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Mr. Rice to raise funds for cause

By Joey Capparella     11/15/11 6:00pm

Next Sunday, 11 Rice men will let it all hang out for a good cause in the first annual Mr. Rice Pageant.

Proceeds from the campus-wide male beauty pageant will go to a soup kitchen called Stone Soup, run by the AIDS Foundation Houston, Baker College senior Liz Young, one of the organizers for the event, said. The event's organizers hope to raise approximately $2,500 for the organization.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall and tickets cost $4 if purchased before the event and $6 at the door.

Contestants were chosen through a variety of methods at their individual colleges.

"It's a diverse group," Kamath said. "The field ranges from freshmen to seniors, and they all represent a wide range of majors and interests."

The contestants include Baker College sophomore Jeff Brown, Will Rice College junior Julian Yao, Hanszen College sophomore Austin Coe, Wiess College junior Kunle Roberts, Jones College sophomore Connor Hoppe, Brown College junior Jose Malave, Lovett College freshman Nick Thorpe, Sid Richardson College sophomore Drew Travis, Martel College sophomore Alex Suarez, McMurtry College sophomore Peter Abraham and Duncan College sophomore Drayton Thomas.

The pageant will consist of an entrance walk with escorts, a talent competition, and a combined swimsuit and interview competition, according to Sid Richardson College sophomore Allison Raven, another organizer for the event.

Young and Chris Keller, a Jones College junior, will emcee the event. The pageant will be judged by University Representative Y. Ping Sun, Mathematics Professor Zhiyong Gao and Volunteer Coordinator at AIDS Foundation Houston Marc Cohen, Raven said.

During the judges' deliberation, posters of each contestant will be auctioned off.

In addition to the judge-selected winner, there will also be a "People's Choice" winner, the contestant for whom the most money is collected from jars circulating around the colleges this week, Jones College junior Rahul Kamath, another event organizer, said.

The idea for the pageant originated in a meeting between Rice Service Council members and community service representatives from each college.

"We got our inspiration from the male pageants that some of the colleges had done in the past, but we're really excited to do a pageant for charity on a university-wide level because it's something that's never really been done before," Jones College sophomore Lucy Codron, another event organizer, said.

Malave said that he first became interested in the Mr. Rice pageant after participating in a smaller Mr. Brown pageant last year.

"My parents keep asking me why I'm posing in these scandalous photos, but it is all worth it for a good cause," Malave said. "I don't think it's something I'll regret in the future."

Young said that she was pleased that the Student Association approached the community service representatives to endorse the event.

"Since it has the potential to be such a big event, it's nice to have a campus-wide student organization backing us," she said.

The event was planned by Young, Raven, Codron and Kamath, as well as Will Rice Senior Albert Wei.

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