Mr. Valpo

Alpha Phi Omega is hosting their first ever Mr. Valpo contest, which will pin men from various organizations on campus against each other to win money for their selected philanthropy.

The contest is Greek Week approved, for those fraternity and sorority members looking to earn points for their organization, and will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 21 in the Harre Union Ballrooms. Admission is $2, and all the proceeds will be donated to charities.

Twelve contestants are registered to compete for the Mr. Valpo title, each chosen to represent different organizations, and have selected specific philanthropies to support.

“The highlight of the event planning process was being able to meet all of the contestants,” said Jaymi Lowenthal, logistics chair for the event. “I was nervous about meeting with them, but they were really excited about it and can’t wait for the contest.”

According to Selena Schraven, advertising chair for the event, half of the proceeds will go to one of Alpha Phi Omega’s national philanthropies, America’s Promise Alliance, a program that works with the youth of America by helping children become successful adults and giving them the resources to achieve. America’s Promise Alliance focuses on providing care, safety, nutrition, education and service opportunities. The other half of the proceeds will go to the philanthropy the winning candidate chooses.

“The goal for the Alpha Phi Omega event is to be a campus wide event so that it will bring unity among the different organizations,” said Jennifer Kvasnicka, president of APO. “We really want to see the campus come together to support the different philanthropies.”

“We want everyone to get to know the men and the philanthropy that they represent,” Schraven said. “There are a lot of local charities being represented, so Mr. Valpo is how APO is taking a step to make a difference in the community.”

The competition is five rounds. The introductory round is when candidates will share information about themselves and their philanthropies. Next, there will be a talent round followed by the miracle minute, where the candidates run around the audience with a bucket to try and raise the most money in one minute. The formal question and answer period involves the candidates dressing up formally to answer questions. Finally, there will be a surprise round where neither the contestants nor the audience will know what to expect in advance.

“The highlight so far of planning this event was getting the contestants to sign up and seeing the buzz in Greek Life and throughout different campus organizations,” said Kvasnicka. “We are all really excited about the positivity and support.”

Four judges will choose the winner based on who they believe is most deserving of the title of Mr. Valpo. These judges are Marianne Reach from dining services; Jane Barden from social work; Patricia Jarosz, an academic adviser; Monica Carson, a residential life coordinator; and Carrie Whittier, dean of students for Greek life, leadership and volunteer programs.

“I think that connecting with Greek Life and other organizations on campus is going to be a huge part of the Mr. Valpo contest,” Lowenthal said. “The audience can learn more about APO and about the philanthropies represented in the contest.”

“The audience should come expecting to have a good time, but also expecting to be reminded about the purpose of the event, which is to promote philanthropies,” said Schraven. “We hope the audience will join in on this movement to support philanthropies.”

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