Laughter filled the Redwood Theater Wednesday night when five Brookings-Harbor High School students vied for the title of Mr. BHHS.
Azalea Festival Queen Ashley Lueckfeld crowns Eli Bruce after he was chosen Mr. BHHS at Wednesday night’s pageant. The Pilot Bill Schlichting
The 14th annual event, “Under the Sea,” spoofs the Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant and raises funds for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. This year’s event raised $1,323.15, according to Kristy Kleespies, BHHS Doernbecher committee advisor.
Contestants – Diondre Runyon, Gage Northrup, Eli Bruce, Jon Fowler and Adam Gardner (also known as Autumn Gardner whenever her beard fell off) – performed an opening dance, modeled underwater wear, presented their talent, posed in evening wear and were asked a question.In the end it was Bruce who won the title and was fitted with a crown, and several items of water gear, by Azalea Queen Ashley Lueckfeld. The runner-up was Runyon, the talent winner was Bruce and Mr. Congeniality was Northrup.
To win the talent contest, Bruce had two volunteers from the audience, a boy and a girl, sit in a rubber raft while he serenaded the boy with a song. Other talent performances included Runyon attempting to play the national anthem on trumpet; Northrup calling members of the audience on stage to poke fun of the contents of their pockets; Fowler reading bad poetry, reading in Spanish and walking on his hands; and Gardner performing a dance with only occasional motion.
During the evening wear competition, Runyon and Bruce modeled women’s clothing. When Bruce modeled his outfit, he ran off the stage to schmooze judge Keefe Dillon. Other judges were Theresa Dillon, Brad Peters, Debbie Jones and Adam VanCleave.
One of the highlights of the event was the Dash for Cash. In this timed event, contestants each ran through the audience collecting as much cash as possible. A total of $240.05 was gathered. Bruce gathered the most: $129.59.
Mistresses of ceremonies were Emilee Bottoms and Ally Manley, who performed skits between contestant presentations. Also entertaining was Lueckfeld, accompanied by Virginia Riddle, who reprised the song she sang for her talent at the recent Azalea pageant.
Members of the audience were also treated to a video about Doernbecher Children’s Hospital fundraisers around the state and heard a brief talk by BHHS student Travis Dillon, who was a patient at the hospital following a 75-foot fall from a beach cliff last year.
New this year was the first female contestant. Kleespies said that a lot of boys didn’t want to commit to the competition, so Gardner volunteered.