The fifth annual Mr. Amagansett pageant, a fund-raiser for the Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund, happens tonight at 7 at the Stephen Talkhouse.
The venue will open at 6:30. Admission to the lighthearted pageant is $20. To compete, contestants pay a $150 entry fee.
The fund named for East Hampton Town’s former chief building inspector, who died in 2009, supports the community in myriad ways. It has helped pay fuel bills, mortgage payments, and medical bills for those in need. It also funds a scholarship for a local student, pays for children’s summer camp programs, is directed to local fire departments, and sends a soldier to the Wounded Warrior Project Courage Awards and Benefit Dinner, to be held May 29 this year at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York.
“We’re continuing to raise money and give back locally,” said Tina Piette, an attorney and organizer of the pageant. “We really appreciate those who give to the cause.”
Last year’s pageant raised $5,000 for the fund. Its winning contestant, Matt Schmitt, competing under the name Matt from the Meeting House, is ineligible for the title this year, Ms. Piette said. But Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, an unsuccessful contestant last year, will again make a pitch for the crown, she said. There will also be a rendition of “the Don Sharkey version of ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ ” she added.
Another, “very famous” politician will be involved, said Britton Bistrian of Land Use Solutions, who will head a panel of five judges. Ms. Bistrian, who is married, would not reveal her colleagues’ identities except to say that the panel consists of “a very esteemed group of single ladies — except for me. Four single-lady jurors, plus the tiebreaker.”
Laughter is likely to flow as freely as the alcohol, but spectators should anticipate an undercurrent of suspicion and jealousy among the contestants. Last year, both Peter Honerkamp, an owner of the Stephen Talkhouse, and Dominick Stanzione, then a town councilman, issued wild, unsubstantiated accusations of bribery in accounting for their unsuccessful bids. Mr. Honerkamp went a step further. “Prior to the contest,” he confessed to a reporter following last year’s pageant, “I paid off every one of the judges, and all of them betrayed me.”
“I did hear that the scepter was so valuable that it was stolen from last year’s winner,” Ms. Piette said. But, she added, “It’s all for fun, really.” Ms. Bistrian agreed. “It’s a great night, for a good cause,” she said.
The live music venue’s Outrageous Open Mike, at which singers and musicians are welcome to perform, will follow the pageant at 10 p.m.