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Top Hat Competition Makes a Comeback!

Alexis Avallon
Contestant group photo

On May 15, the high school held its new and improved Top Hat competition, formerly known as Mr. HH.

The Top Hat is a competition for students to show talent, trivia knowledge and more. Contestants choose a charity of their choice and try to impress the crowd, hoping to get them to donate money to their charity. The contestant who raises the most money for their charity and earns the most points wins.

Mr. HH was stopped for a few years due to COVID, but the advisory board was able to bring it back this year with some rebranding.

Math teacher and advisory board member Mrs. Gerlach was a big help in bringing the competition back. “My friend works at Archbishop Wood and he runs the same competition there and was able to give us the bones of the structure and what we would need to take it on.”

Gerlach said, “Other clubs like student council and Mini-THON have done it previously, but this was our first time doing it and we decided we needed a fun community-based activity that we could have in the second semester. We have so many events in the beginning of the year that we were looking for something to fill in the second half.”

Gerlach explained why they decided to change the name of the competition: “It was originally Mr. HH when they did it years ago, and we decided to change the name to Top Hat, giving us the opportunity to be more inclusive. This year we only had male competitors, but we’re hoping at some point if anyone is interested in competing they will be able to.”

Sophomore Shane Phillips was this year’s winner. Phillips’ charity of choice was the Justin Hager Foundation, in honor of teacher and football coach Mr. Hager who passed away earlier this school year. He was able to raise $498.55. All the money went directly to the Hager family.

Shane Phillips performing magic (Alexis Avallon)

Phillips had Mr. Hager as a teacher and grew to be close with him: “During Lunch and Learn I used to go in his room and talk about sports, the Eagles and stuff like that, and I got to know him as a guy, not just as my teacher. When he passed away, it hit me hard and I wanted to honor him and give respect to the family.”

While other contestants did singing or dancing as their talent, Phillips put on a magic show. “Originally, I was supposed to do dad jokes for like two minutes, but then I switched it to magic. I searched for some YouTube tutorials on how to do some magic. I sucked so bad at it, but it ended up working out.”

Phillips didn’t expect that he would be the winner: “I was so surprised. I didn’t know if they would pick me because I’m only a sophomore. I thought it would be Jackson Glenn or Birster because they’re seniors, and this is their last year, not some sophomore’s. I was honestly surprised.” 

“It was amazing. It was so much fun! I was so nervous the first couple minutes, but once I got comfortable, it was the greatest feeling in the world.”

This year’s winner, Shane Phillips (Alexis Avallon)

Gerlach and the advisory board hope to see the competition be even bigger next year. “Our committee is really excited to have it again next year. The audience seemed to be laughing, and we were able to raise money for all of the charities. Overall, it was fun and we had a great time, and we’re excited for it to be more popular next year now that people know what it is.” Those who missed out on the action can watch the whole competition on the school district’s YouTube channel.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Avallon
Alexis Avallon, Staff Reporter
What is a favorite hobby of yours: Painting What do you look forward to working with The Hat Chat: Interviewing people and always writing about something different What college do you want to go to: University of Michigan What's an interesting fact about yourself: I’m usually always talking about hockey or baseball, and I love to travel

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