Senior Zach Suico takes crown during April 1 Minithon fundraiser

Haven Heartthrob raises funds for MiniThon.


Kai Lincke

Senior Zach Suico ‘saves’ senior Nicole Estephan from a fake drowning in a kiddie pool.

Morgan McErlean, Editor

For the first time since 2019, Haven’s Mini-Thon held Haven Heartthrob, a beauty-pageant-like competition between student contestants. This year the event took place in the auditorium on Friday, April 1. A total of six groups and eight contestants participated. The night was filled with a variety of outfits, acts, and answers to the question-and-answer portion of the night. 

During the talent portion, seniors Nate Perlman and Evan Simley showed off their weight-lifting skills. Junior Sean Gillespie ripped the pogo and drew a picture of an audience volunteer. Senior Charlie Shankweiler sang a country song accompanied by junior Archie Bracegirdle and senior Owen Burk. Seniors Ryan Doherty and Tanmay Patwardhan did a Backstreet Boys performance with teacher backup dancers. Charlotte Caywood danced to “Rasputin.” 

The winner of the contest, receiving the most audience votes, was senior Zach Suico. Suico impressed the audience with his presentation and performance of why he is the “best person in the room.” He accompanied his comedic PowerPoint by pretending to save fellow senior Nicole Estephan from a fake drowning in a swimming pool, and a demonstration of his dance skills, one of the reasons he was the best person in the room. 

In the question portion of the competition, Suico was asked about his hair routine. It threw him off a little because he was not sure what to say. 

“The only thing I could think of is trying to tell a story,” he says. So, “[I] looked at Maysie and [I remembered] she saw me going to buy new shampoo [a few weeks ago].” 

His story of buying dandruff shampoo at Target received laughter from the audience members. Comedy was the centerpiece of Sucio’s performance. It clearly paid off with a landslide win in the competition. 

Going into the competition, Suico did not know what to expect. He found himself a little nervous for the event. Given the pandemic, he had never been to Haven Heartthrob and did not know exactly what it would be like. 

“I was a little nervous,” he said., “[But] raising money for the kids, I wanted to help as much as I can.” 

The spirit of the other participants helped Suico to relax. Despite most of them not knowing each other, backstage the contestants were “hyping each other up” and “really nice” to each other. 

“Even towards the end, people congratulated each other,” Suico said. 

While Suico is outgoing now, he was not always that way. In third grade, he remembers reading Manga and “having no friends.” He knows he acknowledges it a lot and referenced it in his speech after winning Haven Heartthrob, but he could have never imagined himself having friends at all, let alone winning essentially what is a “popularity contest.” 

“To win, it was surreal,” Suico said.