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At the home of the Hornets, the buzz is building around the big question, "Who will be the next Mr. BHS?"
On June 6, 11 Branford High School (BHS) students (six seniors and five juniors) will compete for the title during an evening showcasing each guy's general awesomeness. They'll be wowing the crowd with the likes of individual grand entrances, their best "formal wear," and sharing a talent.
For those who haven't been to a Mr. BHS event, be prepared for unusual (yet family-friendly) entrances and more. Some of last year's entrances included a contestant "born as a bird" and a tribute to Scooby-Doo; and then there's formal wear, which "started off with guys in a tux and a female escort, but it's evolved into being whatever they want and any kind of escort-a teacher, a pet, a little cousin. It's pretty creative," said BHS InterAct Co-President Emma Barringham.
The fundraising event is produced by BHS InterAct, a Branford Rotary-affiliated high school club. Club members not only organize Mr. BHS through months of work, but also put together their own show-stopping "Mr. BHS" group number each year.
A perennial favorite now in its eighth year, Mr. BHS packs the auditorium with students, family, faculty, and friends. This year's theme, Flashback Friday, sets the stage for elements from "forever ago to yesterday," said BHS InterAct Co-President Kellee Lear.
"Since we're talking about the past, we thought we should raise money for the future, so the charity we're doing it for is Save the Children, which is based in Connecticut and helps children around the world. So it's local and global, which is the Rotary's mantra," said Lear, adding, "Last year was our most successful year; we raised $2,500, and this year we're going to beat it."
The 11 Mr. BHS contestants will help boost student ticket sales by coming to school clad in Roman-style togas and laurel wreath crowns on Friday,
June 6. While the show draws a huge BHS crowd, members of the public are invited to attend and help support the cause. Tickets, $5, will be sold at the door of the BHS auditorium before the curtain rises at 7 p.m. on June 6. The night also features a concession stand and tickets for raffle prizes, including more than 20 great gift certificates donated by local businesses and collected by InterAct members.
Barringham noted that BHS InterAct, which has 18 members this year, coordinates with Branford Rotary to assist not only at the high school, but in the community, as well.
"If they have a project, we'll try to help integrate it to the high school level; like last year we held a coat drive. This year we also helped decorate their parade float and marched with them, we helped out the senior holiday dinner around Christmas, and also more recently helped with a senior pasta dinner at the Canoe Brook Center," said Barringham.
Branford Rotary member Tricia Bohan is the club's liaison, and BHS English Teacher Gina Lucibello is the club's advisor.
"They are fantastic," said Lucibello, who will be part of this year's faculty band performing at Mr. BHS. "We have good members and strong leaders. I couldn't ask for more."