Mx. WashU raises over $11,000 for City Faces, announces winner

| Senior News Editor

Mx. WashU announced its fundraising total of $11,152 at its annual talent competition, where sophomore Hayley Emerson won the title of Mx. WashU March 21.

Mx. WashU raises money throughout the year for City Faces, a Washington University student group dedicated to supporting and providing a safe, peer-based community for children living in Clinton-Peabody public housing. Previous events include a silent auction and a “Nearly Naked Run.”

This year’s candidates were sophomores Jasmine Trotter, Hayley Emerson, Taylor Emerson and senior Shufang Tan. For the talent round of the competition, Trotter sang “End of Time” by Beyonce; Hayley Emerson performed an original song from her own musical “Twins,” co-written by her identical sister Taylor, who performed a song from “A Very Potter Musical” by Starkid Productions; Tan did a TED-inspired talk on strength.

The show also included a question-and-answer round, in which hosts and seniors Scott Greenberg and Anna McConnell invited candidates to prove why they should be the next Mx. WashU and to explain how City Faces has influenced their college careers.

“I’ve learned honestly that it’s not about winning, it’s about raising money for these amazing kids,” Hayley Emerson said. “I’ve learned so much just about being a fundraiser…[It’s] really hard, you really have to get people to go. You describe the program, and you describe why you love it and you’re passionate about it, people…want to help.”

Some of the mentees from the City Faces program were present and were invited onstage to a dance off with the candidates.

“We wouldn’t be a group at all without City Faces; everything we do is for them,” Mx. WashU co-president and senior Kristen DeMondo said. “The show is really special in the sense that the kids get to come up on stage as well and really have that moment in the spotlight, and it’s just always so much fun.”

Mx. WashU co-president and senior Olivia Williamson explained that while the fundraising process was difficult, the result was rewarding.

“It is really hard to fundraise, and it’s really hard to know that what you’re doing with the money you’re giving is making a difference,” Williamson said. “Every single dollar goes to create change and goes to make the city and the community that we’re a part of so much better.”

Founder of City Faces Bob Hansman spoke about the importance of focusing on long-term fundraising and awareness beyond the Mx. WashU competition.

“I’d like to think that this isn’t just about tonight…Beyond events like this, what are we doing in the other 364 days of the year?” Hansman said. “If everyone just told their friends, you know, once a month you could put a dollar in an envelope and send it to help somebody, you could do a lot…And nobody at the end of the year would miss that $12. So, think about that, think about how you can spread the word about things like this.”

The show concluded with Tan being named “Mx. Congeniality,” the top fundraiser, and Emerson as Mx. WashU.

“I’ve…learned that life is hard for a lot of people, but you can help them,” Emerson said. “I think this is a really amazing program to be a part of, and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”