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Mr. Harriton 2017

Ben Feldman, News Editor

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The 2017 Mr. Harriton competition was held on Friday, February 24. The ten contestants were John Lautenbach, Joel Danilewitz, Jake Rome, Noah Karpel, Jake Berberian, Michael Kanehann, Will Hoffman, Jack Mendelsohn, Hannibal Ahmed, and Devon Chulik. In the end, our own Executive Editor Joel Danilewitz was crowned Mr. Harriton, with Will Hoffman in second, and Hannibal Ahmed in third.

Each contestant presented a video, a talent, a question-and-answer, and multiple dance numbers. The night was marked by amazing talents: Will danced to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in four-inch heels and a unitard, Noah performed stand-up comedy, and Devon made original artwork. There were two rappers, Michael and John, although John had the chance to perform his act twice, as there were technical difficulties in his first performance. Other acts were more musical: Jake B. played drums that light-up drums, Jake R. played rock on guitar, Jack played ukulele and bass to a SpongeBob theme, Hannibal played original music on a keyboard, and Joel played a moving set on piano.

The dancing was high quality. Co-choreographers Rachel Rosen and Anna Berezovski were understandably pleased with the results of the numbers. Each contestant showed improvement, and all were good dancers, Rosen says. The artwork for Mr. Harriton was also well done. Secretary Sonia Groeneveld and Co-Chair Ibby Maruca, along with the entire communications team, have worked for months on constructing the artwork that hung behind the stage, as well as the presents around the sides of the stage. Several of the pieces sold at auction.

Besides the artistic work that went into the show, there was a tremendous amount of other work that happened behind the scenes. On either side of the stage were projectors, along with a middle projection screen, that showcased the event live from different angles and various videos. Engineering the cameras were Evan Bookbinder and Nick Merriam, with Ricky Sayer operating the main camera. Sound and light was operated by Emma Danz, Bryan Alves, Kate Selter, Emily Wright, and Emily Klevan. Backstage, Valentina Spadea, Leela Raj, Nicky Kotler, Hannah Richter, and several others worked tirelessly to make sure everything went smoothly. Harriton Student Council sponsors Mr. DiPaul, Mrs. Lawson, the custodial staff, the administration, and several others were instrumental in ensuring the success of the show. This merely scratches the surface of the work performed over the past four months.

All of the Mr. Harriton proceeds will be donated to charity: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund, the Sean King Fund for Inclusive Practices, and Cure SMA, a charity introduced during the show by contestant Michael Kanehann, who has a family connection to the disease. In the end, more than thirty-thousand dollars were raised, which far surpassed the ambitious goal of twenty-five thousand. Mr. Harriton was a great success and remains an enduring part of Harriton High School.

The recording of the entire show can be found here.

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Mr. Harriton 2017