Posted: Wednesday Apr 23, 2014
April 23, 2014
A group of Saint Vincent College students will host a male pageant on Thursday, April 24 to benefit the Banana Project, a charitable organization founded by Saint Vincent alumna, Olivia Sharkey. The event is open to the public.
Sharkey began the Banana Project in an effort to combat malnutrition at Francisco Coll Elementary School in Guatemala, where Sharkey visited. Francisco Coll is located in what is known as a Dump community in Guatemala, meaning that the people in the community scavenge in the city’s garbage to sustain themselves. Before the Banana Project, the school was only able to afford one banana per student per week. In order to give each student one more banana per week for the year, $1,800 was needed. To date, the Banana Project has raised more than $10,000.
Currently, on the Saint Vincent College campus, sophomore Alexis Zawelensky has continued the Banana Project. Zawelensky had the idea of holding a Mr. SVC pageant to raise money for the project. Nine senior men will compete for the crown in an event that will include an opening number, fun fashion segment, formal wear segment and final on-stage question. An intermission will take place between each part of the pageant.
The contestants are seniors Jay Donoghue, Aaron Wilkinson, Chris Toy, Tom Mengers, Nick Killen, Brett Pippens, Andy Smith, Andrew Razanauskas and Jake Mayers. The contestants will be scored on each segment of the competition and the top five contestants will move on to the final round to answer a question.
Judges for the pageant include Dr. Dawn Edmiston, Dr. Doreen Blandino, Dr. Eric Kocian and Father Killian Loch, O.S.B.
The first place winner will receive a suit from Macy’s, two movie tickets, a crown, a sash, a trophy and a large flower bouquet. In addition, there will be a People’s Choice award where audience members can donate a dollar into the contestant’s bag that they would like to vote for. The People’s Choice winner will receive a professional’s basket, two movie tickets, a trophy and a large flower bouquet.
Donors for the pageant include Macy’s, Hampton Office Products, Latrobe Dairy Queen, Special Day Bouquet and the SVC Student Government Association.
“I think it’s just going to be a great experience to be able to put on a pageant with a lot of my close friends and also raise money for the [Banana Project],” said contestant Nick Killen. “I think at the end of the day, everyone wins. We all get to have fun doing a pageant like the ones you see on TV, and we also get to raise money for a great project.”
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