This year’s Mr. Brewster competition was a ginormous success; not only did the contestants raise a record high of $ 33,000, the Brewster High School Performing Arts Center was packed. This was a huge fundraising opportunity which raised awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and brought people together. In the six years it’s been running, Mr. Brewster has raised a total of $ 113,500 for CFF. This number is still counting because ticket sales have not yet been included.
Cystic Fibrosis is a “progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time,” according to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. There are more than 30,000 people living with CF in the United States and 1,000 cases are diagnosed each year. The Brewster SALTY Hands club has been dedicated to raising money for the foundation for research and care treatments for those already diagnosed, since there is expensively rigorous therapy management patients: airway clearance with a vibrating vest, inhaled medications, and pancreatic enzyme supplements. SALTY Hands is run by advisor Mrs. Donna Lieval, with assistance from Mrs. Ann Marie Chalmers.
This year’s judges included BHS faculty, Peter Goumas, Michael Castaldo, Terry Schumacher, and Nicole Vitale Sweeney, with chaperones Mrs. Ferris and Mrs. Fine. The esteemed and highly anticipated Master of Ceremonies Matthew Cunningham didn’t fail to make us laugh, as he has for the last six years of hosting Mr. Brewster. Aside from the amazing fundraising benefits of Mr. Brewster, the competition itself was worthy of praise.
The competitors were Anthony Aiello, Nathan Beal, Spencer Bera, Tim Catalano, Connor Dignan, Brendan Feehan, Jack Guida, Ryan Hecht, Kevin Heintz, Austin Kaelin, Sean Kelly, Nick Leahy, Sebastian Melchiori, Sean Nevin, Luca Riolo, Ryan Wynne, and Christopher Zavras—a record 17 people for the 2017 year! There were many memorable moments from last night: We’ve got Sean Nevin describing his last kiss, Tim Catalano serenading Mrs. Wynne with his own rendition of Stacy’s Mom, Austin Kaelin’s shrimp legs, Spencer Bera’s undying love for Mrs. Chalmers, Brendan singing Sweet Caroline with the crowd, Sean Kelly promposing to Lindsey McLaughlin, Connor’s sad attempt at reciting Shakespeare to Mrs. Schumacher, Ryan Wynne’s impression of Coach Castaldo and Mr. Cunningham, the list could go on. Ryan Hecht was a crowd favorite, and Connor Dignan described his last lie to Cunningham as being, “You look good tonight.”
The night was full of laughter, sarcasm, and pure talent. The boys performed a spectacular 7-minute dance routine (choreographed by girls from the BHS dance team) with everything from ballet, synchronized swimming (don’t ask how they did it), hip hop dancing, to Irish step dancing.
Brendan Feehan took the crown as the winner of Mr. Brewster 2017, with Jack Guida, Sean Kelly, and Sean Nevin following as second, third and fourth place winners. Brendan himself raised over $ 7,000. We are so proud of the boys for going out of their comfort zone for such a good cause, the members of the SALTY Hands club for doing an unimaginable work to put this together, and for the Brewster community for coming out to support.
The Great Strides Walk for CF will take place Sunday May 21st with check-in at 9 AM and the walk at 10. The chapter is the greater NY in Westchester, at Lyndhurst Castle, Tarrytown.
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