As the auditorium lights dimmed on Friday, March 16, a monumental question formed in the minds of both the 13 men on stage and the large crowd of students in the audience: Who would become the next Mr. Great Valley?
Ultimately, senior Gordon Heller—a self-described 1.6256 meters, with eyes of russet and a touch of sepia—won the coveted title, generating a standing ovation from the audience.
The event was hosted by the GVHS student council and emceed by seniors Joy Burke, McCall Minzter and Kim Rinaldo. Contestants included seniors Chris Powers, Steve Babb, Kevin McGarrigle, Gordon Heller, Nick Mattia, Philip Chow, Mark DiMonte, Andrew Farbman, Alex Hawkins, Haydn Briggs, Alex Nelson, Riley McMahon and Heller, along with Nick Lindstrom, a junior.
Following an opening dance number choreographed by seniors Caroline Orr, Megan Ermilio and Emily Miller, contestants showed off their skills, personalities and charm in the event’s three portions—talent, interview, and formal wear. Great Valley’s dance club and company also played a prominent role in the event, performing to a Michael Jackson medley and “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” from Hairspray.
Teacher-judges evaluated as the contestants performed in the talent portion—considered the night’s main event. Acts ranged from Chinese yo-yoing to a poetry slam. Some sound and lighting technical difficulties occurred throughout the night, but unwavering energy and enthusiasm left the performers unaffected.
Heller's act consisted of a musical skit drawing from Queen’s musical fervor, complete with an electric guitar and accompanying actors and dancers.
“It was truly amazing. If someone told me on my first day of Freshman Year that I would be Mr. Great Valley, I would laugh in their face. The whole experience was unbelievably fun and brought me to realize these have been the most wonderful four years of my life,” Heller said of his experience.
The Mr. Great Valley competition marked a huge success, not only for Gordon Heller and Mark DiMonte, who was named Mr. Congeniality, but also for the Crisi Character Award scholarship fund. The award honors Ben Crisi, who was a beloved teacher at Great Valley for nearly 40 years and who is considered the true “Mr. Great Valley”. All money raised by the contestants prior to the event, totaling over $3,000, and from admissions will be donated to the scholarship fund, which benefits two seniors of exceptional character, one male and one female.