Mr. UWO awarded in partnership with Autism Speaks

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Mr. UWO awarded in partnership with Autism Speaks

Mr. UWO 2019 Zander Lomibao beat the field of seven contestants last Thursday to win the crown.

Mr. UWO 2019 Zander Lomibao beat the field of seven contestants last Thursday to win the crown.

Jack Tierney

Mr. UWO 2019 Zander Lomibao beat the field of seven contestants last Thursday to win the crown.

Jack Tierney

Jack Tierney

Mr. UWO 2019 Zander Lomibao beat the field of seven contestants last Thursday to win the crown.

Jack Tierney, Campus Connections Editor

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The women of Alpha Xi Delta sorority – Delta Tau chaptercrowned Mr. UW Oshkosh to junior and Beta Theta Pi member Alexander (Zander) Lomibao on April 18. A silent auction was held in addition to the competition with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks.

Alpha Xi Delta faculty adviser Lisa Goetsch, Miss Oshkosh 2019 Katrina Mazier, UWO freshman Brandon Nutt and Miss UWO 2018 Eve Jewson judged Mr. UWO candidates in four categories: pick up line, UWO spirit, talent, and Q&A and formal attire.

Lomibao performed a dance routine to the viral song “Old Town Road” for his spirit segment and answered three questions from judges during the Q&A and formal attire portion including the question, “How much does autism cost a family a year?” to which Lomibao answered correctly, “$60,000 a year.”

“It felt nice to win, but I am super happy I was able to help support this event and Autism Speaks,” Lomibao said. “At this point, it does not even faze me that someone has autism. Those I have met with autism are some of the kindest and hardworking people I have ever met. I am glad I was given this opportunity to help out.”

Runner up to the competition was human services leadership major Tim Lange. He brought audience members to applause after he broke a wooden board over his head during the talent portion, where he showed off his martial arts technique. Lange practices martial arts and said he is proud of the work he does in combative training. He gave a speech about practicing martial arts with an individual who has autism and how it has motivated him in his life.

“What I really liked about the competition, apart from the fact that it was for a great cause, is that it was an unscripted show that gave those competing the opportunity to show who they are on stage,” Lange said. “I would like to add that it was a great group of guys to compete with. I think all of us were just there to have fun, and trust me when I say we had a great deal of that.”

Sophomore Andy Duros’ efforts were recognized after raising the most money for Autism Speaks. Duros is a member of Delta Chi and doubled his intended goal of $50.

“As a human services leadership major, it is important for me to see a positive difference in our world. I care about people who are struggling, whether or not it is with autism or any other disability or even if it’s not a disability at all. All I want to see is a more productive, friendly and improvised community of all people, regardless of what background they come from.”

Alpha Xi Delta Philanthropy Vice President and event coordinator Kate Lidtke is a freshman who said her goal for Mr. UWO 2019 was “to make sure our reason for hosting it was obvious: Autism Speaks. As a future special educator and a cousin to three beautiful young women on the autism Spectrum, I vow to be an advocate for everyone with special needs.”

Lidtke said she chose to join Alpha Xi Delta because of autism Speaks and said she is honored to hold her position as philanthropy vice president as a new member to the sorority.

“Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions,” autismspeaks.org’s mission statement reads.