Professors from multiple schools and programs at Ohio University will be performing a variety of talents in order to raise money for Camp Quality Ohio, a week-long summer camp for children with cancer.
This year is the 5th Annual Ava Nichols Faculty Pageant, named after Ava Nichols, a 6-year-old from Waterford, Ohio who died of a brain tumor in March 2012. The pageant is hosted by Ohio University’s Alpha Phi Omega charter, a coeducational national service organization. The pageant is a competition that consists of three portions: a formal, a Q&A and a talent round. Eight faculty members are participating this year, including Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones.
Seniors Valerie Hudak and Danielle Fultz are the co-chairs for the event, both belonging to the fraternity. While Hudak and Fultz have been members of the fraternity for three years, this is their first year as organizers for the pageant.
In years past, the pageant donated its proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. It wasn’t until two summers ago that Hudak volunteered Camp Quality for the benefits. “It helps to individualize the event and fund the camp,” Hudak said. Donations like these are essential for Camp Quality, whose attendees go for free.
Hudak is no stranger to Camp Quality’s work. For the past two years, Hudak has volunteered as a companion at the camp, located in Akron, Ohio. From the beginning, the camp had a profound effect on the senior. Hudak mentioned that her first-year companion died at age 4, which left a resounding impact on her. Her companion would have been among the youngest at the camp, as the ages of those who attend range anywhere from 4 to 18, with a majority being between the ages of 10 and 14.
In order to promote the event and spread awareness for the cause, the fraternity held a spaghetti dinner last Thursday at the United Methodist Church on College Street. Entrance to the dinner was $4, with proceeds also going toward Camp Quality.
Despite it being her first year as a co-chair for the pageant, Fultz said she’s attended the event in years past and considers it her favorite.
“I’m passionate about the event,” Fultz said. “Although I’ve never gone to Camp Quality, it’s something that I would love to do during the summer when I have free time.”
Many of the contestants’ talents will be a surprise for both the co-chairs and the audience. One of these mystery talents belong to Hall-Jones and Lombardi, who are performing a combined talent. Other contestants, such as Professor of Exercise Physiology Marc Barr, will be performing acts that will incorporate their students. Barr’s specific act will consist of a dance.
With a mixture of authentic talents and silliness, it’s hard to say what the contestants have in store for the competition. The pageant will be a great source of hilarity, surprise and entertainment.