Mr. Simpson is more than a pageant

by Michelle Hartmann, perspectives editor

After technical difficulties starting the kick off lip sync portion of the event, courtesy of Simpson College’s Wi-Fi, Enactus’ Mr. Simpson event started with what is probably better termed as a dance off rather than lip sync.

Enactus has been holding a Mr. Simpson event since 2012 and believes it is a great tradition to uphold. Each year, the proceeds, which include money and food items, go to Helping Hands, a local charity that helps the Indianola community. Vice president of Enactus, Liz Rice, emphasizes how important the event is to the Indianola community.

“We’ve done a lot of work with them and we felt like it was the best way to help and keep it in Indianola that way we can help our community,” Rice said.

In the past, the Mr. Simpson event has raised upwards of $500 between straight cash and food donations. When people donate a nonperishable food item, it is considered to be worth a dollar which is how members determine which contestants have raised the most money.

Senior contestant Cody Parmley explained how being part of the pageant made him feel like he was able to connect more closely to the cause and would help him grow as a person.

“I feel like it’s a good cause and I’m excited to do it. This is hard as an introvert to put myself out there, but it’s a good reason,” Parmley said.

Mr. Simpson works like a typical pageant with three rounds. The first round started off with all contestants in a lip sync/dance off to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” After the first round, audience members donate money or food items to the contestant they want to move onto the second round. The same thing happens after each round to move contestants on.

Round two encompassed a talent competition for the audience with 10 competitors left. Talents varied from lifting weights to cracking apples with a head to quoting as much of “Mean Girls” as possible in thirty seconds. However, the talent portion is new to the pageant.

“This year we changed it. We’ve never done a talent portion before. People kept saying they wanted talent so we added talent,” Rice explained.

Finally, the third round included formal wear with two questions for the five contestants left. Each contestant was asked one serious question that had to do with hunger and one question that was light hearted.

After going through all three rounds, contestants had to wait until all items and money were added up. The new Mr. Simpson, with bragging rights for the next year, was Ian Applegate, a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity who had many of his brothers there to support him. He attributed part of his success in the Mr. Simpson pageant to his winning the PRIDE Drag Show last year.

This year’s Mr. Simpson pageant raised $535.19 with just over $400 coming from cash and 123 from canned or boxed foods.

The pageant is a demonstration of how Enactus helps the community through Simpson. While they don’t do activities with the entire student body on a regular basis, they do interact with the community for much of their work. Cameron Lunsford, president of Enactus, explains what the group does for campus.

“We don’t do a ton for students, but we do a ton for the community. I think that we create a much more positive outlook about Simpson College in the community,” Lunsford said. “We, I feel like, have made a major impact on the community.”