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O’Neill Hall senior crowned Mr. ND

| Friday, September 30, 2016

Each year, representatives from the male dorms of Notre Dame gather to compete for the title of Mr. ND. This year’s recipient of the Walsh Hall-hosted award: senior Joe Cabrera, representing O’Neill Hall.

Contestants from all 16 male dorms compete to be crowned Mr. ND in Walsh Hall's signature event.Rachel O'Grady
Contestants from all 16 male dorms compete to be crowned Mr. ND in Walsh Hall’s signature event.

Organized by junior Dani L’Heureux and sophomore Alicia Susi, the event raises money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

“I think the most time-intensive thing has just been bugging all the guys to get their stuff to us,” L’Heureux said.

Susi added that planning for the event consisted in large part of accounting for seemingly minor details.

“Even basic things you wouldn’t think of, like asking them ‘Ok when do you want this song to cut off, what section of the song do you want to do, how long is it going to be’ — things they don’t think to include,” Susi said.

Each male dorm had a representative in the Mr. ND contest. Though some of them were hand-picked by their dorms or rectors, others were simply invited to participate by their friends in Walsh Hall.

“Some of them [the dorms] choose,” L’Heureux said. “I guess Sorin has a ceremony every year to pick a freshman to ribbon twirl, which is funny, but most guys we find are friends of ours or friends of friends and we just ask them if they would like to represent their dorm, and if they don’t want to they usually just find another guy.”

Sophomore David Carmack, “Mr. Fisher,” was recruited by his teaching assistant (TA).

“My bio lab TA was in Pangborn, formerly Walsh, and told me ‘Better sign up’ and I was like ‘Maybe I’ll get a better grade,’” he said.

Sophomore Henry Perillo was chosen by his rector to represent Keough.

“I actually received an email from the people of Mr. ND and they said ‘You’re being volunteered by your rector,’ so I was like ‘Oh, sweet, I don’t know how to turn that one down,’” he said.

“I didn’t even know what Mr. ND was before this.”

Sophomore Frankie Hagan, “Mr. Carroll,” said he felt nervous about the competition at first, but met other “cool guys” through Mr. ND.

“Coming into this I was a little nervous, like I don’t know what I signed up for, but then I walked in and a couple guys I didn’t know were doing it, a couple of my friends and just some other guys who were all pretty cool,” he said.

After the participants were introduced and the crowd played a game of trivia, each contestant performed a talent. Talents spanned a wide spectrum, from singing to performing ribbon routines. Sophomore Andrew Puetz, representing Keenan Hall, earned the title of “Mr. Walsh” after cramming 24 marshmallows in his mouth, and Zahm House sophomore Ankur Kumar, who is lactose intolerant, drank a quart of milk.

Representing Dunne Hall, Kevin Dingens performed a Napoleon Dynamite dance, for which he was voted the night’s “Fan Favorite.”

“This definitely was unexpected considering I did forget the second half of my dance and the crowd still pulled through for me,” Dingens said. “I’m really proud of them. They did it all and I’d like to shout out to my mom who made shirts for me and all my friends who supported me.”

Cabrera, the night’s overall winner, performed a parody of “Isn’t She Lovely” — poking fun at the dating scene of Notre Dame.

“I think the best humor comes from observing what’s around you and I think we can all laugh at ourselves here, so that people would like if I commented on the interaction between the genders,” he said.

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