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Pageant for a cause

Wilson High School Confidential


For decades, young women enrolled in high schools in the Portland area have had the opportunity to compete for the title of Queen of Rosaria on the Rose Festival Court.

For a short period of time, young men were allowed to participate and the representatives were referred to as “ambassadors” instead of “princesses." Not too many guys were interested, so the honor reverted back to a female-centric competition.

Folks at Wilson High School thought that was missing a huge opportunity for young men, and so, the Mr.Trojan Pageant was born.

Last year, WHS introduced the Mr.Trojan Pageant as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a tongue-in-cheek take on traditional pageants. Senior males are asked to participate in exchange for a chance at glory and the opportunity to help raise money for a good cause.

This year the candidates for Mr. Trojan, with the help of the WHS leadership class, raised $3,500.

The new 2013 Mr. Trojan titleholder is senior Sam Olson, who was picked from a slate of 10 contestants and voted in as having the best stage presence, responses to questions, audience and judge interaction, and outfit originality.

It was not surprising that Sam won, but he did have some tough competition! All 10 participants have varied interests, participate in different after-school activities and had a good shot at the title. Participants included Nick Diaz-Hui, Michael Reid, Evan Anderson, Ezra Albright, Tucker Valentine, Levi Weiss, Spencer Kleweno, Jordan Rober and Charlie Quinn. All of whom are seniors at Wilson and willingly dedicated their time toward helping the LLS.

Mr.Trojan is the latest of many fundraisers that Wilson students plan or participate in. We hold a tri-annual blood drive, supply clean water to areas in Africa by collecting spare change, collect shoes to send to kids in Third World countries and provide outgrown clothing, shoes and coats to the city-wide PTA center to disperse to underprivileged kids locally, among others.

Wilson has a reputation for community involvement and fundraising, usually planned by students. This dedication to selflessness and helping those in need has changed Wilson and us students for the better.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was chosen as the beneficiary of the Mr. Trojan fundraiser by the 2012 Wilson Leadership class and class supervisor Ashley Closson. The mission of the LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. It is the world's largest blood cancer voluntary health agency and it funds blood cancer research worldwide.