Event earns an impressive $7,224 for charity
by Caitlin Tortorici
WHITMAN COLLEGE PIONEER
Kappa Kappa Gamma’s biggest annual philanthropy event, the Mr. Whitman Pageant, pleased crowds on Friday, Oct. 27 in Cordiner Hall.
Under the judgment of professors U.J. Sofia, Melissa Clearfield, Kendra Golden, and Jeff Northam, fraternity members Nich Weinheimer (Beta Theta Pi), Rob Munday (Sigma Chi), Lazaro Carrion (Phi Delta Theta), Kyle Born–posing as “Borat”–(Tau Kappa Epsilon), and independents David Ozog, Dru Johnston, Tyler Kohlhoff and Matt Jenkens competed for the Mr. Whitman title.
Masters of Ceremony Sarah Beth Roberts and Renee Thibodeau carried the show as the eight contestants showcased their talents and modeling capabilities in the categories of formal and swimwear.
Prior to the competition, with the exception of “Borat” who expressed his desire to “crush all men in contest,” competitors felt more honor than competition. “I think Mr. Whitman is a unique opportunity for Whitman to coalesce into a united group to raise a lot of money for a great cause,” said Weinheimer. “It is an entertaining event, but at the same time, it is a legitimate fundraiser for kids who need support. The money for the kids is the only vote you need.”
David Ozog expressed similar sentiments: “I don’t think I’d like to be Mr. Whitman, to be perfectly honest,” said Ozog. “I only accepted the offer because the money I collect is going towards a very good cause, and the pageant should be a lot of fun!”
None can argue against the charity of the cause. KKG is working in collaboration with Whitman senior Egan Brinkman, who helped establish the Mboya Unit for the Cerebral Palsied in Mombasa, Kenya in 1995. Since its establishment, the unit’s student population has increased from six to 53. The money raised will help provide more educational resources for the growing organization.
When all was said, modeled, sung, danced and done, Lazaro Carrion took home the Mr. Whitman sash. Born/“Borat” was first runner up.
Carrion earned over $1,000 in his campaign, and high praise for his performance.
The “smooth talker” (so-called by MC Roberts) was off to a strong start, earning perfect scores from the judges with his quick wit and revealing outfits. Students and judges alike were equally wowed with his stand-up comedy routine.
“Lazaro’s comedy sketch was great,” said sophomore Megan Duffy. “He gave a unique perspective that you don’t hear much around here.”
Several students argued Born/“Borat” put on an equally amusing performance. “The accent was perfectly maintained throughout the contest,” said sophomore Dan Cryster. “The Kazikhstan national anthem was surprisingly entertaining.”
“I liked his interaction with the crowd,” said Becky Avila.
The dialogue did not end at the top two:
“I thought Dru’s skit was the highlight of the show,” said junior Kaitlin Phillips. “He managed to make everyone laugh without making them uncomfortable.”
“I was just pissed off that guy didn’t actually show us his PowerPoint presentation,” said first-year Matthew Beckett, referring Matt Jenkins’ decision to showcase a self-written song instead of a PowerPoint presentation on how to orally please a woman.
Students found the intermission equally entertaining. “I thought the Sirens gave a great intermission—much needed respite from the zaniness that was the show,” said sophomore Travis Meyers.
“I don’t know what the dance team does for the rest of the year, but I always look forward to watching them perform at Mr. Whitman,” said junior John Stewart.
Some students criticized the judges’ decisions. “I think that some of the scoring was whack,” said sophomore Julia Nelson. “They should have done it with more judges.”
Nevertheless, most were able to overlook injustices and enjoy the show. “I thought that Mr. Whitman was very easy to sit through because each of the guys had such different personalities and each performance was original,” said sophomore Seren Pendleton-Knoll. “And Lazaro Carrion was pretty darn sexy!”
The competitors left the event with a high morale. “I really liked bonding with those boys—I wasn’t expecting to,” said Tyler Kohlhoff.
Things are looking up for the Mboya as well. Due to unaccounted for ticket sales, the event earned considerably more than what was announced at the end of the show. The final total was an impressive $7,224.39.