Mr. RWU crowned

Isabella Gentile, Features Manager

One of the winter season’s most esteemed events took place in the Field House on Saturday, Dec. 2. Mr. RWU is a pageant that has taken place on campus since 2002. Celebrating 15 years of the event, the coordinators showed video montages of past contestants throughout each section of the show. The 2017 contestants were all ready to take the stage and compete for the title.

The pageant started out with a group dance, featuring first all of the 10 contestants and then an appearance by their Personal Assistants (PAs). A mix of “Pumpin’ Up the Party” and “Eye of the Tiger” played as the crowd cheered on their favorite competitors. The choreographed dance kicked off a fun-filled night.

Costumes followed in the first section, as this year’s theme of cereal box characters came to life. The characters embodied by each contestant and PA pair came from the following cereals: Fruit Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, and Frosted Flakes. Contestants had their first real introductions during this portion, performing actions that went along with their outfits, such as flapping their wings like bees or stealing the box of Trix from the bunny.

Talent is always an interesting portion of a pageant, and this year’s show had acts that drew great applause and laughter from the crowd. Senior contestant Thomas Matthews did not use his hands for his talent, as his PA Rosie Stevens, a sophomore, used her hands behind his back to do everything from shaving his face to pouring him a bowl of cereal with milk; it was a messy act, but the audience went wild over it. Christopher Costa, a sophomore competitor, wowed the crowd by performing a magic trick and putting a broken card back together while it was inside the box.

Formal wear turned out to be a sentimental segment of the show, as contestants came out on stage with their PAs and revealed how grateful they were for their help. Junior Quinn Gaston said that his PA Meghan Green, a senior, pushed him farther than he could have asked for in the competition and in life. Junior Liam Tracey shared appreciative words about his PA Riley, who had just recently taken on the position as his assistant. 

“In just 3 weeks she learned the group dance and how to Irish dance, putting 100 percent effort into the competition,” Tracey said. 

The question and answer round revealed some of the contestants’ true feelings about the event and aspirations in life. When asked if she thought it was important for students to do volunteer work, Mr. RWU’s first ever female contestant, junior Madison Mastriani, said yes, as it “helps them get involved with the community and become well-rounded individuals.” 

Junior Matt Stone answered the question of how he has grown as a person during this experience by saying that he has gained more friends and a lot more confidence.

All of the proceeds raised throughout the contestant’ fundraising and ticket admissions went toward the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. One of its patients, Violet Graney, was born with a rare form of cancer and doctors did not expect her to survive. Through grueling rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, the Hasbro staff was there for her family every step of the way. Graney and her parents were in the audience during the show, feeling grateful for the care that they received at Hasbro and events like Mr. RWU. Her father Dan expressed this on stage, saying, “We are incredibly blessed and grateful to have a resource like this in Rhode Island.”

When the pageant finally came to an end, different awards were given out to the contestants. Sophomore Joseph Sullivan and junior Rosalita Capoldo won for the most funds raised at a total of $2,806.66. Mr. Congeniality, an award presented to the most fun and positive competitor, was given to Tracey. 


The last award given before the crowning was the Sacchetti Award, created in honor of Director of Student Programs and Leadership, Carol Sacchetti, who has been completely dedicated to Mr. RWU since its establishment in 2002. Matthews and Stevens received this for showing similar commitment to the event.

After a show full of entertainment and laughter, the panel of five judges finally chose who would be crowned as Mr. RWU; the winner was senior Skyler Moncada! Moncada ,his senior PA Tori Davis, and her service dog Tony presented a spot-on portrayal of the characters from the Rice Krispies box; mixing a bowl of the cereal that magically turned into Rice Krispie treats, which they threw into the crowd, was the perfect touch. 

Moncada delivered a self-written poem during the talent segment that touched the hearts of everyone in the audience. He only conveyed appreciation for this adventure as he said, “I can’t accept this without thanking every person behind me. There is no amount of thanks that can express my absolute gratitude for making these weeks an incredible experience.”