2/7/2016 10:58:34 PM

Crowning Achievement: Mr. Siena 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

By Mary Barrett '14

There wasn’t an empty seat in the Marcelle Athletic Complex as students filed in to see who would be crowned the 2014 “Mr. Siena.” This was the competition’s ninth year and most successful show to date. The mock beauty pageant is held annually to raise money and awareness for Siena College’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a global nonprofit organization that builds and repairs houses using volunteer labor and donations.

“This year’s Mr. Siena was an unbelievable success,” said Matt Schiesel ’15 who, along with Emily Hoffman ’14, coordinated the event. “We packed in the MAC with a total audience of just over 780 students, faculty, friends and family.”

Schiesel said that capacity crowd raised a record-breaking total of $5,609 to support Siena’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter, which will travel south during spring break to help in the construction of houses for people in need. The impressive fundraising total more than doubled the amount of money raised during last year’s “Mr. Siena” pageant.

While they gave to a great cause, members of the audience were given a good show.

The night started off with co-hosts Fr. Dennis Tamburello ’75, O.F.M. Ph.D. and the reigning “Mr. Siena,” Andrew Ford ’13, performing a remix to Bastille’s popular song “Pompeii,” informing the crowd of what was to come.

Next, the eight “Mr. Siena” contestants took the stage to perform skits with various themes that ranged from “Super Mario Brothers” to “Breaking Bad.” Regardless of their subject matter, the performances creatively conveyed Habitat for Humanity’s importance.

Once the crowd was fired up, it was time for the event’s talent portion. The students sang, danced, acted and played the piano for their peers. The pageant ended with each contestant being escorted down the aisle and asked a question about life at Siena and Habitat for Humanity.

At the end of the competition, a panel of judges determined who would receive the night’s awards.

“Best Talent” was awarded to Adam Mihalek ’14. He and a group of friends acted out a synchronized swimming scene that received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Kristian Payne ’16’s jungle quest for the "Twitter Bird" containing the hashtag #HabitatForHumanity earned him “Best Habitat” and Brandon Page ’14 was voted “Mr. Congeniality.” First Runner-Up was awarded to Phil Ndegwa ’14. Finally, with the anticipation at its peak, the judges announced that Shane Cronin ’16 was this year’s “Mr. Siena.”

“Becoming “Mr. Siena” felt absolutely amazing and unreal,” said Cronin. His favorite part of the competition was becoming close friends with the contestants and those involved in the show. “The crown and sash are great, but they really mean nothing compared to the people that you meet and the bonds that you form that will last way longer than any “Mr. Siena” title could,” Cronin said.

Overall, the contestants agreed that the friendships they formed made “Mr. Siena” an experience to remember.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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