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Judge takes stage at Manteca Idol
Jeff Hannon sings during Wednesday’s Manteca Idol session. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: Manteca Idol
• WHEN: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
• WHERE: Chez Shari on second floor of Manteca Golf Course clubhouse
• MORE INFO: Call the Boys & Girls Club at 239-KIDS

Jeff Hannon was only a supportive fan when he first came across Manteca Idol several years ago.

As a longtime family friend of early competitor Mary Wells (known now as Reggie Ginn in local music circles) Hannon was only a fan when the contest was entering its second season at Kelley Bros. Brewing Company as a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca.

But as time went on he became more than just a supporter –securing a spot as a judge and becoming a member of the committee that redesigned the format to help make the event appeal to a wider-range of audiences.

His love for music and the talents of local people has kept him committed to making Manteca Idol something that both the community and the contestants can enjoy together.

“I think that it’s an event that the community needs,” Hannon said of the weekly singing competition that is now winding down as the Boys and Girls Club Telethon – the location where the winner is crowned annually – approaches. “It’s something that appeals to families and really showcases the talent that we have here in this community.

“I think that it’s relaxing for people to come out and enjoy a night of music, and in the end it benefits a great organization and it’s good to see the interest continue for this, especially with the changes that we made after last year.”

While the competition portion of the event can’t  be excluded, Hannon says that he’s happy to see that the level of camaraderie among the participants is at the highest level he’s seen since getting involved – taking away some of the elements that might have negatively affected the experiences of participants in the past.

On Wednesday Hannon picked up the microphone himself and turned in performances of two disco takes to keep in theme with the chosen musical field of the night – the first time he’s been featured as one of the half-time performers.

He says he isn’t likely to be a contestant anytime soon, but enjoys being involved with something that shines a light on local singers and helps to bring people together in a comfortable and family-friendly environment to enjoy it together.

“I’ve always enjoyed music and I really love having the chance to see the talent right here in this community,” Hannon said. “We’ve had some of the participants come back and over several years to see these people grow up and progress and it’s really just an incredible outlet for their talents. It’s a fun thing to be a part of.”