Wild with Compassion: Students from West Henderson High to Host Second All-Male Pageant to Aid Local Families in Need

An image of text that says "WHHS DECA Presents The 2nd Annual Mr. WHHS Wild West. 2023-2024." There is a graphic of bull horns and a group photo of about 30 contestants outside.

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 30, 2023) – Building on the success of last school year’s all-male pageant to support families in need from Henderson County Public Schools, West Henderson High School will hold its second annual Mr. WHHS Pageant on Nov. 4th.

Hosted by the West Henderson High School DECA Chapter, this year’s theme is Wild, Wild West. All money raised supports families within the Henderson County Public School community who have suffered a great loss or who are dealing with major medical issues. The pageant, which exceeded its $6,000 goal, raised over $13,000 at the first pageant in May. One of the unique aspects of the event is that it is fully organized by the students. They develop the theme, create the program, videos, choreography, posters, and T-shirt design.

“It allows students to showcase their talents and gives them the opportunity to create something of their own,” said Alison Garrett, Marketing Education Teacher and DECA advisor at West.

In order to participate, contestants must be a student at WHHS and commit to raise a minimum of $200. Contestants compete in two “wears” and perform in the talent portion of the evening. Awards given include Family’s Choice, Mr. Money Maker, Mr. Sexy Legs, People’s Choice, Mr. Congeniality and Mr. WHHS. A special award is also given to the young man who raises the most money.

This year, three families representing eight HCPS schools, will be the beneficiaries of all net proceeds raised. The fundraising goal is $12,000. All money raised will be divided equally between each recipient family.

Families receiving the financial support are nominated and selected by Henderson County Public School System employees and voted on by WHHS DECA chapter members.

About this year’s families:

The Mauro Perez Family – Mauro Perez is the son of Paola and Serafin Perez and the brother of Gael and Antonella Perez. Mauro is an 8th grader at Rugby Middle School, Gael is a 2nd grader at Etowah Elementary School and Antonella is 18 months old. On September 7, 2023, after numerous scans, lab work, and biopsies, Mauro was diagnosed with stage 4 Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). The words “your child has cancer” were devastating to the family. They quickly realized that they would fight and lean on their faith and the skill of their doctors. Mauro has completed his first cycle of intensive chemotherapy. Maura is now homebound for the foreseeable future and the family is down to one source of income. They are struggling financially and appreciate the support of Mr. WHHS and our community.

The Trowbridge Family – Ashley Trowbridge is the mother of six children. Allissa, a freshman at North Henderson High School, was born with a brain tumor located on the pituitary gland, inoperable due to its size and location. This eventually led to her being diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and short term memory loss. Aidan, an 8th grader at Apple Valley Middle School, has a rare condition called Alternating Hemiplegia Of Childhood, which causes seizure-like activity and temporary paralysis. He is blind in his left eye and has one leg shorter than the other because of the long-term effects of his condition. Aidan also braves the world as an Autistic child with severe food aversions and sensory setbacks. Tristan, an 8th grader at Apple Valley, is his brother’s wing man and best friend. Kaiden, a fifth grader at Edneyville Elementary School, was born prematurely with a birth defect and will go the extra mile to help anyone in need. Jaxn, a fifth grader at Sugarloaf Elementary School, was born with a Congenital right sided diaphragmatic hernia. He is Autistic and nonverbal, but lives to prove to the world every single day that anything is possible if you believe it to be true. Stephen, a 3rd grader at Edneyville Elementary School was recently diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency like his sister and is waiting on a brain MRI to determine if his condition is due to a brain tumor. On August 22, 2023, Ashley’s vehicle was hit head on and she was taken to the ER by ambulance. Her vehicle was totaled. Ashley sustained injuries that have not allowed her to return to work and  has medical needs that have been put on hold so she can care for her children.

The Brandi Ferguson Family – Brandi is the mother of Dasuan, a junior at Enka High School, Cherish, a sophomore at The Career Academy, Dylan, a 5th grader at Mills River Elementary School, and Bay, a 4th grader at Mills River Elementary. Brandi was diagnosed two years ago with stage four laryngeal cancer and had to undergo surgery. She was out of work for a while during her recovery. When she started back to work, the motor of her truck was damaged and she was unable to afford repairs or a new vehicle. This caused her to be out of work for several more months. Recently, the family was evicted from their home after thinking they had worked out a payment plan. They have been living in a hotel with the help of a family member. Brandi is working to get back on top of her bills and to find a stable place for her family to call home.

Event Details:
Saturday, Nov. 4th, 2023
West Henderson High School Auditorium
7 pm. Doors open at 6:15 pm
Tickets: $10 (Available online or at the door).

The judges consist of faculty and staff members at WHHS. This year’s judges are Dana Braznell, Tom King, Jason Livingston, and Vanessa Price.

The students involved in this year’s pageant are:

Tyler Adams escorted by Katelyn Day

Diego Castro escorted by Allyson Garcia

Carson Cathey escorted by Peyton Lindsey

Drew Chavez escorted by Sofie Ruzich

Chase Childers escorted by Chloe Childers

Jake DeBiase escorted by Kaia Filipovic

Daniel DeBiase escorted by Chiara Ball

Carson Dimsdale escorted by Anne Lucas

Roscoe Greene escorted by Charlot Anne Jackson

Holden Hamlin escorted by Rylee Lecker

Kian Holden escorted by Noelle Houlihan

Ryan Kasney escorted by Emily Delaney

Jack Klein escorted by Sofia Rodriguez

Matthew Lupo escorted by Amron Rice

Truitt Manuel escorted by Tatum Garrett

Brady McGree escorted by Emma Bryson

Brady Merrill escorted by Abigail Garnet

Braxton Miller escorted by Emery Sprouse

Aiden Ostman escorted by Lillie Singleton

Blake Phillips escorted by Lily Barrett

Hudson Pressley escorted by Alex Fix

Grant Putnam escorted by Riley Frazier

Neil Robinson escorted by Nyla Carroll

Braydn Ross escorted by Kaili Lewis

Tyson Sem escorted by Amerie Delfin

Dustin Smith escorted by Lexy Mannon

Rourke Sullivan escorted by Katie Stanley

Erwin Thomas escorted by Aubrey Garrett

Trey Whitaker escorted by Perci Moore

To donate a gift card or a gift basket to be included in the raffle or give a monetary donation, contact Alison Garrett at agarrett@hcspnc.org. All checks should be made payable to West Henderson High School.