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Noah Thompson cut-out to cut expenses for Lawrence County High School choir

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Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:47 PM EDT
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LOUISA, Ky. (WYMT) - While Noah Thompson has put a spotlight to his Lawrence County hometown, the American Idol finalist is bringing more than parades and concerts. His Hollywood journey is also impacting the students who sit where he sat.

“There are kids in my choir who have the potential to do amazing things,” said Thompson’s high school choir director Matthew Hammond. “And look at Noah, creating opportunities that he didn’t have. Isn’t that amazing?”

Seeing their dreams come true for someone who got his start in Lawrence County, the students and educators say it is a sign of the importance of hard work, dedication, talent, and humility.

“If I were to have to pick a student from Lawrence County who will never have a big head, that’s him,” said Hammond. “He’s just a genuine human being.”

With Thompson’s voice hitting televisions, devices, and playlists across the nation and beyond, students in the Lawrence County High School choir say they can now see themselves sharing the same journey because of the path he is paving.

“Seeing him on that stage proved to me that even if you are from a small town in Kentucky, that’s not on the map, you can go big places,” said sophomore choir student Wesley Muncy.

But, more than the attention he is gaining, they said they are most impressed by his actions and attitude. Some say he is showing the world what it is like to be from Eastern Kentucky, inspired as they watch the former carpenter build his career from the ground up.

“As someone who wants to go into music, and possibly even be a singer, it’s really inspiring,” said sophomore choir student Emma Isaac.

And with the stage set for his next performance, he is now helping the choir set a better stage for its performances to come.

Hillbilly Hibachi, a popular Louisa-based food truck, is auctioning off a life-size cutout of Thompson, signed by the country standout. The idea was born after co-owner Adam Brown attended a choir concert to hear his daughter and her peers perform.

“It was beautiful. The kids done great. It was crowded. The crowd was awesome, but the speakers were awful. You couldn’t hear ‘em,” said Brown. “But once I heard it, these kids deserve better. You know? ‘Cause we got some talented kids here, as you can see.”

That need coincided with Noah’s recent visit, when Brown decided to do something different and have a cut-out made in his honor, celebrating how far the Thompson Train has traveled.

“Anything is possible. That’s what it shows,” Brown said. ”I mean, you can go from out Blaine to now in Hollywood?”

After getting it signed, Brown wanted to share the one-of-a-kind piece with the world instead of keeping it for himself. From there, the pieces came together to use Mr. American Idol Top Three’s voice and platform to help amplify the voices of the students who walk the halls he once called home.

“Our sound system really isn’t the best and it really doesn’t do- we have great voices here and it doesn’t really do it justice,” said freshman choir student Molly Compton. “So to have an equally great sound system would be amazing.”

The students said they are all honored to see Hillbilly Hibachi step in to meet the need, with Noah’s star power helping to push the goal forward.

Hammond said this kind of support from the community is nothing new and Hillbilly Hibachi is always serving up great meals and better missions. But, he is also proud to see Noah’s name involved, watching how far he has come in the blink of an eye.

“When you see that in your classroom and it comes to fruition, it’s not surprising. He’s always had the talent. He’s always had the attitude,” he said. “So, when somebody told me he was gonna make it on American Idol, I never even questioned if he was going to make it all the way.”

The auction runs through the end of the month and Hillbilly Hibachi will provide the cut-out to whoever provides the best offer. Though the auction kicked off Wednesday at $100, offers were up to more than $600 in less than 24 hours.

Since 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Lawrence County High School choir, Brown is hopeful that the hometown boy’s likeness will bring in enough to replace the current system for the students who feel like they are finally being heard.

You can find the auction here.

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