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Revamped Manteca Idol returning for 2009
Christine Acosta is the 2008 Manteca Idol. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Manteca Idol has seen its fair share of changes ever since it first kicked off six years ago as an event to help raise money for the programs that the Boys and Girls Club uses to keep kids off the streets.

Over that course of time there have been multiple changes in those calling the shots, and the annual event is now moving on to its third location.

But that doesn’t mean that the passion for raising money to help the youth of the community through the work of positive role models is gone.

“We realize how much of a benefit this is to the community, and how important the Boys and Girls Club is to Manteca,” said Manteca Idol Director of Operations Melanee Scarborough – moving up to take the reins after serving as the program manager last year. “We’re hoping to make this just as big as the events we’ve had before, and we’re hoping that people will still come out and support us.”

During last season’s run at The Emory, a mild shake-up that created somewhat of a fracture in the judging panel eventually led to having several of the contestants that were already voted off being welcomed back on to the show.

One of the early departures – Christine Acosta – went on to breeze through the remaining rounds with her soulful voice to capture the Manteca Idol title during her second go-around with the contest.

Even with the fallout from some of the parents who felt that their children weren’t fairly credited, Scarborough hopes that people will be able to come together and realize that it’s truly an event organized to help the less fortunate in the community and give children that wouldn’t otherwise have a positive place to turn somewhere constructive to go.

But the focus will still be on the music.

Scarborough said that the invitation has already been extended to Acosta to come back and emcee the event, and plans are in the works to hammer down the dates for the contest that usually starts in August after the July auditions – which have yet to be formally announced or scheduled – yield a field that will compete for the 16-week long competition that showcases some of the best and brightest young singers in the area.

“This year we’re looking at splitting the contest into two groups – one for the adults and another for the kids that might otherwise be intimidated going up against somebody that’s more than twice their age,” she said. “We’re hoping that will even the field and give even more people a chance to participate and be recognized.”

John Guinta of Chez Shari has been kind enough to let the Boys and Girls Club use his facility that overlooks the Manteca Park Golf Course for the weekly competition.

While Wednesdays have typically been the night for Idol performances, Scarborough says she’s still working with parents and the event board to determine what night of the week will work best for all involved.

“We want to make this something that people can be proud to be a part of,” she said. “It’s still early, but we’re working to do everything we can to make sure that this year goes smoothly.”

A rulebook is also in the planning stages to address any issues that might arise so that there will be no confusion like there was at the end of the last season.

The Manteca Idol website is currently undergoing repairs, and anybody wishing to obtain more information about the contest can e-mail Scarborough at