Mr. Walla Walla raises funds for dance program

Hannah Bartman

If Whitman students thought that Mr. Whitman was the only chance they had to see shirtless men shamelessly selling their talents and good looks for charity, they were wrong. On Saturday, April 18, Mr. Walla Walla will be hosted at the Gesa Powerhouse Theatre to raise money for the Walla Walla Dance Festival.

“I was just looking for an event and I absolutely hate auctions. I think they’re so boring  … I think this will be a fun event and also a good way to raise money,” said event coordinator and publicist Michael Mettler.

There will be 10 contestants and three female judges, two of whom have been named Ms. Washington. The activities of participants include a dance routine, a formal and active wear exposition, a talent show and an interview. After the competition, there will also be a bachelor auction in which approximately four Walla Walla bachelors will be auctioned off to the crowd.

“It has turned into something that I don’t think will be children-appropriate,” said Mettler.

The Walla Walla Dance Festival is a non-profit that is related with Whitman’s Summer Dance Lab program. The WWDF hopes to bring internationally recognized dancers to Walla Walla at the end of the summer to perform for aspiring dancers at the Summer Dance Lab. WWDF also hopes to start a weeklong intensive immersion programs for kids in Walla Walla who want to learn dance. In order to raise money for this effort, Mettler collaborated with locals to create Mr. Walla Walla.

Each candidate will raise money in the week before as well as during the event, where audience members will have the option to donate to a candidate of their choice. For the bachelor auction, Mettler says he aims to get anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars for one date.

“For students it might be harder to sell, but [they should attend because] it’s supporting a cause for the Whitman College community, and it’s supporting dance education in Walla Walla public schools,” said Mettler.

Tickets are on sale online at for 30 dollars, which includes a complimentary glass of wine.