Tucker County Young Life held its second annual Mr. Christmas Tree pageant, Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Our House Youth Center in Parsons.
The event, led by emcee Savannah Ambrose, featured an evening of crazy antics as four high school boys competed for the title of Mr. Christmas Tree 2013. Billy Plum represented the Senior class, dressed in a Duck Dynasty themed costume. Junior class representative, Landon Dillard, chose a comical persona as his theme. Sophomore class representative Willie Bailey acted as the shy contestant. Quinn Buckley represented the Freshman class with a variety of amusing antics throughout the evening. Judges for the event included Barbie Evans, Reverend Jeff Anderson and Daniele Wilfong.
Contestants were judged in four categories, talent, interview, swimsuit and “treewear. Students, judges and leaders laughed hysterically as these young men gave their all to win each category. Buckley began the talent competition with a lyrical dance to It’s Raining Men, accompanied by Leah Underwood and Kenzie Kyle. Bailey and fellow performers Kaylee Nedrow and Taylor Ambrose, otherwise known as Willow and the Willettes, performed a dance routine to Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). Dillard, accompanied by Derek Zirk, performed a ball routine to the tune of Mr. Grinch. Plum, accompanied by Young Life leader Logan Evans, performed a “duck call” routine to Duck the Halls.
During the interview segment each contestant was asked to provide three words that describe himself, his idea of the perfect date and his favorite part of Christmas. Buckley described himself with the words “wow, obese and funny.” Bailey’s words included, “intelligent, tall and strong.” Plum’s words were, “sportsman, hairy and caring.” Dillard stole the show as he informed Ambrose, “I don’t gotta tell you nuttin’−I ain’t got no time to answer questions, I got kids to feed!” Ambrose replied, “Well just how old are you?” Dillard responded in character, “Nunya business.” Bailey said he couldn’t describe the perfect date because he had never been on one. Buckley and Plum described their perfect date being with one another, and according to Plum, “It would be a candlelit dinner in the swamp and huntin’ ducks.” Buckley said his favorite parts of Christmas included family, gifts and eating. Bailey said he enjoys the cookies and milk and plum likes “decoratin’ trees.” Dillard, on the other hand, said he favors “yellow snow.” The swimwear competition was equally amusing as each contestant strutted his best moves to the tune of California Girls.
In the end, Dillard obtained the title of Mr. Christmas Tree stating, “It’s been my dream to win this. It’s a dream come true to be Mr. Christmas Tree.” Plum placed second followed by Buckley in third and Bailey fourth. Buckley commented, “It was a lot of fun.” Bailey stated, “Last place feels pretty swell.” Plum conceded, “Second wasn’t really what I was lookin’ for, but I’ll have to deal with it.”
Chopper Evans, Coordinator of Tucker County Young Life, spoke on behalf of Young Life leaders, “We love teenagers. We think they’re great. We want to do everything we can to help them. Mr. Christmas Tree is just one example of what we do to make meeting fun. The kids had a blast. We’re going to try to host it again next year.”
According to its website, Young Life, established in 1941, is an independent non-profit organization and is not affiliated with any church. The organization operates across the United States through the efforts of 3,500 full-time staff members and thousands of volunteers, who target “un-churched and disinterested” youth by entering their world. The vision of Young Life states, “Every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him.” Young Life’s mission is “Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.” Young Life meetings consist of fun, sometimes outrageous stunts and activities followed by a short Gospel message. Christ is not forced on teens in this environment, but rather introduced to many who may have little or no knowledge of Him.
This was the final meeting for fall, but the group will resume meetings in the spring at Our House Youth Center, in Parsons. For more information, contact Chopper Evans at 304-642-1234 or visit Facebook.com/TuckerCountyYoungLife or www.younglife.org. Highlights from the pageant and other videos of Young Life activities are posted on the Facebook page.
By Elizabeth Lancaster
The Parsons Advocate