By John Rogan
On Friday, April 12, Saint Vincent College held its 2019 edition of the Mr. SVC competition in the Carey Center. Hosted by students Cecilia Surovec and Katie Harwick, the competition was held to help raise funds for the Banana Project, a charity housed here on campus.
The 2019 competition featured seniors Dan Dunchack, Jack and Mike Bethune, Zach Wyatt, Russell Clark, Kyle Ward, Eddie Kunz, Will Derenge, Shane Tierney, and The Review’s own Zach Remaley.
Ward, winner of the contest title, explained that Mr. SVC is a male pageant where senior men fundraise, compete and perform for entertainment and fundraising reasons that go toward an elementary school, Francisco Coll School, in Guatemala.
“All 10 gentlemen are required to raise a minimum of $50,” Ward said. “On the night of the pageant, the gentlemen perform an opening number, fun fashion, formal dress wear and onstage questions, which are judged by four judges.”
Kunz, another Mr. SVC contestant, said that he had been interested in possibly participating in the event as a candidate since his freshman year.
“It looked like a lot of fun, and it was for a great cause,” Kunz said. “When my senior year came and the opportunity arose, I chose to submit an application for Mr. SVC. From there, I interviewed and was selected to participate.”
Ward, meanwhile, “was recruited by a few of the girls” who had asked him to apply for the competition.
“They explained the cause for which the pageant is run, and it struck home with experiences I had [volunteering] in a Chinese orphanage. I studied the background of the Banana Project, and was interviewed a short time after” he said.
Ward’s favorite previous winner of Mr. SVC “was Colin McLaughlin as the People’s Choice winner in 2017.” According to Ward, “his Hilary Duff fun fashion shut down the PAC.”
Kunz explained that the Banana Project is a charity that raises money to buy bananas for children in Guatemala and that it is what the money raised from Mr. SVC goes to.
“[…] It is a truly great cause,” Kunz said. “These children are starving, and even just getting a banana means so much to them. It was the appeal of raising money for the Banana Project that was a large factor as to why I chose to participate in Mr. SVC.”
Ward stated that the goal of Mr. SVC and the Banana Project is “to raise as much money as possible to donate to the elementary school to provide proper nutrition to the students, because they come from an extremely impoverished background.”
Ward believes that more colleges should have more programs like the Banana Project.
“College campuses are beacons for people who want to go the extra step in creating change, especially for children,” he said.
Ward added that we are all “extremely privileged” to be in a setting of higher education.
“More schools should utilize the gifts we have been given to help other persons in the world who don’t have access to the same luxuries that we have,” he said.
Kunz stated that he thinks other colleges should consider having a competition like Mr. SVC and help out another charity.
“If more colleges would host an event similar to Mr. SVC, even more [goodness] can be done for less fortunate children around the world,” Kunz explained.