REEDSPORT — The first occasion of what's being called RHS Pageant takes place this Saturday at Reedsport Community Charter School.
The talent show evening starts at 6:30 at the school's Pacific Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for everyone ages 5 and older.
The renaming of Mr. RHS to RHS Pageant came from an idea that Laura Brandon and Chris Marsh discussed. After some at North Bend High School thought Mr. Bulldog wasn't inclusive enough of girls, that school changed its pageant name.
In an earlier interview with the Umpqua Post, Marsh said "I am open to the interpretation of the pageant as an extracurricular school activity, and as such it should be offered to boys and girls."
Marsh works as the program director for Great Afternoons, with an office in Albany. Students are raising money for a new playground at Great Afternoons.
Money from the pageant goes toward helping pay for a playground foundation and related labor at the Great Afternoons school. Great Afternoons is an Oregon Coast Community Action program.
Brandon had spoken with charter school Principal Vince Swagerty for the pageant name change, keeping him apprised.
Yet no girls signed up this year to participate even though, as Brandon has pointed out several times, they are extremely dedicated each year to making the Mr. RHS a success.
This year's participants are seniors Marc Chaney, Noe Lopez, Alan Page and Clay Laske.
Brandon said her husband Eric Brandon and Don Laskey may be able to help with playground excavation and drainage. The hope is to start this work this summer. Eric works for Gary Foglio Trucking, which has offices out of Florence, and Laskey operates the Laskey-Clifton Corp.
Special education teacher Patrick McKnight will emcee the evening's fun.
Brandon emphasized that community volunteers had to adjust this year.
For example, there won't be any calendars featuring the youth.
"I guess not enough people were interested," she said.
One of the largest adjustments came with the news about a month or less ago that the charter school main gym will need repairs. In turn, this meant organizers couldn't hold dodge ball tournaments to raise funds.
"And so my guess this year is it is what it is," Brandon said.
However volunteers were still resilient and boys participated in Tip A Waiter, both at Bedrock's and at Don's Diner. With Tip A Waiter, competitors are asked to a number of activities to help raise dollars, including for example a certain number of push ups, helping serve customers milk shakes.
"And they worked their buns off," Brandon said of the boys and how they did at Tip A Waiter.
With all fundraisers this academic year, she estimates about $1,700 has been raised for Great Afternoons, emphasizing in a Feb. 28 text that not all pledge money from the bowling tournament was submitted yet.
As has been the case before, girls will be at the March 10 show to help.
Students performed at a karoake night, held a Sadie Hawkins dance and competed in the Bowling Strikes for Tykes, bringing in more money.
"It's still going to be a good show. Boys and girls are involved."