Mr. Batavia draws students together, raises money for their causes
Winning Mr. Batavia in 2022 means a lot to Noah Burke. The charity he chose to support is so important to his family, he says, and the event itself was one last hurrah for the Batavia High School senior and the guys he knows so well.
"I've known all these guys pretty much my whole life," Burke said. "We've grown up together and have known each other since even before school started. It's kind of an opportunity for me and my friends to just get together and have one last big thing before we're all headed off to go on with our lives when we graduate."
Burke's win means the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation gets a $1,919 donation, or half the proceeds from the competition.
"I picked the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation because my little sister Liliana was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when she was 10 years old," Burke said. "She has it in about 20 or something joints now. It's really been a struggle and an obstacle for me and my family to overcome with her growing up because she's been going through a lot. It's just kind of made us grow as a family and it's just great to be able to give back to the foundation for all they've done for us."
Top photo: Mr. Batavia Noah Burke and Mr. Batavia organizer Lisa Robinson.
Photos by Howard Owens
Second place, Matthew Smith, with Laurie Napoleone, of the Michael Napoleone Foundation.
Third place, Nick Grover, and Jaylene Smith-Kilner of Habitat for Humanity.