First annual Mr. Universe pageant raises money for Water Project

Click here to view photos of the pageant by Megan Fragola

The first annual Mr. Universe pageant put on by Student Council puts a spin on the traditional beauty pageant.

Normally, pageants consist of women in various outfits including fashion, sport or swim and performing a special talent before handling a difficult question and answer session.

On Jan. 30, a slight change was made to the typical pageant. The switch from female contestants to male contestants was the change.

Ten boys participated in the event including seniors Donovan Minger, AJ Lundstrom, Marcus Summerlin, Yadin Gloi, Jalen Hooks, Lane Helder and Tyler Hallam and juniors Monte Board, Joe Reitz and Jonathan Cameron.

The first round consisted of the contestants working the runway in their formal apparel.

In the second round, the boys showed off their athletic side in sports wear.

During the third round, the participants had a chance to show off their special talents.

Minger performed a handwritten rap, Lundstrom and Summerlin read a piece of poetry, Gloi attempted to impress the crowd with his karate skills, Hooks sang a cover of “Nothing Really Matters” by Mr. Probz, Hedler performed a magic show with a twist, Hallam did a juggling act, Board stuffed pencils and pens into his afro, Reitz danced to MIA’s “Yala” and Cameron dramatically read “Sam I Am” by Dr. Suess.

“I liked [the pageant] a lot,” sophomore Sarah Kirmeyer said. “I thought the acts were really funny and I liked the amount of contestants.”

The fourth round was a question and answer where each contestant had to answer one mildly difficult question.

After the rounds were over, each member of the audience placed a bid on the boys they thought should win. The bids were used as donations to the charity of the winner’s choice.

Members of Student Council counted the total of each boys’ cash and the crowned winner of the Mr. Universe pageant.

Lane Hedler took first place with $85.98 raised and 124 points earned. Jonathan Cameron took second place, and Marcus Summerlin followed in third place.

“I was happy I was able to raise so much money for the Water Project, the charity that I was competing for,” Hedler said. “They build wells in Africa, it’s kind of like a coalition of water initiatives, so I’m just really happy I could support [the charity]. It was really meaningful to me.”

The audience members considered the first male pageant a success.

“I thought it was a really good event and since it was new I did not know what to expect,” Sophomore Gabby Kingston said. “I really enjoyed it and the contestants did a very good job showing their outfits, talents and answers to the questions.”

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