The Region Idol contest returns April 7th to The Hall of Justice located at 220 South Main Street in Crown Point and will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society- Indiana Chapter and the Youth Outreach Program of the Northern Indiana Arts Association. Like the famed American Idol TV Show, singers will compete before a panel of judges in order to win the title of “Region Idol”. The 2-day auditions take place Friday, April 7th and Thursday, April 13th from 7:00pm to 12:00am. The competition will be held every Friday through May 26th where the winners will be announced.

Prizes will be awarded for the best male vocalist, best female vocalist and the “Region Idol”. This year’s “theme” nights, where competitors choose songs from different eras and categories, will include Motown, Disco, Hoosier artists, Beatles, Rat Pack, and Rock & Roll. “Last year’s theme nights really added something. The contestants dressed up, brought props, and the audience loved it,” said the Region Idol emcee, Speros A. Batistatos, President/CEO of the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Judges for the contest once again include John Cain (Simon), Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Arts Association; Marc Malone (Randy), Dean of Students at Ivy Tech; Tracy Koval (Paula), and other “celebrity” guest judges from the area. Entrants must be 18 years of age to enter. The $25 dollar entry fee is due with the entry form by April 6th. Forms can be found at the following locations: Rubino’s Music, Merrillville; Albert’s Jewelers, Schererville; Indiana Welcome Center, Hammond; Northern Indiana Arts Association, Munster; the Hall of Justice, Crown Point; or by calling (219) 661-1811.

Region Idol is produced and brought to you by Phil and Joi Struebig and the Hall of Justice in Partnership with the National MS Society, Indiana State Chapter, Northern Indiana Arts Association, Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Albert’s Jewelers, The Post-Tribune, The Times, WJOB am1230, and Rubino's Music.

For those attending the auditions and competition there will be a $5.00 cover charge through the semi-finals with the net proceeds benefiting the national MS Society and the Youth Outreach Programs of the Northern Indiana Art Association. Dollars raised from the Region Idol Contest will support programs and services for the more than 1,600 individuals with MS in Northwest Indiana, as well as national programs and research for a cure. The funds will also support Northern Indiana Arts Association’s Youth Outreach Program, which provided arts opportunities to more than 15,000 students in the 2004-2005 school year. For more information about MS, call the National MS Society, Indiana State Chapter at (219) 322-6772 or 1-800-FIGHT-MS or visit their website at www.nationalmssociety.org/ini. For more information about the Northern Indiana Arts Association, call (219) 836-1839 or visit their website at www.niaaonline.org.

For more information on the Region Idol Contest call (219) 661-1811 or visit www.regionidol.com.