The day before Valentine’s Day, weather forecasts indicated that yet another snowstorm was headed for Long Island; therefore, the fifth annual “Mr. Mepham” male beauty pageant, slated for Feb. 13, was canceled.
Erica Wagner and Jennifer Malone, two English teachers who organized the event, noted that while school administrators agreed that rescheduling the pageant for safety was the best decision, they were concerned that moving it to a date just a week after their mid-winter recess would affect attendance. But the Mepham community turned out in droves, eager to see students and faculty show why they “embody the spirit of an ideal Mepham pirate.”
“The participants worked tirelessly putting together their acts and wanted to debut them in front of a filled auditorium,” Wagner said. “This year, we had one of the biggest turnouts…The auditorium was packed!”
Organizers said a wide pool of contestants entertained the audience at “Mr. Mepham” on Feb. 27. The idea for the event came from Malone’s husband, a teacher at Massapequa High School who took part in the school’s annual “Mr. Massapequa” contest in 2010. She and Wagner, who advised Mepham’s class of 2011, thought hosting a male beauty pageant could be a way to fundraise to lower the cost of prom tickets.
This year, the senior class collected more than $2,000 from ticket sales. Attendees looked on while contestants in both the student and faculty competitions showed off their formal wear, Mepham spirit wear and talents.
Every class was represented in the student competition. Among the participants were freshmen Andy Davila and Sean Flynn; sophomore Kelsey Calabrese; junior Kevin Burns; and seniors Johnny Breden, Chris Durkin, Nick Delgiudice, Ben Hoffman and Brian Keohane. Participating faculty members were Joseph Francese, Bill Morris, Christopher Patten, Stelios Pefanis and Stu Stein. The program was hosted by students Dom Bove and Chris Vento, who wrote the script. Mepham administrators served as the judges.