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Fundraiser Benefits Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet

Kappa Epsilon fraternity hosted its second annual Rx Factor, a fundraiser talent show featuring contestants from the Schools of Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Medicine. Kappa Epsilon is a national professional pharmacy fraternity.

Caroline Zeller of the School of Dentistry was named Miss Rx Factor and Tim (Tri) Tran of the School of Nursing and Health Studies was named Mr. Rx Factor.

Mr. and Miss Rx Factor split 25 percent of the proceeds to donate to charities of their choice. Zeller chose to donate her portion to JayDoc Free Clinic, a student-run program that provides non-emergency medical care to uninsured and underinsured patients in Kansas City. Tran said he will donate his portion to a charity he feels needs it the most.

“I decided to participate in this year’s Rx Factor because it sounded like a fun event for a great cause,” Tran said. “I thought I may be able to contribute to a greater cause with my charisma and talents and wanted to show the healthcare school just who I am.”

The remaining 75 percent of the funds will go to Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet, a program that provides immediate, short-term emergency healthcare for underprivileged patients in the metropolitan area. Tickets for the talent show were $10 and contestants paid a $25 participation fee.

“The whole idea behind this is twofold: one is to raise money for a fantastic cause, the KC Medicine Cabinet,” said Maggie Bruce, who organized Rx Factor. “And two is to get all the schools working together because we all have different missions that we’re doing but really it’s to better our patients’ lives and to make sure they’re taken care of …”

Bruce said Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet was a perfect choice this year because it benefits patients from all four branches on Hospital Hill: dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and medicine.

The show was a Miss America-style competition that featured scrubs modeling, talent, a mystery round and a question portion. Each of the eight contestants, four men and four women, modeled creatively altered scrubs in the first round.

Round two was talent, in which contestants showed off their special skills. Zeller sang a humorous parody of “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” She was dressed as a parrot and sang a modified version of the song while confined in a large bird cage.

“I’d jump at any opportunity to raise money for JayDoc while dressing up as a parrot and singing in a human-sized cage in front of as many people as possible,” Zeller said. “My favorite part was looking out in the audience and seeing my biggest fans: my parents. Everyone I met during the experience was absolutely wonderful and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it.”

Giovanni Brown from the School of Pharmacy did a rendition of Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” entitled “Nuthin’ But a Pharm Thang.” Brown got the audience to participate in a series of chants such as, “When I say ‘R’ you say ‘N.’ When I say ‘Pharm’ you say ‘D.’ When I say ‘floss’ you say ‘daily.’”

Katelyn Lutz from the School of Pharmacy performed a tap dance in a white flapper-style dress. Tran played the ukulele and sang a mash up of “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. Maggie Light from the School of Nursing and Health Studies performed “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.

Viraj Patel from the School of Pharmacy painted himself blue and danced to “Friend Like Me” from Disney’s “Aladdin.” Patel called himself the genie in a medicine bottle. Tiffany Stewart from the School of Pharmacy sang a lullaby to her baby while sitting in a rocking chair, and Patrick Badami from the School of Pharmacy did a rap.

Emcees Aaron Blevins and Jenny Cochran kept the night moving with introductions to each round and medical-related jokes.

The mystery round was “Chubby Bunny,” in which the contestants had to put jumbo marshmallows in their mouths and say “chubby bunny.” The contestants added another marshmallow after each round until they could no longer keep the marshmallows in their mouths. Patel won the competition, stuffing approximately 20 marshmallows in his mouth.

In the final round, the contestants were asked two questions: one from the three judges and one that was the same question for each contestant. The first questions were related to the medical field and the second question prompted contestants to choose which medical device they would be and why.

After each round, the audience voted on their cell phones in a live poll for their favorite contestant. The judges’ votes counted for 75 percent of the results and the audience’s votes counted for 25 percent of the results.

The judges were Dr. David Cohen, assistant professor at the School of Dentistry; Dr. Ann Cary, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies; and Dr. Patricia Marken, associate dean for Student Affairs and professor at the School of Pharmacy. The judges helped plan the events for the talent show.

“Unfortunately [the School of] Medicine couldn’t make it tonight but the show goes on and we hope that they’ll be here next year,” Bruce said. “Working with dentistry and pharmacy and nursing is a great opportunity. We can all work together now before we enter the professional health field. We can work better and be better for our patients.”

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