Students lining up to become “Mr. RIT”

Annual contest showcases talent and charm to help those with cystic fibrosis

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Saige Simon

Michael Lutfring was named Mr. RIT at last year’s event to raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

A dozen Rochester Institute of Technology students are competing for the title “Mr. RIT” on Friday in hopes of raising $2,000 to $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

RIT’s Delta Phi Epsilon, Beta Upsilon chapter, is organizing the 11th annual event. The contestants compete against each other to win over the judges and audience with their charm and talent, said Katia Hudspeth, a second-year hospitality and service management major from Croatia and the public relations chair for Delta Phi Epsilon at RIT.

“Many musical and dance performances take place throughout the show, in addition to a formal wear fashion show and question-and-answer session,” she said.

The field of applicants was narrowed to 12 after meeting with members of the sorority who determined whether they had the most fitting personalities and commitment to learn a group dance number. They also were assigned “stage moms,” members of the sorority who will coach them and help with publicity and fundraising, Hudspeth said.

And each contestant worked to raise money and awareness of cystic fibrosis prior to the event.

Along with the title, the winner receives a crown. A “Mr. Congeniality” and “fan favorite” are also chosen.

Last year’s winner, Michael Lutfring, a fourth-year environmental sustainability health and safety major from Saugerties, N.Y., will cohost the event and pass off his crown.

“I entered at first because I just thought it would be something fun to do,” Lutfring said. “But as rehearsals went on and fundraisers started, it became clear there was much more going on. It was great to see the sisters of Delta Phi epsilon, and all of the contestants get behind something that was fun but had a bigger picture of helping those in need.”

He said he has made many good friends through his experience and encourages other students to get involved.

“Not only is it a great experience and way to meet people, it’s great to raise money and awareness for those affected with cystic fibrosis,” he said.

The Mr. RIT competition will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20 in Ingle Auditorium. Tickets are $5 in advance (sold in the Student Alumni Union and Infinity Quad from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the event) and $7 at the door.

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