Fundraising continues for Glovers to travel to 'American Idol'

loberle@islandpacket.comApril 15, 2013 

In this file photo, members of Candice Glover's family -- from left, her brother Jonathan, her cousin Joshua Glover and her parents John and Carole -- gather at the Glovers' home to watch Candice sing on "American Idol."

JAY KARR, STAFF PHOTO

  • To donate:

    Shannon Erickson is seeking help to send the parents of "American Idol" contestant Candice Glover to see her performances in Hollywood. Glover's mother, Carole, once worked for Erickson at Hobbit Hill Preschool. There are three ways to donate:

    1. Paypal.com: Go to www.paypal.com, enter your email address in the "from" line, and hobbithill@embarqmail.com in the "to" line. You can then enter the amount you'd like to give. You must have a PayPal account to use this option, which can be set up online.

    2. At any First Citizens Bank: Donate at any local First Citizens Bank by depositing into the "Carole Glover," account.

    3. At Hobbit Hill Preschools: Mail donations to Hobbit Hill Preschools, 5 Rue Du Bois Beaufort, SC, 29907 or drop off at any of the three preschool locations.

John and Carole Glover would love to be in the audience every week to see their daughter perform on "American Idol."

It likely will take some help from the community to get them there, however.

St. Helena Island native Candice Glover is currently in the Top 5 on the show. Last week, judge Randy Jackson called her performance of The Cure's "Lovesong" one of the best in the show's 12-year history. She has emerged as a front-runner to win the competition.

But her parents are uncertain how many more performances they'll be able to attend. The cost of traveling is immense, and "Idol" does not pay for family members' travel-related expenses. Round-trip plane tickets are about $1,000 each. Hotel accommodations, meals and travel to and from the venue add expenses.

Plus, the Glovers have six other children at home.

A local elected official -- and Carole's former employer -- is trying to raise money that will allow the Glovers to see their daughter perform.

State Rep. Shannon Erickson, who owns Hobbit Hill Preschool in Beaufort, where Carole once worked, set up an expense account for the Glovers when Candice advanced to the Top 10 in early March. That account is still open.

"We go through our lives, going to work everyday, being good community members, and every once in a while something exceptional happens to one of us in our community," Erickson said. "We have the opportunity to be part of that exceptional moment for the Glovers. She was raised here among us. She's one of our own.

"To watch her succeed and excel is just a moment not to be missed."

John and Carole have traveled to Hollywood twice and have been in the audience for three of Candice's performances. They don't want to miss a moment of her "Idol" journey. As a mother herself, Erickson can relate.

"I would want to move heaven and earth to make sure I was there for my child ... that they had that person besides them that knows that they're the number 1 in their life, and no one else comes first," Erickson said. "And that's the kind of mom and dad the Glovers are, and as a community, we ought to support that."

Candice's cousin, Lindsey Middleton, and her grandmother, Albertha Middleton, were also in the audience with John and Carole for two of those performances. Carole said she thinks that she and John will be able to afford to fly to Hollywood again, but they probably won't be able to bring any of Candice's siblings.

Each contestant is allotted four seats for friends and family, and Carole said they are working to make sure those seats are filled each week. Last week, Shana Hirsch, who was Candice's English professor at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, traveled to be in the audience.

"To feel the energy of the room, how the audience reacts to her ... you just can't even compare being in the audience to what's on TV," Hirsch said.

And the Glovers are thankful for the opportunity they've had to be in that audience at all, and for the ways Beaufort County had help make that possible.

"Please just tell everyone in Beaufort how thankful we are, more than I could ever say, for all of their support," Carole said in an interview last week.

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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