Virtual Mr. LT


Mr. LT on YouTube (courtesy of LTTV YouTube).

Sophia Schultz, reporter

LT’s annual male pageant, Mr. LT, has been moved to an online platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week-long virtual event on LTTV’s YouTube page began on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. with contestant introductions.

“Since its inception, Mr. LT has been a lighthearted, fun event designed to entertain our students and to raise money for charity,” head student council sponsor Peter Geddeis said.

The idea of a Virtual Mr. LT popped into Geddeis’ head during a Zoom meeting, he said.

“Both the administration and Student Council have had ongoing conversations about keeping students connected to LT, despite the reality of remote learning,” Geddeis said. “I brought the idea [of Virtual Mr. LT] to [the hosts of the event] and asked them if they thought it would be viable. Once they responded affirmatively, we were off to the races.”

The show is split up into segments that premiere each night at 7 p.m.: dance and swimsuits on Tuesday, talents on Wednesday, a rose ceremony and questions on Thursday and a live announcement of the winner on Friday.

Student Council had been planning for the live event for months, Student Council President Macy Siegfried ‘20 said.

“For [the live event] to be canceled just 48 hours before was really devastating,” Siegfried said. “I knew we would have to have a different approach for fundraising in order to raise an adequate amount of money for the Jack Kunkle Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

Each year, Student Council has chosen a new charity to raise money for with the proceeds made at Mr. LT. Although this year, they decided to support the Jack Kunkle Memorial Scholarship Fund which was also chosen last year.

“In fact, Student Council officially decided this year to make the Scholarship the permanent beneficiary of the Mr. LT Pageant,” Geddeis said.

Jack Kunkle ‘14 was the first ever winner of Mr. LT, Siegfried said. Shortly after Kunkle graduated from LT, he passed away from a brain tumor.

The Jack Kunkle Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 to honor the memory of the first Mr. LT and to award college scholarships to LT seniors who have participated in performing arts, including theatre, improvisation, music, WLTL and LTTV, Geddeis said.

Since in-person fundraising cannot happen this year, Student Council set up a place for donations in the LT Webstore where people can contribute any amount of money. Out of the three prizes awarded to contestants at Mr. LT (Mr. Congeniality, Mr. Popularity and Mr. LT), the Mr. Popularity prize is given to the contestant who raises the most money. If a donor selects one of the contestants from the dropdown box on the LT Webstore, the amount is credited to their Mr. Popularity total, Geddeis said.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with all of the donations that have already come in and we still have three nights of the show ahead,” Geddeis said on Wednesday morning.

The contestant’s role in Virtual Mr. LT included filming themselves while doing their talent, the swimsuit section, and a few other things, contestant Kevin Murphy ‘21 said.

“It is challenging to be funny during these circumstances in the world but I had to remember that the purpose of [Mr. LT] is to spread joy and joy is needed so much in the world right now,” Murphy said. “I hope people get to laugh a bit and for at least a couple of minutes, forget about the stress in the world.”

Editor’s note: The winner is Joe Abrahamson ’20