Haley Parson

On March 22 in The Thrift Alumni Room, the Florida Southern chapter of Alpha Delta Pi held their first King of Diamonds event, a philanthropy-driven male pageant to raise money for Ronald McDonald House. 

Ronald McDonald House is a nationwide organization that helps keep families with sick children together and near the care and resources they need. With the help of donations from organizations like Alpha Delta Pi, they are able to expand their programs and resources. 

This year, the chapter offered a unique opportunity for others to participate in a philanthropy event and give back to Ronald McDonald House. King of Diamonds, their talent oriented competition, was new to campus this semester and proved to be a tremendous success. 

“It [the philanthropy event] was one that got sisters excited,” Olivia Shane, philanthropy chair for Alpha Delta Pi said. “One of my goals was and is to get them even more passionate about philanthropy than they already are.” 

The event was a pageant-style talent competition where a group of 13 men from the campus went through introductions, a round of questions, and a talent portion. The questions were written by the philanthropy board of Alpha Delta Pi. 

“We wanted to keep it light-hearted with some fun questions but still wanted to make it serious with some deeper questions,” Shane said. 

Questions ranged from “Where do you see yourself in five years?” to “Jacob or Edward?”. The men, both Greek affiliated and unaffiliated, did their best to amuse, astound, and humor the judges and audience. 

Junior Nick Fazekas has two family members who are Alpha Delta Pi members, making him a double legacy.

“Diamonds are in my blood,” Fazekas said. “Diamonds can be a man’s best friend too.”

During the talent portion, contestants had the opportunity to share their unique skill sets. Ryan Pask and Andrew Harjula performed a beach ball ballet and James Mancuso sang an opera solo. Madelyn Walsh served as Master of Ceremonies for the competition. 

Alpha Delta Pi involved both the judges and the audience in picking a winner. Audience members had the opportunity to use their ticket to the event, purchased for five dollars, to vote for a contestant. 

Pask’s beach ball ballet and recollections from kindergarten and was voted fan favorite. Meanwhile, four Florida Southern professors chosen to be judges, Dr. Bruce Anderson, Dr. Jason Macrander, Dr. Charles Allen and Dr. Cara Mackie, and selected three finalists for the official King of Diamonds title to be chosen by a cheering contest from the audience. 

“The time and effort and care is one of the reasons we chose those guys,” Anderson said. “The guys who worked on that beach ball thing had a good sense of humor, [and] the amount of work and dedication was impressive.”

The finalists were James Owoyemi, Andy Harjula and Fernando Gonzalez. Though it was a tight race, James Owoyemi, a multilingual student on the pre-engineering track from Nigeria, was awarded the honorable status of King of Diamonds. 

“I did not expect to win, I was shocked I even got to the top three,” Owoyemi said. “It felt pretty good to win knowing a lot of people liked my performance and voted for me.” 

The event raised $1,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. 

“No matter how silly the thing is, you get the sense that the people involved are serious about the philanthropy,” Anderson said.


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