Boone’s most heartwarming fundraiser is back again, celebrating a very special occasion this year! The Mr. WHS show, a fundraiser that helps raise thousands of dollars every year for three local families in the form of a male beauty pageant is marking its 20th Annual Show! Because of the special occasion, the theme this year is “Happy Birthday Mr. WHS!”.
The pageant was created in 2000 as a way to help raise money for Mr. Lan O’Loughlin, a science teacher and swim coach at Watauga High School. The first show raised $4,000 and has only grown since then. Last year’s show raised over $21,000 and this year’s goal is to raise over $25,000.
Each year Mr. WHS raises money for three local families in our community. The recipients are always very close to our hearts and mean a lot to this town.
Tracey Saunders has taught in Watauga County for 24 years. She was preparing for her final year of teaching fifth grade at Hardin Park when she received a breast cancer diagnosis in July 2019. Her doctors decided to first treat her with 12 weeks of chemotherapy, which will be followed by surgery in the late fall or early winter of 2019. Tracey has taken a leave of absence from teaching to focus on her health. She lives by herself but both of her sons live in Boone and visit her frequently. Tracey’s granddaughter, Piper attends WHS and is a freshman this year. Tracey is grateful for the community support she has received since her diagnosis.
Gray Huffman is a 22-year-old WHS alum. On Labor Day this year, Gray was on the river in Todd tubing with his friends. On the ride back up to their vehicles, the driver hit a dip in the road which bounced Gray (who was sitting on the tailgate) out of the truck and onto the road. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and was flown to Johnson City Medical Center. Gray was in the ICU trauma center for 18 days and was then transferred to the Sticht Rehabilitation Center at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Gray is now home giving his brain time to heal while receiving out-patient therapy. With all of the love, prayers, and support that Gray and his family have received from friends and family, he continues to get better every day.
Laneece Trivette is a 34-year old mother of four. She has been married to her best friend, James Trivette, for 13 years. Their children all attend Cove Creek School: Kimmy (Kindergarten), Lennie (2nd), Alyssa (4th), and Cheyenne (8th). In July 2019, Laneece went to get a hernia checked and, after some scans, a small mass was found on her liver. A biopsy indicated that the mass was malignant and had originated from the breast. Laneece was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer on August 9. She is currently having weekly chemo treatments and her oncologist is hopeful that her current treatments will put her in remission.
This event sells out quickly every year. What tickets that may be leftover, if any, will be sold at the door. To buy a ticket, go to bit.ly/MRWHS2019. The show is on Saturday, December 7, it starts at 7:00 PM and the doors will open at 6:30.
In addition to the actual show, Watauga High School’s Student Council also creates raffle baskets and silent auction items with donations from local businesses. All of the money raised from ticket sales and the raffle baskets goes directly to the three families. In addition to this, all of the contestants must raise $200 in order to participate. The members of the WHS Student Council also must raise $200 for this event. The total amount of money raised by the show is split evenly among the three families.
We’re looking forward to a great show this year and we’re excited to get to share this with our community. If you want to witness a hilarious show with charming contestants and help to give back to our community, then Mr. WHS is the show for you!