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From 'Idol' To Newtown, Kimberley Locke Sings For St Rose Students



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St Rose of Lima School Principal Sister Colleen Therese Smith welcomed gathered students at a school assembly on Friday, September 23, ahead of introducing Kimberley Locke, a 2003 American Idol contestant.

"I think you are going to enjoy the afternoon," Sr Colleen said. "It is going to be a lot of fun."

Ms Locke entered the room to applause and high spirits from the students, who reached out to give her high-fives as she passed through the middle of the assembly. Ms Locke opened her presentation with a performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Kim Papa travels with her and accompanied Ms Locke on guitar for the performance, while students handled some rhythm duties - snapping their fingers as she sang.

"I have been singing probably since I was..." Ms Locke said, pointing to the youngest students in the audience, who said they were 5 years old.

Ms Locke said she used to sing songs from her story books and from her favorite movies, like The Wizard of Oz.

Ms Locke's visit was scheduled to promote the school's upcoming October 16 Annual 5K Run & Walk - being held from 1 pm to 4 pm at Fairfield Hills - according to Director of Mission Advancement Paula Spellman.

Ms Locke shared her story of working hard to help motivate the students.

"It took me a long time to accomplish my dream, but once it started, it just kept going," said Ms Locke, adding that she has shared her talent at the White House and other venues. It has also led her to hosting shows and having her own cooking program on YouTube.

"Whatever you set your mind to, you can do it," Ms Locke said later.

Ms Locke also sang "Hello" and "Amazing Grace" for the assembly, and St Rose of Lima educators participated in their own version of American Idol, with Ms Locke acting as judge.

Teachers MaryKate Hubbard and Kaitelyn Doane sang together, and eight educators played a quick basketball game. Ms Locke said the two singers were talented and gently said, "The other eight of you that came out just need a little more practice, but you all did a great job."

The St Rose 5K Run & Walk will also include a scavenger hunt, a bounce house, a silent auction, a kids race, face painting, and more, according to an announcement for the event. The fundraising goal is $20,000, with 100 percent of the money raised going to St Rose of Lima School. The cost is $30 per runner and includes a free shirt.

Runners must check in the day of the race to pick up their bib and sign a waiver. The event is open to the general public.

Kimberley Locke sang on stage in the St Rose of Lima Gathering Hall on Friday, September 22. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Kimberley Locke posed with students after the presentation. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
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