Nearly every year, the public sees SHS senior boys singing, dancing, and being funny for the Mr. Doernbecher pageant. What they never see, though, is the person who organizes and makes it all happen. And the answer: senior Taylor McMahon. Coming into Leadership as a freshman, McMahon had no idea what was in store for her in the years to come.
Learning from her predecessors, SHS graduates Paige Lovely, Faith Anderson, Grace Zangerle and Kelsey Perry, McMahon had swiftly assumed her role as the brains behind the pageant. Though the pageant was cancelled due to COVID-19, McMahon had worked diligently prior to our school’s closure. Taking on such a big operation certainly kept McMahon’s hands full, with practices being two to three days per week.
“On top of all that I was working outside of school to make the dances. I don’t do track anymore so I can focus more on Doernbecher. My spring sport is doing all my Doernbecher stuff,” McMahon said.
Though the group only started practicing in February, McMahon and the small student committee of Doernbecher girls started preparing in December. The visit to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital was supposed to happen in March, the Doernbecher assembly in April, and the pageant at the beginning of May.
Despite the fact that it was difficult to coordinate with all of the competing boys, all of the time and effort paid off, though they never got to see the final product.
“It’s fun and it’s really rewarding. It’s a lot of hard work but in the end, especially after visiting the hospital and seeing everything come together and the money we raise, it’s definitely worth it,” McMahon said.
This year, the number of contestants who had decided to participate was small at around 10 guys, but McMahon seemed to have no doubts in the group.
“Although we’re small, this group was really fun to work with because I could tell every single one of them was serious. At the end of the day, I would rather have a small group of boys who are really in it rather than a big group of boys who aren’t as in it,” McMahon said.
In addition to that, participating in Mr. Doernbecher can help senior boys make friendships and connections they wouldn’t have made elsewhere, as well.
“Guys from every group of the school do it. Usually I see a big group of guys that come together that aren’t friends and then they become friends,” McMahon said.
And as for how McMahon is feeling after the pageant being cancelled, she is incredibly disappointed.
“Doernbecher is my favorite time of the year and with it being cancelled, it’s a huge bummer. It’s always fun to see how the boys develop and change perspective during Doernbecher, and now that we don’t have it, the boys are pretty upset,” McMahon said.
SHS students can look forward to the pageant next year, though, with McMahon having trained junior Emily Yarnell to be the head of Doernbecher, along with junior Phoenix Steele, and sophomores Paige Carey, Ashley Allinger, and Becca Tammad.