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Kaneland Connection: Mr. Kaneland contestants to put on a show

Kaneland High School Alec Kovach (second from right) rehearses a dance with (from left) Brad Kigyos, Tucker DeBolt and Andrew Tobin in preparation for the Mr. Kaneland competition Friday.
Kaneland High School Alec Kovach (second from right) rehearses a dance with (from left) Brad Kigyos, Tucker DeBolt and Andrew Tobin in preparation for the Mr. Kaneland competition Friday.

MAPLE PARK – Chris Wido waved his arms, acting out highlights of his routine for Friday’s Mr. Kaneland event. Inspired by the movie “Back to the Future,” Wido – a Kaneland High School senior – plans for an entrance on a skateboard to the song “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News, which is featured prominently in the movie.

Those who attend should expect Wido to throw fake money and Hershey’s Kisses, and he might even have a friend “jam” on a guitar.

Mr. Kaneland, a showcase for the school’s boys, will be at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school, 47W326 Keslinger Road in Maple Park. It’s a fundraiser for the Delnor Center for Breast Health. Contestants sell glow-in-the-dark pink bracelets for $5. The bracelets also can be bought at the event, but buying them from contestants allows them to accumulate points that can be used toward a victory. The participants should be easy to spot on the day of the show because they will wear tuxedos to school.

Wido has embraced the event.

“I thought, since it’s my last year, that I want to do my best to make it great,” Wido said. “I love Kaneland, and I have a lot of friends. People said, ‘You should do Mr. Kaneland,’ and I decided why not. I’ll give it a shot. I just want to have fun and help raise some money for breast cancer.”

Wido is one of eight Kaneland High School seniors in the event, which is staged by Kaneland Peer Leadership. Joining Wido will be Brad Kigyos, Tucker DeBolt, Andrew Tobin, Fernando Cabellero, Dalvell Triplett, Alec Kovach and Mike Karakourtis.

Members of the Peer Leadership group were working with the guys on their moves at a recent rehearsal. At another table, Kaneland seniors Tanner Andrews and Austen Davis were talking over their role as the event’s emcees. Beth Trafton, teacher and adviser for Peer Leadership, talked with the participants, pushing her message of keeping everything “Shrek-rated.”

“I wanted to make sure it was family friendly,” Trafton said. “You know how ‘Shrek’ works. It’s PG, but it kind of pushes it.”

Trafton said the event has raised about $25,000 over the past six years. Those who take part are drawn for different reasons. Karakourtis said he was inspired by his grandmother. He said she has defeated breast cancer and, “I’m kind of doing this for her.”

“I’m a little nervous,” Karakourtis said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever performed on stage.”

Andrews and Davis said they are ready for their role as the emcees. Davis said he is inspired by “Saturday Night Live,” and added he was voted the biggest class clown. Among the topics that likely will come up is their love for their workplace, McDonald’s.

“We show a lot of pride in working at McDonald’s,” Davis said. “We actually came to school once in McDonald’s uniforms.”

Andrews said that was a sincere tribute.

“You know the slogan, ‘I’m loving it?’ ” he said. “We love it, seriously.”

Peer Leadership members were making sure all was running smoothly. Kelsey Cotton and Megan Selenis said members do what’s necessary, including backup dancing. They said the event was the highlight of the year for the organization.

“It’s so entertaining to see the boys in high school in a whole different light, up on stage,” Cotton said. “Some of these boys would never be up on stage. It’s important. It’s a really big deal.”

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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