Several brave young men will be dancing, singing and strutting across a stage tonight (Monday) at the University of Northern Iowa. Unlike most schools, the Cedar Falls institution doesn’t have a Homecoming King and Queen. That’s why Hannah Bland, a junior from Bettendorf, decided to start the Mister U-N-I Pageant, which debuts at 7 P.M. in Lang Hall Auditorium.
Bland says there’ll be an opening dance number, individual interviews with each contestant, the talent section, evening wear and then the judges will determine who gets the crown. She says the eight young men, both undergraduate and grad students, will be displaying a variety of talents.
Bland says some contestants are singing songs while one student plans to sing the alphabet backwards, others are dancing or playing instruments. She says all proceeds raised from the pageant will benefit the Cedar Valley Chapter of the United Way. Contestants can get extra points toward the crown by raising money for the charity before the show. Bland explains where the Mister U-N-I Pageant originated.
Bland says she attended Pleasant Valley High School where their annual fundraiser to benefit Quad Cities-area food banks was the Mr. Pleasant Valley Pageant that always hauled in around three-thousand dollars. Since U-N-I doesn’t have a contest for Homecoming King or Queen, she figured this pageant would work in Cedar Falls and hopes it will become an annual event.