CALS week kicks off with Mr.CALS fundraiser

A contestant in the Mr. CALS competition shows how he would like to work on tractors in the future.

Annelise Wells

The fifth annual Mr. CALS competition was held at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center yesterday evening.

Mr. CALS is a male pageant and fundraiser held by Sigma Alpha to support the local Food at First pantry. 

The total amount raised from the night was $1,348.51. This total came from ticket sales and audience donations.

Tickets were originally $5, but if attendees brought a canned good, the ticket cost $3 instead. Additionally, the contestants ran around with boxes for donations during intermission. The more money a contestant got, the higher chance they had of making it into the top five.

A total of 19 contestants participated in the event. There was one representative each from clubs that revolve around agriculture or life sciences. Everyone from the agronomy club to the rodeo club was represented. 

The boys participated in four different categories: formal wear, dress your major, line dance with impromptu questioning and lip syncing. 

It was announced by emcee Dr. Jodi Sterle that the winner would be picked 60 percent by the judges and 40 percent by audience participation. The audience’s portion was based on Facebook interaction before the event and the donations given during intermission.

The night started off with the formal wear portion. All 19 boys took their time on stage to walk with an escort and flash their best looks to the audience and judges.

Next was the “dress your major” part of the evening. The contestants showed up in a variety of costumes according to their major and future career plans. 

Highlights include agronomy club representative Josh Krischel dressed up as an ear of corn and bacon expo representative Austin Pueschel in a bacon costume.

Before intermission, the last chance the participants had to impress the crowd was a line dance to the classic “cotton eyed joe.” While performing the same choreography, the boys were also encouraged to put their own spin on the moves to show their personality.

This allowed for some entertaining freestyles from the representatives such as doing the worm and showcasing their partner dancing. 

After getting a chance to catch their breath, each contestant drew a number that corresponded to a random question. They received 60 seconds each to answer.

They were asked questions such as, “If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you bring?” and “How do you convince someone to do something they don’t want to do?”

Only the top five men would be able to participate in the lip sync part of the competition, so the stakes were high as the dancing and question section ended. As soon as it finished, they were given one song to run around the crowd and get donations in their boxes to put them ahead of the competition. 

After the donations were counted and the judges submitted their comments, the top five were revealed. Hunter Hamilton, Reed Burres, Colby Abrams, Mitchell Hanson and Lee Christian Herr were the few selected for their time in the karaoke spotlight. 

Abrams performed “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield in a dress while Burres lip synced a lively “Who Let the Cows Out.”

At the end of the night, Mitchell Hanson received the title of 1st runner up and Lee Christian Herr received the title of Mr. Congeniality.

Ultimately, Hunter Hamilton, representative of the AgEd Club/Collegiate FFA, took home the title of Mr.CALS 2017 and the coveted sash. 

Looking ahead, tonight brings the Olympic games to Kildee Pavilion where CALS clubs will face off once again.