Center for Discovery
(Photo courtesy of

by Fallon Witte

A GQ male pageant will be held on April 15 in Hudson Auditorium, with a goal to raise $1,000 and awareness for The Center for Discovery.

The Center for Discovery is a national specialty center for the advanced care and treatment of children and adults with significant disabilities, medical complexities, and autism spectrum disorders.

The Center for Discovery’s mission is to encourage people with disabilities by attending to all the aspects of a productive, meaningful, and happy life by creating a welcoming place to belong to that supports the well-being of all its members.

Seniors Alexandra Raccioppi and Michaela Schwartz partnered up to execute this event.

“Our event is a male beauty pageant that will represent how everyone is beautiful in his or her own way,” said Raccioppi.

The pageant will incorporate personality, intelligence, talent and answers to the judges’ questions.  There will also be an award ceremony.

“Those with disabilities should not fall under the category of being different, but instead feel unique and special,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz and Raccioppi have a special reason as to why they chose to give to the center.

“We chose the Center for Discovery as our not-for-profit organization, because two of our best friends’ siblings reside at the Center. That is why we chose this organization to support,” said Raccioppi.

The contestants will consist of sophomore Rob Fortunato, senior AJ Uhl, senior Brandon Mincher, senior Ryan McNiff, and sophomore Nick Marano.

“I’m happy to help two of my friends while raising money for a good cause,” said McNiff. “Now I just need to think of what I should perform for my talent!”

Andrew “Djgrandfinale” Torres will be the DJ for the evening.

There will be raffle tickets and door prizes given out to winners.

Tickets will be sold for $5 outside of the View in Aquinas, in front of the view on April 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and April 10 from 3  p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We would be pleased to donate at least $1,000 to the Center for Discovery. That is our goal,” said Schwartz.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the pageant will begin at 7 p.m.

To support Raccioppi and Schwartz, visit

Visit for more information about the organization.