Good sorts front up for SKC fundraiser

Good keen men . . . Contestants for Mr North Otago at a rehearsal last week are (back row, from left) George Karamaena, Martin Brown, Harry Dennison, Zeke Meikle, Martin Benny; (second back row, from left) Pablo Tacchini, Alex McLeod, Karl Guy, Glen Sturgess; (front row, from left) Jared Fox, Phillip Bignell, and kneeling is Forrest Beer.

Emotional blackmail and peer pressure were the key components in pulling together this year’s Mr North Otago competition.

The St Kevin’s College evening is being held at the school dining hall tomorrow to raise funds for a new gymnasium floor, and because people needed a ‘‘post-Covid laugh’’, principal Jo Walshe said.

Fourteen of the district’s top male specimens, ranging in age from 23 to 60-ish, were putting their best-looking feet forward for the cause.

‘‘Because, there’s just something about having the guys doing this, that’s just really good fun, you know,’’ Ms Walshe said.

The event had been organised by Te Ngakau Nui (a home and school group), which had decided it was better to hold one big fundraiser every ‘‘couple of years’’ and ‘‘tag it’’ to a particular project.

Mr North Otago had been held previously, in 2018, and ‘‘was a real hoot’’, she said.

‘‘Everybody really enjoyed it, and so we thought we haven’t done it for a few years, and we’ve had Covid in between, so let’s give it another whirl.’’

Although there had been little build-up publicly before the event, there was a ‘‘standard procedure’’ and once Covid restrictions were lifted, planning just ‘‘kicks into gear’’ and everybody just got on with their jobs, Ms Walshe said.

‘‘It’s one of those things that, the closer you get to the date, the more likely you are to get people who can commit to it.’’

The gymnasium floor was chosen because it was a community asset that many people used.

‘‘We just felt that might be something that people would be happy to get behind.’’

From past experience, Ms Walshe said it was likely the best›laid plans would be ignored by the contestants.

‘‘I can’t really tell you exactly what’s going to happen, because they do tend to make it up on the night quite a lot, and you think you’ve got these fantastic plans, and then they just quite often go off-script.’’

There are four categories on the catwalk — in the opening number contestants come out wearing the clothing they feel best represents them. Then casual›wear, supplied by Sutherland Menswear, followed by sleepwear — ‘‘that’s always the riskiest category, because you never know what they’re going to turn up in’’.

The last stage of the evening was formal wear when the men will be interviewed by compere and St Kevin’s College drama teacher Jono Carter.

Following the announcement of the winners, local band Deluxe will play. A bar and supper are available.

Courtesy coaches are available to take people home.

Ms Walshe appreciated the willingness of the contestants to put themselves out there for a good cause.

‘‘It’s fantastic they’re stepping up to do this for our kids, our school, and our community, and thanks to all the people in the Te Ngakau Nui team for pulling it together,’’ she said.

Tickets are available by phoning Sarah Clapperton on 021 372 908 or emailing [email protected].