The Mr. RWU Spectacular, a tradition spanning 16 years, was a night of laughs, fun and charity that saw over $10,000 raised for the Children’s Miracle Network at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. Junior Max Goldberg was crowned Mr. Congeniality alongside his personal assistant, Gabby Deschenes.
This event is a popular tradition on campus where six students and their fellow student personal assistants fundraise throughout the year and then perform in a pageant that showcases dancing, talent and answers to tough questions.
A panel of four judges included KC Ferrara, Director of the Feinstein Center, Theresa Capelo, Associate Director of Housing, Dorothy Wilkison, former President of IRHA and a graduate, and Skyler Moncada, grad student and last year’s Mr. RWU winner.
This event was in honor of Nicholas Cioe, a seventh grader at Western Hills Middle School in Cranston. Nicholas is being treated for Atypical Cerebral Palsy and was going to be a judge at the pageant. Unfortunately, he had a medical emergency and was not able to attend.
“This [event] is fantastic,” said Capelo. “It’s great to raise money for this cause.”
Over the past 16 years, this event has collectively raised over $250,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network. This year alone raised $10,750.
The theme of the night was board games, and each contestant had a costume that represented a popular game. The game “Sorry!” was represented by Elfreda Hoff and her assistant Miranda Rojas. Kevin Deeb and his assistant Sarah Coleman represented “Operation.” “Candy Land” was represented by Andrew Zampitella and his assistant Gwen Kinder. Connor Hayden and his assistant Tyler Marchioni represented “Clue.” Goldberg and Deschenes represented “Monopoly.” Thomas Wallace and his assistant Colin Herschlag had a “Game of Life” theme.
After a group dance performance and introductions of the candidates, the talent portion began. This section was a crowd favorite. Talents ranged from magic tricks to playing guitar to lip-syncing. One performance that the crowd cheered loudly for was an interpretive dance by Goldberg and Deschenes. They danced to a mashup of “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey and “All Star” by Smash Mouth. They ended their performance by leaving the stage to the theme from “Seinfeld.”
“Oh my gosh this is awesome,” said sophomore Laura Giordano, sitting in the front row. “You can tell they have so much fun, so it makes it fun for us.” She personally knew a some of the contestants and mentioned how hard they all worked for this.
Awards were given out for the group that raised the most funds, Mr. Congeniality and the Sacchetti Award.
Zampitella and Kinder won the award for most funds raised with a total of $2,680. Goldberg won Mr. Congeniality, and Hayden and his assistant Marchioni won the Sacchetti Award.
“I honest to God did not expect this at all,” he said. “My passion in life is helping people, more specifically helping children because I’ve worked with children my whole life, and I just wanted a chance to help people.”