.J. Herrick, Aidan Iannandrea and Mike Hartney. The Arnolds and their staff are already planning next year’s event.

1 Comment

  1. Was a great show. I feel everyone there had a great time. All ETA performers were great. We all had a special one we were rooting for ,but in the long run all were winners. Thank God they were all there because they all loved Elvis. I wish them all success as they go on in their life performing Elvis’s songs. May God be with them and their families.

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