On Friday May 1, Eagle Outreach held this year’s Mr. Eagle event virtually, with the 12 senior boys presenting their talents and giving messages of gratitude to the community. To celebrate the end of MAD Week from a distance, the Mr. Eagle contestants competed for the titles of Mr. Uplifting, Mr. Entertainment and Mr. Eagle. But new to this year’s competition, the Heritage community was given a chance to vote for Mr. Entertainment. The winners of each title were announced Friday, May 8, with an accompanying video showing off the celebrations the winners, MCs, and their families had. Though the event wasn’t as initially planned, Eagle Outreach and the boys put on a great show to raise the spirits of everyone in the Heritage community.
Mrs. Smith and Eagle Outreach worked for weeks to put the event together and capture the spirit of the fan-favorite event.
“The most important part of the process was making sure I was honoring the work that the students had done so far (the chairs, the MCs, and the contestants) while not putting too much more pressure on them while they adjusted to the stay-at-home and distance learning changes,” Mrs. Smith says.
The feeling of Mr. Eagle was an important aspect to save for the virtual competition. The relationships formed between the boys contributed to the experience as well, with everyone taking part in video calls to arrange all the moving parts of the show. This gave the boys more say in how to capture the spirit of Mr. Eagle and their individual personalities.
“In a lot of ways, I got to know these contestants more than in the past because they revealed a lot about how they adjust, and they were a major part of the decisions made,” Mrs. Smith adds.
Three of this year’s contestants came out victorious, taking home their titles with pride. This year’s Mr. Uplifting, Forrest M ’20, was surprised to find out he’d won when the MCs and coordinators held a car parade for him and gave him the title.
“I didn’t expect it at all. I found out by total surprise. Winning a Mr. Eagle title didn’t even cross my mind. This was honestly such a surprise and it made my day. I thought it was very thoughtful of them and I’m so greatly appreciative,” Forrest says.
Forrest used his social media to make a difference during MAD week, hoping to give the class of 2020 and first responders a message of appreciation. His uplifting presence helped win him the title of Mr. Uplifting, as well as gaining strong bonds with the other senior boys competing.
“When the idea of a Virtual Mr. Eagle was pitched, I was pretty hesitant and almost didn’t want to do it. As we talked about it more in a group on Google Hangouts, my perspective changed and I decided I was all for the idea. We all bonded very well and even though we were all apart, this was definitely one of the most fun things I’ve done in high school because of the people I worked with. I will never forget this experience,” Forrest adds.
Mr. Entertainment was voted by the community, and Cal W ’20 came out on top, winning the vote of the Heritage community with his basketball trick shots and charisma.
“Initially I was stumped as to what I was going to do, I think that being able to film and edit a video worked out better for me because I had more ideas in mind than I had if I was performing live. I felt great of how my video turned out but in all honesty was surprised to win,” says Cal.
Cal also got a car parade in celebration of his win, with just as much surprise as Forrest experienced. Entertainment was his main priority, with humor woven into every part of his video.
“Although it was virtual this year, I’m glad that all the contestants stayed with it and it ended up being a huge success. I had a blast!” Cal adds happily.
The winner of this year’s coveted title of Mr. Eagle was none other than Ben S ’20, who won the audience and the judges with his comedy and acting.
“I had no idea what was happening, because my mom did a great job keeping it a secret. It was really exciting, and it felt great that all of my neighbors were outside to celebrate with me. I was honored to even be selected as a contestant, and I was not expecting to win,” says Ben.
Ben took the opportunity to do something that wouldn’t be possible on stage, doing his best to not take himself too seriously during his comedic video. He had a lot of fun putting it together and was glad for the opportunity to participate in this year’s competition.
“I am really thankful for everyone that helped make virtual Mr Eagle possible. I know that we were all disappointed that we didn’t get to do the show as planned, but we really made the best of our situation. It wasn’t easy and it was great to see how everyone’s videos were so different. I’m happy that we were able to put this together and connect with people during quarantine,” adds Ben.
Despite the negativity happening out in the world, Eagle Outreach, the MCs, organizers and this year’s Mr. Eagle contestants put on a great show that delighted and entertained the Heritage community. The competition and MAD Week from a distance were fantastic positive lights for the community, and the impact they had put a smile on everyone’s faces.
“Everyone involved really showed me how dedicated they are to their school and the people who study and work there. I was encouraged and inspired by them. This pandemic won’t last forever, but what will last are the lessons we learn about ourselves and each other. I’ve really seen what it means to be an eagle through the eyes of these students,” Mrs. Smith says.
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