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Cheektowaga

A Cheektowaga native is hoping to add another songwriting accomplishment to her resume as she crafts music to honor her family and help others.

Lisa Barrett, a 1986 graduate of Cheektowaga Central High School, is a nominee for Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in the 2013 Clays Country Music Awards, sponsored by Clays Country Radio.

Barrett took first place in an international contest two years ago with her original song, “When You Look at Me,” which she wrote in honor of her nephew, Austin, who died of cancer before his second birthday. While she grew up performing in church groups and high school musicals, “When You Look at Me” was her first experience writing a song, and a new passion was born.

Barrett moved on to record an album by the same name in Nashville.

She credits her father, Sigmund Racki, for her musical talents. Since his death in 2009, she has produced music in honor of him, as well as Austin.

If she wins the Clays Country Radio contest, she hopes to further spread her family’s story and inspire others. “My goal has always been to touch people’s lives and make a difference through music,” she said.

Voting for the Clays Country Music Awards is fan-based and continues through Sept. 30. People may vote once daily by visiting www.clayscountry.com/Lisabarrett.

Also this week:

• Beatlemagic performs at 7 p.m. today at the Casimir Pulaski Cultural Center in Cheektowaga Town Park on Harlem Road. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the neighboring Lions Club Pavilion.

• A Town Board work session begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Office conference room on the second floor in Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

• Music Krew will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday outside the Senior Center, 3349 Broadway. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. The concert is sponsored by Atwal Eye Care Center.

• The Cleveland Hill School Board is meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the central administration community room, 105 Mapleview Road.