Bridgewater resident Cailin Marie Toole is hoping to win a competition with her singing talent—and in the process, raise money to benefit autism awareness.
Toole—a student at , as well as a member of an arts honors program at the —is collecting votes and donations for a competition to benefit Quality Services for the Autism Community [QSAC].
The competition, called "Got Talent," is being organized by the QSAC, Toole said, and she is currently on her way to the semi-finals.
"I auditioned for this competition online by singing 'I'll Be' by Edwin McCain from my YouTube page," she said. "I made it to the quarter finals, which were held in the Midtown Theater [in New York City]."
The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 in cash, a photo shoot with a New York City photographer, a two-hour recording studio session, singing coaching sessions and more.
In order to make it as far as she has, Toole said, she had to get votes online, while also being judged by members of the entertainment industry, namely Broadway actor Ben Cameron, live entertainment producer Janet Pailet and documentary producer Steph Watts.
But the votes were no ordinary ones—they were actually donations to the QSAC.
"The votes I needed to get to get past the quarterfinals were also donations," Toole said. "If you donate $1 to me, that's like voting for me one time. If you donate $100, that is 100 votes for me. All of the donations support QSAC."
Now that she is in the semifinals, Toole said, it is all about the donation votes. Those donations, she said, will get her into the final round, and voting ends Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.
To vote for her, Toole said, those interested can go to the QSAC website and click on her name. Once there, viewers can watch a video of her seeing "People Make the World Go Round" by Claire Martin—under that video is another with information about Toole and a spot to donate.
Toole said she is proud to be part of this competition, and not just because she loves to dance, act and sing.
"I can't think of a better opportunity than to be in a singing competition and also benefit an amazing organization," she said. "I am very grateful for all the donations I am getting."