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Optimist Club sponsors third Mr. SJU competition

The third annual Mr. SJU Pageant will be held 7 p.m. tonight in the Alum Hall at CSB. With a suggested donation of $3, the event, sponsored by the Optimist Club, will help to support Optimist International’s Childhood Cancer Campaign.

The pageant started two years ago as the brainchild of Optimist Club member and CSB senior Kelly Butorac. It is intended as a fun way to raise awareness on campus about the service organization, which organizes volunteer efforts for local causes such as the Child Abuse Center, Kids Fighting Hunger, and United Cerebral Palsy

“We want to not only represent St. John’s, but highlight the qualities of a Johnnie that make them unique.” Butorac said, “Since our first pageant, we have been seeking out those who exemplify the true Johnnie. Our past 2 winners have definitely done that, and I have no doubt that this year’s winner will do the same.”

The pageant will consist of several elimination rounds, including a talent portion and a ‘minute-to-win-it’ event, which will pit contestant in friendly competition. A final question-and-answer round will determine the pageant winner. The event will be judged by Lottie Hall RD Heather Nicole Saladino, Mary Hall FR Ben De Marais, and student judge SJU senior Dan Walgamott.

“The past two years have been extremely different in their style and tone,” Butorac said, “I can tell from our participants that this year will be one to remember.”

The participants will have plenty of competition to make themselves memorable. Eighteen Johnnies will be vying for the crown, roughly twice the number that competed in previous pageants. Last year’s winner, SJU senior Stephen Gross, says that the wide range of contestants is one of the pageant’s strengths.

“In the Mr. SJU Pageant, anyone can be nominated- it’s a way of expressing that there are different types of Johnnies and that there’s a diversity of masculinities here on campus,” Gross said. “I think it’s great for everyone at CSB/SJU to be able to see and embrace these different types of masculinity”

Optimist Club president Bre Kluck agrees that the wide array of talent is a key part of the pageant. “The talents, personalities, and backgrounds of the contestants are always so diverse, and that makes it a really fun event for our CSB/SJU communities to attend,” Kluck said.

Gross anticipates the event will be a success. “Optimist Club puts on a very professional pageant,” Gross said. “I know last year it was packed and I would not be surprised if it was again this year”.