Mr. and Ms. Spartan give $30,000 to SFtS

Local high school students participating in annual pageants raised nearly $195,000 for charity this school year. In the grand finale of the Mr. and Ms. Spartan pageant, more than 30 students involved in the pageant all appear on stage for a dance number that starts with the song “We’re all in this together,” from the movie “High School Musical.”

The song, like all the others playing during the group dance performances, was selected by a vote of the pageant’s contestants.

The Corvallis High School fundraising program’s head coordinators Maggie Cornelius, Grace Spann and Justine Feist — all 18-year-old seniors — said that the reason the contestants selected the song was because it is an upbeat way to end the show.

“That last dance is like our final celebration,” Spann said.

Feist said the students will be emotional during the dance because it will come just after they have revealed how much the fundraising pageant has raised for its charities, the Mario Pastega House, the Samaritan Regional Cancer Center, Seeds for the Sol and the Grace Center For Adult Day Services.

“We all watched (“High School Musical”) in middle school, so we all know it and are nostalgic about it,” Cornelius said.

The pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday in the CHS auditorium at 1400 N.W. Buchanan Ave. Tickets are $15, and are available at the door.

The program also will feature 11 talent performances by contestants, dance routines by the contestants and the announcement of this year’s pageant winners as well as the total raised toward the fundraising goal. Last year the Mr. and Ms. Spartan contestants raised $137,850.

Spann said the seniors choose to join the pageant and work to raise money throughout the school year in part because they expect it to be a fun project with their friends.

Cornelius said that once students get into the pageant, though, they start to hear about how much their fundraising impacts the community, and then they become even more involved in the pageant goals.

“It’s like ‘wow, I’m only 18, but look at what I can do’,” she said. “It’s a confidence booster.”

(April 24, 2015 6:00 am • ANTHONY RIMEL, Corvallis Gazette-Times)