Monday, April 11, 2011

SBU to host first annual Mr. & Miss Southwest Pageant Event

SBU to host first annual Mr. & Miss Southwest Pageant Event
to raise funds for area charitable organizations

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 /

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University is set to host its first annual Mr. and Miss Southwest pageant.  Sporting the theme “Mr. & Miss Southwest: Keepin’ it Reel”, the pageant will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, on SBU’s Hammons Court at the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center. 

The pageant, a campus-wide event that will raise funds for nine different charitable organizations in the Ozarks, will also feature nine SBU students, five men and four women, who will compete for the title of Mr. and Miss Southwest, one of SBU’s highest individual honors. The students selected to be Mr. and Miss Southwest will represent SBU in the University’s annual SBU homecoming parade and will have other duties and services that they will perform in coming 2011-2012 academic year.  During the pageant, each student will be representing a local charitable organization that has been adopted by one of the University’s residence halls and campus apartments.

In the selection process to determine the nine Mr. and Miss Southwest finalists, SBU faculty and staff members were asked to nominate five outstanding male and five female students who they believed would best represent the University as Mr. and Miss Southwest.  When the nominations were finalized, five men and four women were selected as finalists for the pageant.  The crowd in attendance at the pageant - which will be comprised of SBU students, faculty, staff, local community members, visiting Bearcat Days students and other guests - will have an opportunity to meet the finalists who will each participate in a talent competition and question-and-answer session.  Before the pageant’s conclusion, those in attendance will be asked to vote for the top male and female student of their choice.  The voting, which will be done electronically through cell phone text messaging, will be concluded within a five-minute span.  The top male and female vote getters will then be announced as the 2011-2012 Mr. And Miss Southwest winners. 

In addition to the pageant, SBU will also be hosting its annual Bearcat Days Extravaganza, a two-day event scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 15-16.  A University tradition that goes back over 10 years, Bearcat Days is a weekend event for admitted students to explore the SBU campus. During their visit to the campus, the students will receive their fall class schedule, meet current students, faculty and staff, stay in a residence hall, experience social life on campus, and meet other new incoming students.  In addition to their scheduled activities, many of the visiting students will also be attending the pageant with their designated student hosts.

The cost of admission to the pageant, per person, is $2.  Each person paying an admission fee will choose the charitable organization they wish to support by giving them their admission fee.  The local charitable organizations that will be represented at the pageant include House of Hope of Polk County, SBU’s Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Hope’s Bridge, Exodus Ministry of Missouri, Inc., Ozark Greenways, Inc., Rural Compassion, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Isabel’s House, The ESCAPE House, and Alpha House Pregnancy Resource Center.

A number of door prizes donated by several Bolivar area businesses will be given away during the evening’s festivities. 

For additional information, interview opportunities, and photos, contact Chris Keller at 417-298-3374.

Candidate Profile Information

Miss Southwest Candidates:
* Rebecca R. Rumfelt
            Class:  Junior
Age:  21
            Hometown:  Buffalo, MO
            Major:  Psychology / Art with a minor in Counseling
Selected Charity:  House of Hope of Polk County – An organization that provides immediate and long-term safety to victims of domestic and sexual violence and their children through a 24-hour hotline, victim services, emergency shelter or placement in a safe facility, and connection to community resources.  The House of Hope works to prevent future
violence through education, intervention, and advocacy at the
individual, local, and state level.

* Jennifer M. Wilhelm
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  21
            Hometown:  Moline, Ill.
            Major:  Elementary Education / Middle School Mathematics
Selected Charity:  Habitat for Humanity (SBU Chapter) - Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. Local HFH Chapters invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.  To date, HFH has helped build over 400,000 decent, affordable houses and served more than two million people around the world.
* Sarah A. Haas
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  20
            Hometown:  St. Peters, Mo.
            Major:  Writing / Art
Selected Charity:  Hope’s Bridge - A non-profit agency dedicated to the temporary care of children whose families are in crisis in a multi-regional area that includes Benton, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Hickory, Polk and Webster counties in Missouri. The Hope’s Bridge Children’s Emergency Crisis Center is a place where children can find peace, comfort and security in a home-like environment while moms and dads work on healing themselves of life altering issues. The Hope’s Bridge staff will identify children who are crisis from either self-referrals by the parents, referrals from State Agencies, churches or other community resources.  The Hope’s Bridge first Crisis Center will house children (ages 0 – 12) for one to 30 days.  Their goal is to deter and prevent child abuse and neglect.  They offer counseling, tutoring and child focused activities. 

* Ester I. Fahim
            Class:  Junior
            Age:  24
            Hometown:  Lansing, Ill.
            Major:  Therapeutic Recreation
Selected Charity:  Exodus Ministry of Missouri, Inc. – A ministry dedicated to helping women who have previously been in prison, and their families, to become reunited, productive, cohesive family units. Personalized treatment is also available, where needed, for family counseling, obtaining a GED, drug or alcohol recovery and marriage enrichment.

Mr. Southwest Candidates:
* Parker E. Bohm
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  21
            Hometown:  Wichita, Kan.
            Major:  Biology / Spanish (Pre-Medical)
Selected Charity:  Ozark Greenways, Inc. - A non-profit group of private citizens in the Ozarks who work to preserve and enhance the Ozarks' natural heritage for public use and enjoyment. Ozark Greenways works closely with private land owners, developers and governmental entities to make greenways a reality. Planning, fund-raising, right-of-way acquisition, maintenance, urban forestry and public education are all activities of Ozark Greenways.
 * Luke D. Stehr
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  20
            Hometown:  Bolivar, Mo.
            Major:  English / Religion & Philosophy
Selected Charity:  Rural Compassion – A Christian volunteer organization that goes into rural areas to help develop the local pastor and community leaders by supporting, training, and coming alongside of them to assess their local community, see the poverty needs, and begin to make the changes necessary to break the cycles of poverty.  The organization also assists with disaster relief to these communities when the need arises.

* Levi B. Fox
            Class:  Junior 
            Age:  21
            Hometown:  Rapid City, SD
            Major:  Biblical Studies
Selected Charity:  Good Samaritan Boys Ranch – An organization dedicated to providing a safe and caring home for boys who have come from broken or non-existent homes. The organization helps boys who have been abused and neglected to become responsible, productive young adults. The 180-acre Ranch is located 14 miles north of Springfield on Highway K in Brighton.

* Joshua C. Mitchell
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  20
            Hometown:  Marion, Ill
            Major:  Youth Ministry
Selected Charity:  The ESCAPE House – Connected with The ESCAPE Project: Empowering Students to Change through Alcohol Prevention Education, “The ESCAPE House” was established in Morrisville, just across the street from Marion C. Early High School.  Designed to target youth from junior high to high school aged students, The ESCAPE House is a place where kids can go to “hang out” and do fun things without having to deal with the pressures of underage drinking and partying. 

* Jeremiah D. Greever
            Class:  Senior 
            Age:  21
            Hometown:  Fenton, Mo.
            Major:  Biblical Studies
Selected Charity:  Alpha House Pregnancy Resource Center - Located in Bolivar, Missouri, Alpha House Pregnancy Resource Center is a Christ-centered ministry that provides resources, guidance and support for those seeking information about parenting, adoption, and abortion in a caring and non-judgmental environment.

Door Prizes donated by area businesses:

The Gathering Place – Two $10 off coupons for hair coloring
Sonic Drive-In – Five free ice cream cone coupons
The Flower Patch – A boutonniere and a bouquet
Electric Beach – Donated a coupon for 5 free tanning sessions
Visible Changes – Biolage hair products travel kit
Super Lube Service – One free oil change
Captain D’s – 127 coupons
Subway – 4 free six-inch subs
China Pearl – 4 coupons for a free entrée of cashew or sweet & sour chicken
Taco Bell – 24 free soft tacos
El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant - $20 gift certificate
Tea Garden Café - $10 gift certificate
Blair’s Hallmark Shop - $10 gift certificate
Kathy’s Pasta - $5.00 gift certificate
Speedway Lanes – 76 buy-one-get-one-free game of bowling coupons 
Sho-Me Muffler & Brake - $25 off any repair
Bolivar Golf Club – One free round of golf (18 holes with cart) – a $35 value
Stephen’s Photography – A $75 Creative Session Photo
Village Boutique – A $10 gift certificate and a pair of sunglasses
Roweton’s Home Center - $25 gift certificate
Kathijo’s Kutsations - $35 gift certifcate


Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit

SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.