KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some local teens showed off their talent at an event that was advertised to be just like "America’s Got Talent."
But when the winners kept waiting to get their prize money, they contacted Call For Action.
Students at local high schools heard about Kansas City’s Teen Icon Talent Competition in April. Many signed up to compete.
"That is basically the main reason why we wanted to get in, just to prove to everybody and just to show everybody what we do,” Paseo High School senior Randyll Daniels said.
Teen Icon Talent Competition's Facebook page states, "We're searching for the best of the best from over 50 area high schools in the Kansas City Greater Metropolitan area.”
Several teens auditioned. Those picked to compete did so in front of family and friends at Municipal Auditorium on Friday, April 27.
That night, Morgan Thompson, a student at North Kansas City High School, won third place and $100.
"I was really ecstatic just to be honored to get third,” Thompson said.
Daniels and his dance group came in first and won $1,000.
But the thrill of victory turned into disappointment as the winners waited to get paid.
They told Call For Action that organizers asked them to call days after the event to find out when they could pick up their prize money.
"I was like, 'When do we get our real money?' I asked him and he was like, 'Well, we'll give you a call on Tuesday,'" Daniels said.
The teens and their parents said they repeatedly called organizers and got conflicting information. They said they were told they needed to wait 30 days to receive their prize money. Then they said they were told it would be 45 days.
Two months after the event, the kids still did not have their money.
"It kind of tears down their hopes,” said Daniels’ mother, Michelle Stevens.
After being contacted by Call For Action, Teen Icon organizers paid the teens their prize money days later. The winners got their checks July 6 - more than two months after the April 27 event.
Organizers said they paid within the time period spelled out in a contract signed by the teens. The teens and their parents said they never got a copy of any signed agreement.
Records with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office show organizers formed a limited liability company called Icon Entertainment LLC in January, months before the April event.
Organizers would not provide a copy of any agreement to Call For Action or to the parents when asked.
The teens felt relieved to finally have their prize winnings.
Organizers declined repeated requests for an on camera interview. They also did not provide a written statement.
"I'm glad that I got it. I know it's going to help,” said winner Morgan Thompson.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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