From swimwear to formal wear, 10 Pulaski High School boys showcased their beauty, talents and interview skills on Feb. 28 as they vied for the distinction of Mr. Pulaski.
In front of a panel of judges (Pulaski Academy and Central School District teachers and faculty members) the teens danced, sang, did karate and entertained a packed auditorium for the 12th annual event, which resulted in a title crown for Devon Bice.
Other contestants included runner-up Justin Crowl, third-place finisher Jacob Nicholson, and fourth-place finisher James Booth. Rounding out the field were Max Lowery, Ashton Hanley, Josh Mason, Nick Visco, Ethan Jackson and Jacob Atkinson.
While there were plenty of laughs during the light-hearted event, it served as much more than a show.
The charity event was designed to raise money for the Darcy Hilton Scholarship.
Hilton was a graduate of PACS who passed away due to cystic fibrosis and the scholarship was created in her honor.
According to her nephew, Hunter Hilton, a former Mr. Pulaski contestant and one of the judges for the Feb. 28 event, the annual competition helps unite the community while keeping Darcy’s memory alive.
“She was an amazing person, she always had a smile on her face,” her nephew recalled. “It’s amazing to see this kind of support – it’s breathtaking.”
In addition to the Hilton scholarship, this year’s event also raised money for the Don’t Skip a Beat Campaign, which was spearheaded by PACS senior Jimmy Carnes as a way to help students afford lifeguard training courses.
Carnes is a past winner of Mr. Pulaski and served as the emcee for this year’s show.
Thanks to the support of those who attended the show, both Carnes’ campaign and the Hilton scholarship benefited in a big way, according to event coordinator and teacher Jill Truax.
“We raised more than $3,000, with a few donations yet to come in,” she said. “That is the best we have ever done at the event.”
Funds were generated from the price of admission as well as an auction, which created fun-spirited bidding wars for the contestants.
The winners will join the contestants for a group night out at a local restaurant in the spring.
“I don’t think there’s any other place in the world where you can get 10 of the greatest young men to come out and commit to an event like this,” Truax said. “It’s such a tribute to these guys and their families to do all this for charity.”