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Contest was a smash hit

PUBLISHED: 15:51 29 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

THE SHOPPING centre was alive with the sound of music…as dozens of people braved their nerves to enter a fundraising karaoke competition.

More than £200 was raised for Suffolk Ambulance Rescue Service thanks to the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, Klowns Karaoke and the Evening Star.

THE SHOPPING centre was alive with the sound of music…as dozens of people braved their nerves to enter a fundraising karaoke competition.

More than £200 was raised for Suffolk Ambulance Rescue Service thanks to the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, Klowns Karaoke and the Evening Star.

Highlights of the competition were 14-year-old Kirsty Gray, of Nacton Road, Ipswich, singing the Leanne Rimes hit 'How Do I Live?' and Jessica Swann of Trimley St Mary, aged 11, singing 'One Moment in Time' by Whitney Houston. Both of these girls won their groups, divided into under 16 and under 12.

The adults section saw around 30 people compete for the places, but it was clear as soon as Ipswich girls Vicky Foster, 17, of Crocus Close, and Heidi Dolan, 16, of Atherton Road, sang the West End hit, I know him so well.

Their version of the hit, originally performed by Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige, made them odds-on favourite for the title. And so it proved.

"We have just come back from the Eye Show," said Heidi. "We do really want to make it and we hope that we can go on from this. We have been singing together since December last year and we both enjoy it."

Also putting into notable performances was Robert Billups, of Bell Close, Ipswich, who got the crowd swinging their hips with his version of Ricky Martin's 'She Bangs'.

Peter Schofield, 30, of Colchester, also set many heart a-flutter singing 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes' by The Platters.

Mike Sorhaindo, manager of the shopping centre that gave away hundreds of pounds worth of prizes to the winners, said: "We were pleased to be holding this event again. Over the last few years we have raised money for SARS and we all know what a worthy cause that is."

Leyla Houssein, who runs Klowns Karaoke, added: "We have helped to raise more than £200 today, to add to the £1,200 that we raised at Yates's Wine Bar earlier in the year. We have also donated half of our fee. We are pleased to help such a worthy cause and hope that the public continues to give generously."

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