By Katina Caraganis
The Sentinel and Enterprise
GARDNER — It was a battle of which contestant could outsing, outdance and outstrategize their fellow opponents in the fifth annual Mount Wachusett Community College “Survivor the Musical” music theater event Friday night.
The annual fundraiser, which this year raised funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg, puts local business people together on two tribes doing what they can to outwit and outlast their counterparts while participating in various games surrounding musical theater.
Deb LaPointe of HealthAlliance Hospital came out the winner of the night, becoming one of three finalists to hula hoop their way to the finale. The ousted members were called back on stage to cast their vote for the winner, but after it ended in a three-way tie, the audience crowned their favorite with a round of applause.
LaPointe was given a trophy and went home with bragging rights.
“I had no idea I would make it this far,” she said. “I honestly thought I would be the first person voted off, so this is nice.”
Participants ranged from Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel Asquino to employees from local hospitals, banks, and nonprofits. They were asked to perform an opening of their choice with guests from previous shows, use a kazoo to hum songs and assemble a dog house similar to the one “Peanuts” fans are familar with.
Participants were kicked off “the island” in much the same way as on the television show, but new twists were thrown in, with ousted participants able to take somebody else out of the game with them, and audience members were even given the chance to participate by allowing one castaway back in the game.
Asquino was the first voted off by his fellow cast mates, something he said he was fine with afterwards.
“It’s perfectly fine by me. I figured since I was sort of the one that came up with the idea for this that I should be involved somehow,” he said. “Part of our mission focuses on civic engagement and getting involved with the community. That’s what democracy is all about.”
One of the games contestants competed in involved running up and down the aisles in the theater’s audience, collecting donations from audience members that would be given to the Boys & Girls Club. Whoever brought in the most money won the challenge. The stunt brought in more than $5,800.
Money from ticket sales and a dinner prior to the show all went to support the event. Donata Martin, the club’s executive director, was a participant in the show.