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13 will vie at annual pageant to be Mr. Middletown

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/27/19

It’s that time of year.

Middletown Area High School senior boys broke out their dancing shoes Thursday morning to rehearse for the annual Mr. Middletown pageant.

“I just …

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13 will vie at annual pageant to be Mr. Middletown

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It’s that time of year.

Middletown Area High School senior boys broke out their dancing shoes Thursday morning to rehearse for the annual Mr. Middletown pageant.

“I just can’t wait to have a good time and raise some money for kids with cancer,” said competitor Tanner Albright.

Mr. Middletown is an annual male beauty pageant to raise money for MAHS’ Mini-THON, which then donates the money to Four Diamonds, an organization that battles childhood cancer. The pageant has been held for the past six years.

Mr. Middletown will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 29. The entrance fee is $5. However, because the student who raises the most money wins the title, guests are encouraged to bring extra money to support the competitors.

This year, the Mr. Middletown candidates are Albright, Aiden Sessa, Camden Shetter, Scott Ash, Ethan Miller, Nick Holmes, William Stone, Anthony LaVia, Ben Knisely, Nathan Witmer, TJ Garris, Jordan Neal and Mason Garza.

Sessa has wanted to participate in the pageant since attending it his freshman year.

“Pretty much the first time I saw it I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m doing that my senior year.’ And I like making people laugh, so I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Sessa said. “It seemed like a lot of fun.”

Albright said he wanted to participate in the competition because he was busy with work during his junior year and wanted to get more involved with school during his senior year.

Similarly for Witmer, Mr. Middletown was a way to get out of his comfort zone.

“I was always the introvert, and I never really got out and about. So I figured, why not finish my senior year off with something big?” Witmer said.

Plus, Four Diamonds is a good cause.

“I just feel like it really brings the community together to rally behind a cause,” Witmer said.

Albright said he’s seen how much it’s helped people.

“I think if we can raise even just thousands of dollars, it can still help someone’s life for the better and help their parents get the bills paid because cancer is very expensive with chemotherapy,” he said.

Mr. Middletown includes three parts — a formalwear section in which the competitors walk out to a song of their choice and answer questions; a swimsuit section; and a talent competition.

The students were hard at work rehearsing their talents on Thursday, whether it be a Blue Man Group parody or a SpongeBob Squarepants medley.

Albright plans to deadlift two stuffed animals for the talent competition.

Part of his decision is inspired by SpongeBob, who lifts teddy bear weights in the show.

“Plus, a lot of people in school, they know I go to the gym a lot. … People see me as this guy that lifts all the time, so why not do something hilarious with weightlifting?” Albright said.

While Sessa said he is nervous to sing in public, he is still excited for the talent competition. Sessa along with Garza, also inspired by SpongeBob, are singing songs from the show like “Gary Come Home” and “Now That We’re Men.”

“I’m not a very good singer,” he admitted.

Last year after final calculations, $18,763.43 was raised, almost doubling what was raised in 2017.

As of Thursday, Miller was leading the competition, raising $784.

Tré Leach was crowned Mr. Middletown 2018, although two other students, Jared Knaub and Jacob Spear, also raised more than $3,000.