Mr. Wildcat raises money for Lawrence homeless shelter

Sophie Straight, Staff Reporter

De Soto High School hosted it’s second annual Mr. Wildcat show on Feb. 19. The show featured seven DHS students participating in different judging categories, such as formal wear and special talents.

Participants included freshman Jack Torline, sophomore Colton Pasquale, sophomore Evan Sullivan, junior Cooper Lee, senior Connor Kennard, senior Greyson Jenista, and senior Tyler Wollum. Sullivan placed first, Kennard second, and Lee third.

Torline says he chose his talent by watching a YouTube video.

“Someone brought up a video where it was just really serious and they played some stupid instruments,” Torline said. “I saw the slide whistle from band so I used that.”
One of the best parts of the show, according to Sullivan, was the interview session.

“It was like we were just talking to each other and being ourselves and being stupid,” Sullivan said.

Though there was no serious rehearsal with the questions, Kennard agreed.

“We gave some joke questions to some of the guys, but we went in completely blind,” Kennard said. “It was so much fun, place doesn’t really matter.”

Between some of these categories, there were a few other performances. The purpose of these were mainly to fill time between each segment of the show so each of the guys could change outfits.

Some of these included guitar and vocals with sophomore Simon Couch, piano and vocals with freshman Kennedy Forshey and a drum performance by junior Gunnar Bondank. There were also a few dance performances by people like juniors Bryce Freeman and Kelsey Mills.

Mr. Wildcat is a fund-raiser, sending all of the money received to a charity or shelter. This year, Student Council picked the Lawrence Homeless Shelter and a program called Uplift, which drives to places where homeless people may be and provides them with clothes, blankets and other utilities.

“We decided to [donate to the] Lawrence Homeless Shelter because it’s the closest one to De Soto, and then as we dove in there realized it was a very good cause,” said Student Council sponsor Katie Meserko.

Sophomore Becca Clancy was one of the few StuCo members who went and volunteered at the homeless shelter during the winter months. According to Clancy, it was “an eye-opening experience.”

“I never volunteered at a homeless shelter before so that was an experience that was really awesome to have,” Clancy said. “I really witnessed how people were living.”

Couch was another volunteer. From his experience, he sees now that people in homeless shelters are actually more like people with homes than he had previously thought.

“They tell you the people there are just like you are, but it never really sinks in until you’re there,” Couch said. “It’s very real.”

Many people showed up to Mr. Wildcat to support the seven participants and the Lawrence Homeless Shelter. In fact, donations reached upwards of $1000.