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Mr. Middletown is back on, with virtual show; MAHS pageant is fundraiser to fight childhood cancer

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Mr. Middletown is back on.

Middletown Area High School’s annual male beauty pageant, which was supposed to be held in March, was one of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this group isn’t letting a pandemic stop them. The high school’s Mini-THON committee plans to hold the pageant virtually over four days beginning May 25.

“I think we were all really disappointed to not be able to do it. We had a great group of guys. I’m excited that we can still do something, that Mr. Middletown is still happening in some virtual sense,” said Cheryl Friedman, who is a counselor for sophomores and seniors.

Originally, 19 boys threw their hats in to be crowned Mr. Middletown. Friedman said the committee reached out to the boys to see who would still be interested in participating.

Now, there will be 10 vying for the title: Arthur Dash, Dane Ebersole, Jonathan Jumper, Brady Keyser, Zach Malay, Garrett Miller, Jaden Miller, Jon Moyer, Joey Spear and Justin Yohn.

Of course, this year’s Mr. Middletown will look different.

Typically, the event is held over a couple hours in one evening. This year, it was supposed to be March 27. It’s usually divided into three categories: an interview; swimsuit and talent competition; and a group dance. A Four Diamonds family shares its story before crowning the winner. Four Diamonds is an organization that battles childhood cancer.

Last year, the students raised $13,168.80. Winner Ethan Miller alone raised $1,776.08. 

All of the boys are shooting videos of themselves, which will be edited together. The videos will be posted on the district website raiderweb.org over four days.

There won’t be a swimsuit competition this year.

On May 25, the contestants will be introduced and asked questions. The next day will be the talent competition. On May 27, the boys will perform the group dance, and there will be a Four Diamonds tribute. Mr. Middletown will be crowned on May 29.

“We will be back on stage, but this year, we’ve got to do what times call for,” Friedman said.

The event will be produced by student Paige Burger and teacher Brian Keyser, who will also be the host of the event with student Caroline Gill. Each video will be 15 to 20 minutes.

The boy who raises the most money is crowned Mr. Middletown. Usually, there are donation buckets at the pageant for people to donate their money to their contestant.

Friedman said there will be QR codes next to each contestant’s name for people to donate to the boys.

“We wanted to be able to present a decent check to Four Diamonds. All of us who do Mini-THON really believe in the cause,” Friedman said.