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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mr. Brandeis nominations bring charity pageant to life

Published: January 24, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.

Talented and attractive Brandeisian guys? Welcome to the Mr. Brandeis Pageant, which is headed by Relay for Life of Brandeis University. The organization restarted the pageant to not only engage the Brandeis community but also be an entertaining way to publicize and fundraise for Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.

Today, over 5,000 Relay for Life fundraisers occur in local communities, school campuses and online in over 20 countries. So far, the organization has raised over $5 billion and is the American Cancer Society’s most successful fundraiser.
Last year, Alyssa Fenenbock ’15, a chair of the publicity committee for Relay for Life, was asked to create an event that would take place during Paint the Campus Purple week. “After a lot of brainstorming, I came up with the Mr. Brandeis Pageant. My high school did something similar, and it was really popular. It struck me as something that could encompass the entire campus and be a lot of fun but could still find ways to connect for Relay and publicize the event,” Fenenbock said.

After asking Noah Newberger ’15 and a few others to help her plan it, the event sprung to life. Paint the Campus Purple Week in 2013 happened to coincide with both Bronstein Week and Division III Week that Student Events and the Brandeis Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, respectively, hosted. Fenenbock reached out to both groups and asked if they wanted to include the events in their respective weeks. Both groups agreed to be co-sponsors and included it as their philanthropy event of the week.

Previous Mr. Brandeis competitions were run by Peers Educating about Responsible Choices (PERC). Compared to the current version of the pageant, they were also different: people could buy votes and students campaigned to become Mr. Brandeis.

The pageant allows Brandeis students to nominate their peers online. Once the nomination deadline passes, individual emails are sent out to those who were nominated asking to schedule an interview.

This year’s pageant nomination period is over; a total of 150 nominations were collected. Each 10-15 minute interview allows chair members to see not only how contestants handle themselves but also if they would be fun to watch on stage. Once the interview process is over, approximately 15-20 contestants will continue on to participate in the actual show.
The 2014 Mr. Brandeis nominees have been attending interviews and should check their emails to find out the results of the selection process. In the meantime, Fenenbock encourages everyone to sign up for Relay for Life. Although the Mr. Brandeis pageant is two weeks later, some of the fundraising and voting will happen at Relay.

The Mr. Brandeis Pageant will take place during Bronstein Week on Thursday, Apr. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Gosman Athletic Center Field House. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Students can help Relay for Life and support the Mr. Brandeis pageant as well as the actual Relay for Life event, which is on Sunday, Mar. 23 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.