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Tongue-in-cheek Mr. Middletown pageant is for a serious cause: fighting cancer

By David Barr davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 3/22/17

Who will be this year’s Mr. Middletown?

That will be determined in the fourth annual Mr. Middletown male beauty pageant contest to be held starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Middletown …

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Tongue-in-cheek Mr. Middletown pageant is for a serious cause: fighting cancer

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Who will be this year’s Mr. Middletown?

That will be determined in the fourth annual Mr. Middletown male beauty pageant contest to be held starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Middletown Area High School auditorium.

The event is a fundraiser for the high school’s mini-THON. The 12 seniors taking part are Jacob Barrett, Abel Botterbusch, Mitch Carson, Ian Guckavan, Dustin Holliman, Ethan Newton, Malik Noon, Caleb Ocker, Griffin Radabaugh, Kobe Sprecher, Corbin Stetler and Laron Woody.

“Our job is to embarrass ourselves for a good cause,” Woody said. “If they don’t laugh, we didn’t do our job.”

At the end of April, all money donated to the mini-THON will be donated to the Four Diamonds.

The event will consist of three categories: a talent competition, a swimsuit competition, and a formal wear segment featuring an interview with each candidate. The candidates will arrive to a song of their choice and will begin the evening with the formal wear segment where they will be put on the spot with a question designed to promote laughs and hilarity.

From there, they will compete in the swimsuit competition and demonstrate their talents in the talent portion of the show and conclude the evening with a choreographed dance. Following this, the winner will be announced.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and the entry fee is $5 at the door. No tickets will be sold prior to Friday night. This money will go toward the donor’s favorite candidate’s balance, and the winner is the person who has the most money donated to his name.

According to Cheryl Friedman, a co-adviser for Mini-THON, the boys have already started fundraising and whatever money is donated in their name during the show will be added to the money already raised for a grand total. The pageant raised close to $7,000 last year.

“The goal is hopefully to make more this year,” Friedman said.

They all volunteered in January to participate and they have been practicing their dancing moves and preparing for the talent aspect of the show. Some will do more dancing, some will be singing, some will do artistic-based things, but all the talents will be done with the hope of making audience members laugh.

Their job might be to make others laugh, but there’s nothing funny about why some of the contestants are participating. Three of them, Botterbusch, Woody and Carson, have had family members who were stricken with cancer. Because of their experiences, they wanted to participate in something that involved fighting back against cancer.

“It makes me want to help as much as I can,” Botterbusch said.

Despite having 12 senior boys competing against one another, there hasn’t been any animosity or trash talk. If anything, they are all rooting for one another to win because it means a higher amount of money raised for the overall school Mini-THON goal of $30,000.

“That makes it better because it’s going to a good cause,” Woody said.