By: Emily Linginfelter ~Staff Writer~
After a night full of talent and men’s fashion, Bill Bentley won a majority vote and was crowned the 2015 Mr. Muskie on Nov. 10. The Xavier Student Activities Council (SAC) hosted the annual event, which mocks standard beauty pageants by using the same structural routine with male contestants.
The proceeds are traditionally donated to a charity of the winner’s choice, and the $525 raised in this year’s pageant will go directly toward the Williams Syndrome Association (WSA) on Bentley’s behalf. Bentley said that in addition to the fun, he made the final decision to participate in the pageant for his younger brother.
“My brother has Williams Syndrome (WS), and the WSA has been a large part of my life since I was a young child,” Bentley said. “I know how crucial funding is to the organization and how meaningful every donation is to all the family members and supporters of those with WS.”
WS is a rare genetic disorder that affects about one in every 10,000 people around the world. It is caused by a deletion of 26 genes in Chromosome 7 and characterized by medical problems including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities, according to WSA. Individuals who have WS often display social personalities and a fixation on music.
The correlating nonprofit organization, WSA, launched in 1982. It provides research, education and emotional support for individuals and families affected by WS and similar conditions. Along with many others in the program, Bentley and his family are highly active in putting the organization’s mission statement into action.
“I’ve attended numerous conventions as a volunteer for childcare programs, and have been a member of the staff at a music camp for children and teens with Williams Syndrome for the past six years,” Bentley said. “I’m currently on the planning committee for the next national convention that will be taking place in Columbus, Ohio this summer.”
Bentley gives a special thank you to those who made the event possible: Xavier SAC; judges Leslie Dull, Leslie Rasmussen, Matt and Bree Lang, Joe Caputi and Lee Weeks; hosts Colin Foos and Caitlin Barner; candidates Jayson Jones, Clahe Jones, Eduardo Patron, Taylor Zachary, Brennan Kizer Ball, Fare Olagbaju, Ryan Quilty, Sean McCroskey, Alban Schneider, Matthew Kehling and Langston Guyden; and finally, everyone who made donations and supported the event.
“The Mr. Muskie Pageant was one of the best experiences I had in my time at Xavier,” Bentley said. “It was great to meet and become friends with such a fine group of gentlemen.”
For more information about the WSA, visit the official website at https:// williams-syndrome.org.