12/9/2013 10:12:33 AM
Andrew Ford Crowned Mr. Siena 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
By Mitchel Clow '13
A standing-room-only crowd in the Sarazen Student Union erupted last Saturday night when history major Andrew Ford ’13 was crowned Mr. Siena. Ford won the annual contest, a beauty pageant of sorts, which gives eight men from Siena College a chance to show off their talent to benefit Habit for Humanity, an organization that has helped to build or repair more than 600,000 affordable houses for low-income people. The international organization was founded in 1976 and has served more than three million people worldwide.
The Habitat for Humanity Club’s annual fundraiser quickly sold out as it has done consistently in previous years. It was co-chaired by Emily Hoffman ’14 and Matt Schiesel ’15. All of the money from ticket sales supports Siena’s Habitat for Humanity service trips and the Capital District Habitat for Humanity affiliate. A Siena group traveled to Haiti in January and four more trips are planned for Spring Break. Students and volunteers will work on Habitat sites in Kentucky, South Carolina and two locations in North Carolina.
To support this worthy cause and earn the Mr. Siena crown, Ford became a “one man boy-band.” He sang a mix of songs from artists such as Queen and Cher. Ford opened his act while wearing a friar’s robe, quickly ridding himself of the brown attire once Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” blared through the speakers. He ripped through multiple pop tracks, showcasing his impressive vocal talents in extreme high and low ranges.
Ford’s hottest competition won accolades as well. Biology major Shayne Cronin ’16 performed a dub-step dance with his fellow members of the Dance Team to perfection. Cronin’s performance earned him “Best Talent.” Fans of his head-spinning, ground-stomping action will be pleased to know that Cronin expressed strong interest in auditioning again next year.
This year’s runner-up, economics major James Aroka ’13, also competed last year. He was shocked to receive an award this time around. Aroka didn’t think he was going to win anything when the sashes were given out. However, his hip-hop dance medley must have won over the hearts of the judges, earning him bragging rights next to Ford.
The last competitor to win an award was accounting major Adam Mihalek ’14, who was dubbed “Mr. Congeniality.” Mihalek’s talent performance was a mock orchestral ballet piece, in which he danced around comically in a tutu, complete with plies and flutter kicks. The award of Mr. Congeniality is unique because the other contestants vote for it. The award served as a testament to Mihalek’s personable and amiable personality.
Along with the talent portion, the Mr. Siena pageant includes a “Habitat” and a fashion runway section. In the Habitat section, competitors create short, generally less showy, skits of ways to demonstrate the international group’s mission. During the fashion runway, contestants don formal wear and are accompanied on stage by a dress-clad woman of their choosing.
In true pageant fashion, each contestant was then questioned by the emcees, Director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., Ph.D. and Mr. Siena 2012 Ryan Murphy ’14. Answers to questions like “What made you choose Siena?” and “What do you think about Habitat for Humanity’s mission?” ranged from “the food” to “heartwarming,” respectively.
While Ford was ultimately crowned Mr. Siena, the true winners are all of the people who will be helped through the funds raised to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
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