Brookfield Central High School junior Josh Peltier on Nov. 9 was named Mr. BC 2012, extending a nine-year tradition that generates fun while supporting a good cause.
The fun comes in the form of a school pageant where "manly men" of the junior class lightheartedly compete on the basis of talent, fitness, self-expression and fundraising.
The good cause is raising money so the junior class can throw a nice prom each spring.
This year's prom is set for April 13 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Milwaukee.
More than a win
For Peltier said there was more on the line than just bragging rights.
"I won a certificate for a free tux and free tickets to the prom," he said.
To earn his crown and the free tickets, Peltier had to show that he could raise at least $250 toward the event. By the time the competition was done, he had raised close to $300.
Ten of the 15 contestants raised enough money to get the tickets, so Peltier needed to shine in the other contest categories. Considering that he is captain of the wrestling team, it was not difficult for him to complete the pushups, sit-ups and other elements of the physical test.
He also needed to have the poise to answer such questions as "Why do you want to be Mr. BC?" and "What would you wear with board shorts or Speedos?" For the curious, his answer was that he'd wear a T-shirt with board shorts, but he'd be a bit more daring with Speedos, choosing to without other adornment.
Sensing the day prior that he was not quite ready for the talent portion of the contest, Peltier talked fellow wrestler George Panos into being his foil in an "extreme makeover." Panos took Peltier's direction in putting on makeup and, behind a blanket that was held up by two classmates, he put on his sister's clothes.
"He let me do all this at the last moment," Peltier said. "We all had a lot of fun. I always wanted to compete in Mr. BC since I was a freshman. But I won't get a big head about it. I don't even bring it up anymore."
Making it fun
Behind the event is Junior Class Advisor Ellen Linnihan, a Central English teacher.
"We make it fun and goofy," she said. "We send out invitations to those we think will make good candidates and every junior boy is eligible. The talent requirements are very loose."
She noted that one contestant did a ribbon dance to the Miley Cyrus song "Party in the USA."
The annual event, Linnihan said, draws a big crowd to the school cafeteria. This year, there were 350 people in the audience, including a number of parents.
"It's a great way to raise awareness for the prom and also pay for a good part of it," Linnihan said. "Contestants sell all kind of things, including baked goods. The more money they raise, the better. We bring in about $4,000 and, after expenses, we apply about $3,500 toward the prom."
Linnihan said that this year was inspiring because one of the contestants has Down syndrome.
"This is an outlet for all students," she said. "I know his parents were very nervous about this and there was a little bit of a mix-up in the question that he was given."
Linnihan said contestants knew the questions to be asked ahead of time. After an initial stumble, he finished his answer with a big smile on his face. The whole audience cheered.
"It brought tears to my eyes," she said. "It was a very special moment."
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