America’s Got Talent finalist to perform in Sidney for CASA fundraiser


She wowed a nationwide audience on America’s Got Talent (AGT). Now Kechi is headed to the Nebraska Panhandle.

"We've been working on this event for about three years, trying to get her here, trying to bring something to Sidney that no one has every done," PlainsWest CASA Director Krista Bruns said.

The two-time America’s Got Talent finalist will be in Sidney Saturday, September 11, at the Sidney Performing Arts Center. Funds raised will go to help a local nonprofit in PlainsWest CASA.

AGT is not where Kechi's story starts though. She was one of two people to survive a plane crash that claimed over 100 lives in 2005. Suffering severe burns, music was part of her healing process.

"Lying in a hospital bed with bandages head to foot, not being able to move or do anything else, music was my escape," Kechi said during her audition on AGT in 2017. "That's why it means so much to me."

CASA advocates for abused and neglected children going through the juvenile court or foster care system to make sure their needs are addressed. Bruns hopes her story of healing and persevering inspires those kids and others.

"With everything she has overcome, I think our kids that are experiencing all this trauma, that they can see that as an adult, they can do whatever they want to do."

The concert will also feature performances by current and former Sidney High School students. PlainsWest CASA volunteer coordinator Whitney Whatley hopes people come out to support them so they can continue their mission to help kids in the area.

"The only way we can continue to help 100 percent — because we are currently helping 100 percent of the youth assigned to us — the only way we can continue that support is through fundraisers like this," Whatley said.

General admission tickets are available online at or at the door for $20.

VIP tickets, which include a meet and greet with Kechi are available for $50. Those must be purchased online or at the PlainsWest CASA office in downtown Sidney.

The Night of Music begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 11.