Manwaring Takes Haven Heartthrob Crown

With an educational TED Talk appealing to the intellectual side of Haven, Manwaring was crowned Haven Heartthrob.


Abby Loiselle, Editor-in-Chief

As the proud owner of the 2019 Haven Heartthrob title, Andrew Manwaring would say he was the perfect contestant. “Beauty is everything” he asserted in his acclaimed talent presentation, “and by every standard of the word, I am beautiful”. The presentation of his TEDx Strath Haven powerpoint instantly won over the crowd as he explained why he should be voted Haven’s first official heartthrob. Returning after a disappointing 2018 pageant, Manwaring was happy to finally take home the crown.
Previously known as Mr. Haven, Haven Heartthrob is an annual pageant presented by Strath Haven’s Relay for Life committee. Entering into the seventeenth year of Relay for Life at Strath Haven, this year’s event will, unfortunately, be the last. With the committee teacher leader, Mrs. Morris-Brady, retiring after the spring semester, the current student leaders Abby MacPherson, Dana Hubbell, and Ava Fowler, are determined to make it a success.
Now gender inclusive, this year’s pageant had a various mix of contestants battling for the famed title. This year’s host was Marybeth Monaco-Vavrick who told of her harrowing experiences working at the Wallingford Pool and the devastating loss of her Wii.
“This angle of telling stories instead of trying to make jokes felt more natural,” she said. “Some stuff in my life seems like it was just meant to be part of a comedy routine.”
As with every standard beauty pageant, the introduction and initial walkout leave a lasting impression on the crowd. Leading off the group was Haven’s own President, Andrew Spangler. Following Andrew was junior Than Thomas who appeared to have broken multiple, or possibly all, dress code restrictions. Senior Nikhil Gaur was the next contestant to be introduced and gathered a standing ovation from the crowd.
Following Nikhil, senior Andrew Manwaring appeared fully dressed in ski attire. His exit was most memorable as he attached the skis to his feet and skied, or hopped, his way off the stage.
The next two contestants to enter the scene were the first females ever to participate. Juniors Lydia Elia and Kate Malley made their debut as the conjoined twins of Haven. The last, but certainly not least, contestant to be introduced was junior Alex Melley.
After introductions, each contestant presented their talents to the crowd. Andrew Spangler certainly gathered an interesting reaction when he appeared on stage dressed as the current President of the United States. His version of the State of Address, tailored perfectly towards Strath Haven, was an instant hit. “The similarity was uncanny,” remarks Ella Kane, an impressed audience member. In collusion-er, in conclusion, he won over the crowd.
Than’s act of hitting wood, this time with a bit more clothing on, was certainly impressive. Nikhil Gaur shocked the audience with his singing voice as he karaoked along to “What Makes You Beautiful”.
Andrew Manwaring, with a subtle ode to Steve Jobs’ closet, was next to present his TED talk then followed by the dancing banana duo of Lydia and Kate. An energetic routine, the pair emphasized that they, “definitely did not make it up only fifteen minutes before the performance.”
The final talent to be presented was by Alex Melley, who wore thigh-high heels and hair extensions, performing an exact rendition of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” “The heels were definitely the most difficult part of this contest” Alex explained during the question portion of the night. “They’re like, 6 inches tall!” Granted they were actually only three inches tall and girls suffer through the pain for every dance, it was still an entertaining performance.
In between acts, Marybeth had quite a bit to say about her experiences living as an Asian in a largely white community. “Everyone just assumes I eat Chinese food all the time,” she said, gathering laughs from the audience. “One man at the pool told me he felt bad for me because I must get sick of all the Thai food I eat. First off, I’m not Thai, and second, I’ve lived in America my whole life with a white family so I eat pizza just as much as you.”
Overall, the night was, in the words of our president, a huuuge success. With Nikhil placing third and Than taking home second place, Andrew Manwaring took the crown as Strath Haven’s 2019 Haven Heartthrob. Through the single event alone, the Relay for Life committee raised over $1000.
With momentum from the pageant, the final Relay for Life this past weekend at Strath Haven High School exceeded expectations.