BRISTOL, R.I. – For more than two months, they campaigned for students’ votes and held competitive fundraisers to raise money for pediatric healthcare research, all while gearing up for the contest finale – a Miss America-style pageant in which male students compete to be crowned Mr. RWU.
One of Roger Williams University’s signature annual events, the Mr. RWU pageant held on November 23 raised $16,821 to support pediatric care, research and education at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. Since 2008, the pageant has raised more than $60,000 for the hospital.
“This fundraiser has become a University tradition,” said event founder Carol Sacchetti, director of Student Programs and Leadership at RWU. “When new students come to Orientation, they learn about this awesome opportunity to support the state’s only children’s hospital, which is practically on their doorstep. The response has been phenomenal from our students, faculty and staff.”
Nominated by their classmates, 10 student contestants contended in several challenges and events, including fundraising activities – via events on campus or solicitation letters – and the pageant itself, a beloved campus production that includes a choreographed group dance number and a talent show. Each competitor had a female assistant and fundraising team.
This year’s winner is Christopher Wade, a junior journalism major from Northborough, Mass. Although it wasn’t easy for him to get up on stage, Wade knew it would be for a worthy cause – and he performed a stellar rendition of a Blues Brothers sketch for his talent.
“I’m a firm believer in helping others, and even though I have stage fright and wouldn’t normally get involved in these events, I absolutely set my fears aside to raise money and dance on stage knowing I was helping kids at Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” Wade said. “To me, this pageant isn’t about being Mr. RWU – it’s about an opportunity to do some good in the world. It was an honor to be involved. The title of Mr. RWU is nothing compared to the feeling of knowing that my actions made a difference.”