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Kappa Alpha Theta raises money for CASA with annual Mr. ONU pageant

The members of Kappa Alpha Theta with the contestants (photo/Bethany Schneider Instagram page)

The members of Kappa Alpha Theta with the contestants (photo/Bethany Schneider Instagram page)

Ohio Northern University's McIntosh Ballroom filled up as seven contestants competed against each other for Kappa Alpha Theta’s annual Mr. ONU pageant on Nov. 16. This year’s theme, Ada’s Next Top Model, crowned three victors at the end of the competition.

The sorority held the event to raise money for its philanthropy, CASA. According to, “Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of nearly 1,000 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.”

Mr. ONU is one of Kappa Alpha Theta’s biggest events to support its philanthropy. Senior marketing student Courtney Hendershot, service and philanthropy director of Kappa Alpha Theta, is in charge of the event. She hopes the pageant will bring recognition to CASA.

My goal is to get awareness out there for our philanthropy, CASA. It is important to raise money for that because our philanthropy is one that is not well known,” said Hendershot.

The pageant consisted of three rounds, which ultimately helped raise more donations. The rounds consisted of a talent segment, the questions round and the runway round. The first round featured contestants doing stand-up comedy, dancing, and even teaching the audience how to shoot a basketball.

The second round followed the standard pageant format. Contestants were asked questions. Some of the questions include:

  •  What constitutes true beauty?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • If you won the lottery, what would you do?

These questions gave for humorous answers as some connected their answers to jokes from the talent round.

Between each round, Kappa Alpha Theta members walked around the audience to collect money. This was considered the voting system to pick Ada’s Next Top Model. With each container representing a contestant, the audience members voted by putting money into a container of their choice.

The money was counted as soon as the contestants were done with the runway round. Along with crowning Ada’s Next Top Model, there were two other titles the contestants could win: Judge’s choice and Theta’s choice. Judge’s choice was discussed among a panel of representatives from each sorority, Chris Burns-DiBiasio, and Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw. Theta’s choice was discussed among the members of the sorority in attendance.

Winners of the pageant were junior creative writing major Nick Pesetsky for judge’s choice, senior pharmaceutical/healthcare business major Andrew Mitchem for Theta’s choice, and sophomore pharmacy student Avery Meadows as Ada’s Next Top Model.

Audience member and freshman pharmacy student Alexis Miller appreciated all of the contestants, even though only three were crowned.

It was interesting to watch the guys go through and it was very humorous. You could tell that each of them really prepared for what they were going to do, and they didn’t go into it flying blind,” said Miller.

Altogether with the entrance fee, food, and donations, Kappa Alpha Theta raised over $440 for CASA. Because Mr. ONU has been a success for more than seven years, students can surely look forward to next year’s pageant.

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