The Keene State College sorority Delta Phi Epsilon (DPE) crowned senior John Snider as this year’s “Deepher Dude,” while also raising cystic fibrosis (CF) awareness to audience members at their annual male beauty pageant and fundraiser in the Mabel Brown Room on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Dan “Chops” Hermanowski, took second place in the competition after wearing many humorous outfits and sharing his talent for ribbon dancing during the show.
Hermanowski noted, “My favorite portion of the show was the question and answer category. It was just very spur of the moment.”
Hermanowski added, “I liked the overall cause and the idea that it was raising money for medical research.”
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When asked what he would do with $1 million, Hermanoski answered that he would give $500,000 to those with CF.
Jess Laundry, an audience member supporting the third place winner, Phil Elmer of Residential Life, shared that she enjoyed the show. Laundry said, “It’s a very amusing show and a really good atmosphere.” She added that one of the major reasons she attended the pageant, besides having a friend in the competition, was that it was a fundraiser for CF.
Emily Ricardi, the vice president of programming for the DPE sorority and a major coordinator behind the event’s planning, explained, “It’s an annual event and fundraiser for CF. A lot of [DPE] chapters also do this in other areas around the country.” Ricardi shared that the program has been in its planning process for over a month.
“We put up posters and other publicity while search[ing] for our contestants,” Ricardi said.
Ricardi stated that her favorite part of the pageant planning experience was, “seeing it all in action.” Ricardi added that her favorite category was interviewing. “It brought things to a more personal level,” Ricardi said.
The show also featured co-hosts and sorority members, Ariel Robey and Juliann Abraham. Robey said, “Being co-host was fun, but there was a lot of minute management involved.”
Abraham shared, “I liked co-hosting. I like public speaking. It was also fun asking questions that were both serious and funny.”
While the shenanigans of a Male Beauty pageant entertained the audience through categories such as beachwear and talent, it also provided audience members with a knowledge of a life threatening lung disease called cystic fibrosis. The lung disease causes many affected by it to lose their lives before age 40, due to lung malfunctioning and infections.
In an informational packet given out to audience members about the illness, it explained, “Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is an inherited chronic disease. It affects the lungs and digestive system. There are about 30,000 children and adults with CF in the United States and about 70,000 worldwide.”
Despite the large numbers of people living with the disease, “A lot of people might not know about it or know of someone with it,” Ricardi said as she addressed the audience to explain the sorority’s cause at the very beginning of the program.
“It is a good cause – but awareness about it [cystic fibrosis] is not out there as it should be,” Snider said. Snider, who won over the audience with his guitar skills, then explained that fundraisers such as this pageant were a great idea in the question and answer portion of the show.
Before the competition began, audience members were encouraged to breathe through a straw for a total of 30 seconds to simulate how challenging it was for someone living with CF to breathe. The audience was also shown a video of a DPE member from Florida named Rojeana Hall, who recently passed away from the disease. Hall was shown explaining how the disease affected her life since she was an infant.
All proceeds and donations at the show, which was $1 admission and also hosted a raffle, went to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Those wishing to learn more about cystic fibrosis or the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority can visit the cystic fibrosis Foundation’s site at www.cff.org, or www.dphie.org.
Those wishing to learn more about Regina Hall and her foundation can also visit, www.gofundme.com/RojeanaAurielHall
To honor the CF cause and those living with CF, Ricardi, Robey, Abraham all other DPE sorority members present and audience members who donated to the cause were given ribbons symbolizing the CF cause.
Pam Bump can be contacted at