Most of us take awhile – sometimes quite awhile — to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. But one Sitka fourth-grader has it all figured out.
HL: My name is Hunter Lambdin, I’m 9 years old, and I go to KGH. I’m aiming to be a famous singer.
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Hunter Lambdin has been singing pretty much since the day she was born, according to her mom, Stephanie Lambdin.
“But she was so shy that she would only do it in front of family if she didn’t think we were looking,” Stephanie said. “And then as she got older, she’d belt out this gorgeous voice but it was behind closed doors in her bedroom, so we couldn’t see her sing.”
So her family was a little surprised when Hunter announced this fall that she wanted to audition for the NBC television show, America’s Got Talent.
“I just want to be famous for what I really like,” Hunter said. “And I always watch the X Factor and American Idol, and I wanted to be one of those people just auditioning, you know, making it through.”
The show was accepting video auditions, so Stephanie made a short video of Hunter singing, sitting on their living room floor with the family dog. They sent it in – but they didn’t expect to hear back.
Then they got an email. The producers had watched Hunter’s video, and they liked what they saw. They encouraged the Lambdins to have Hunter audition before a panel of live judges.
But to do that, they’d have to travel to one of the show’s public auditions in the lower 48. And as the holidays rolled around, Stephanie realized it was too expensive. They just couldn’t swing it.
She posted about it on Facebook – and right away, the responses started rolling in.
“And the outreach that came back that day or the next day,” Stephanie said. “Especially with Melissa Broschat at Highliners – she was like, ‘Uh-uh, we are not going to let this opportunity pass up. That girl needs to be in front of those judges and this town is going to make it happen.'”
On January 18, the Lambdins held a fundraiser at Highliner Coffee in Sitka, and raised $2,000, enough for Hunter and Stephanie — and Hunter’s 11-year-old brother Colt — to travel to Providence, RI for a live audition.
But that wasn’t all. Producers at America’s Got Talent got wind of the community effort, and decided to set aside a specific time to meet Hunter – and find out a little more about the community that came together to send her there.
“I’m holding back tears,” Stephanie said. “Because a week ago, this wasn’t a reality. I mean, we literally pulled it together in a few days, and we’re moving forward and I can’t thank everybody enough.”
The Lambdins will be holding a bake-sale at Seamart on Saturday, January 25, 10am-2pm, to help cover the costs of travel to the audition.