If you are wondering what it takes to become Mr. Concordia, just ask senior Tyler Eliason. Eliason, who represented Concordia Theatre at the annual all-male pageant, won the judges’ hearts (and the corncob crown) on Saturday, Jan. 27. But the competition means more than any prize for both the contestants and the community.
“I feel ecstatic. I feel so grateful. Everyone out there put on a great show. It was a great time, the audience was really having fun, and it was all for a great cause,” Eliason said after his big win.
The event opened with a welcome by Emily Anderson, the co-philanthropy chair of Lambda Delta Sigma and coordinator of the pageant. She was followed with a statement by Shannon Rud, the volunteer and donations coordinator of the YWCA in Fargo, for which the event was raising monetary support.
“It is very important that we have these resources available and that events like these help spread the word and help keep those funds available to keep the shelters and programs going,” Rud said. “On behalf of the YWCA, we are eternally grateful.”
The YWCA is an emergency shelter with dormitories for women and children who need assistance recovering from abuse, poverty, or other hardships, with many programs available to help them start again in life.
The eight contestants—Tyler Eliason, Andrew Ellingson, Mark Fitterer, Hans Frank-Holzner, Josh Fuller, Andrew Swartchick, Connor Poland, and Ryan Walla—each raised money throughout the week leading up to the event by selling tickets.
During the competition, each contestant performed a talent, showed off their Cobber spirit, and finished with a randomly-drawn impromptu interview question. The four judges were Bruce Vieweg, associate vice president and chief information officer; Jason Askvig, assistant professor of biology; Shelby Singer, president of Lambda Delta Sigma; and Rud. Reigning Mr. Concordia Josh Palmquist was supposed to be a judge, but was ill the night of the event and instead wrote a note that was read during the competition by one of the hosts from the sorority.
“The night is for a good time and to help raise awareness and funds for the organization YWCA, and what a great place to raise money for,” he wrote.
And funds were certainly raised, totalling $1548 for the entire event.
“The talent, the engagement, the love of this campus was just universal. It was a wonderful and fun,” Vieweg said.