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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Magic of Mr. CWRU uses talent, gusto to benefit East Cleveland

At 7:30 on the cold Friday night of Nov. 19, magic was happening in Schmitt Auditorium. As a highly anticipated event on campus, people were buzzing with excitement about Sigma Psi’s Mr. CWRU. The male beauty pageant fundraised this year for the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center, with the theme of “Do You Believe in the Magic of Mr. CWRU?”

Ali Orlando, one of the sisters of Sigma Psi, noted on the diversity of this year’s contenders, “We welcome any contestants that want to sign up. There is an application for information that we use as a part of the show.”

With 17 participants this year, the night had to get quickly underway. Starting with the introduction of all the contestants, each were called up in turn with their “representative costume” that symbolized their respective group. From the Fencing Club to Murray Hill RHA to the numerous fraternities on campus, everyone was given a chance to represent.

Mr. Congeniality, awarded to Drew Borland, was then presented and the first of the many raffles of the night began. While the raffles were appreciated by the crowd, it was noted by many that it made the night a lot longer than necessary. “It felt a bit long, and there wasn’t much to do while waiting,” said CWRU sophomore Katie Borsh.

After the short break, the event continued with beachwear where the men truly showed their spirit, fully equipped with shirt ripping and vampires. The Mr. Photogenic award was quickly awarded to Justin Wilkins, the aforementioned shirt ripper.

Following another break of raffles was formal wear and the awards of Mr. Macho and the highest score of beachwear. Eight contestants then were informed that they would go, with Steve Binzel as the judge’s pick thus far.

Each of the remaining contestants then performed their talent for the crowd. This turned out to be the defining point of the evening, as Phi Mu’s David Holcomb’s performance of “Piano Man,” with the keyboard, harmonica and voice talent, earned him the one and only standing ovation of the night. Orlando also noted that, “[this] was my favorite part of the event.”

The finalists, Holcomb, Sean Sukys of Murray Hill RHA, DJ Brodsky of Phi Kappa Psi, Wilkins of Sigma Chi and Binzel of Phi Sigma Rho, were then asked an impromptu questions: “Who would be your favorite superhero and why?”, producing responses from Captain Planet to Batman.

Earning over 2600 dollars in the fundraiser, the event was nothing short of an accomplishment. Orlando said, “I think anyone who came had a good time or was at least amused at some point.” Borsh also added, “I think I would definitely go again. It was a fun way to spend a Friday night.”

David Holcomb ended up coming out on top, with the honor of being 2010’s Mr. CWRU. Binzel came in as first runner up, and Wilkins received the distinction as second runner up.

As Abbott Veldhuizen, Theta Chi contestant, commented during the beachwear competition, “There are some who are born to be Mr. CWRU, some who aredestined to achieve it and some who have it thrust upon them.”

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