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JACKSON, Mich. -American 1 Federal Credit Union is hoping it has a role in finding the next American Idol. To help raise funds and awareness for Junior Achievement of the Michigan Edge, the $176 million credit union not only sponsored the American 1 Grand Prix but hosted its first American 1 Idle competition. “With the popularity of Fox’s `American Idol’ and the wealth of young talent in the area, we thought that a singing competition would be just the thing to bring a new and younger crowd to downtown Jackson,” said American 1 Idle Co-Chair Randi Heathman. “We thought that an event like American 1 Idle would be the perfect thing to inject some new life into the Grand Prix weekend.” Nineteen-year-old Samantha Eubanks of Eaton Rapids, Mich. put on the performance of a lifetime to a standing room only crowd and beat out four other teen finalists in the singing competition. The performance earned her a $2,000 scholarship and a travel voucher to audition for Fox’s “American Idol” in an audition city this fall. Nine “Idle” semi-final contestants raised over $2,300 for Junior Achievement of the Michigan Edge through business or personal sponsorships. Each was required to raise $250, but many went over the mark. The show helped bring more families downtown to watch the American 1 Grand Prix race. Thirty companies participated in the race, each donating $2,200 to $3,600 to sponsor a mini grand prix car and driving/pit-crew team. Since the inaugural year of the Grand Prix, American 1 has supported the event and JA through its title sponsorship.

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