EUGENE, Ore. — Kids Helping Kids started 21 years ago at Sheldon High School. The program’s grown since the first Mr. Irish pageant, expanding into nearly 20 local high schools and raising millions of dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network.
It’s always the first pageant of the season and just this weekend, the school crowned the 2013 Mr. Irish.
By the time the crowds show up at Sheldon’s auditorium, the seniors competing for Mr. Irish have spent untold hours preparing, specially in the week leading up to the pageant.
“The majority of everything comes together through a lot of hard work every night. We probably put in 30 or 35 hours and somehow it magically comes together as this production,” said Julia Girod, Mr. Irish Advisor.
“This week, we’ve been going over rehearsals and all the guys are so good. Tonight just showed how much effort went into this,” said contestant Sam Seno.
Pageant night was the culmination of the contestants’ effort.
“It was awesome. I loved it. I loved everything about it,” said contestant Ivan Faulhaber
The pageant kicks off with an opening number. Then each contestant gets to showcase his creativity with a video and a performance.
Seno showcased his dance skills for his performance.
“I’ve always been kind of a dancer. I love to dance and I watched Evolution of Dance a few times. I was like, that is so cool. I want to do something kind of along the lines of that,” Seno said.
Some contestants chose to sing a song, but it’s far from your traditional talent show.
“I have so many talents, I wanted to come up with something original,” Faulhaber said.
He came up with matrix-style kung-fu ping pong.
“It was pretty tough to do to get everything right, the table, the legs, but it was really fun. I enjoyed doing it,” Faulhaber said.
Another contestant sang a duet, by himself. Then there was a shadow puppet performance.
Then the moment months of preparation built up to, the crowning of the 21st Mr. Irish.
And the winner was Sam Seno, Sheldon’s 2013 Mr. Irish.
“I’m just still shocked because all the guys did so good and I’m just so happy to be a part of this,” Seno said.