Time certainly flies when you are having fun, and I’m having a blast! October was an amazing month and I’m excited to see what November brings. I was honored to attend final night of Mr. Gay USofA.
Thank you to Craig Henderson for inviting me, and congratulations to you and your staff on an excellent week of pageantry. The entire Top 12 were outstanding, but as we all know only one can be crowned. Congratulations to Desi M. Andrews, Mr. Gay USofA 2016. Earlier in the week, Mr. Gay USofA at Large was also held. Dakota Whitney qualified by winning Mr. Gay Southern States USofA At Large. Then the very next day, he turned around and won Mr. Gay USofA At Large. What an incredible two days for him. Congratulation Dakota and enjoy your reign! Desi and Dakota, welcome to the family. Also, one final congratulations to Michael LaMasters and Kane Connors on outstanding reigns!
Mister USofA MI Classic prelim season heated up in October. Owen McCord and Devin Liquor hosted the Mister Georgia USofA MI Classic adding two more qualified contestants. Mister Georgia USofA MI Classic, Syr KamRon Buchanan and his 1 st Alt, Rocky Valentino put on a show. My Sister’s Room in Atlanta was a so much fun. I met so many wonderful people and saw others that I haven’t seen in years. It was a great night and a well-run prelim. Great job Owen and Devin! Rounding out the month, Marco DelGatto and Drew Samuelson hosted Mister Arkansas USofA MI Classic. Mister Arkansas USofA MI Classic, Luke Davis and his 1 st Alt, Isaiah Knyte, both left their hearts on the stage. The Triniti crowd in Little Rock was fantastic. Getting to have a prelim in your home bar is an amazing and humbling experience. Well done, Marco and Drew! KamRon, Rocky, Luke, and Isaiah congratulations on earning your tickets to Nationals. I look forward to seeing what you all bring to Ohio. #TeamPeach and #TeamArkansas added some great members to their respective teams!
So now that October is in the books, bring on November and December! The prelims slow down a bit with the upcoming holidays, but I am confident the competitions will be fierce. November 11 th in Dallas, Mister Texas USofA MI Classic will be hosted by Amie Bland and Alissa Ledeboer. Then, on December 10 th in Springfield, Missy and Tawny Choate host Mister Missouri USofA MI Classic. I’m also extremely happy to welcome Robert VanBeveran to the USofA family. Robert will be hosting Mister California USofA MI, Mister California USofA MI Classic and Miss California USofA Diva in January! So, West Coast MI’s, MI Classic’s, and DIVA’s get busy on those packages. We are coming for you!
This week has been somewhat sentimental for me. Three years ago this week, I was crowned Mister Arkansas USofA MI Classic. This was when I knew I was finally on the right path on my journey to become Mister USofA MI Classic. I knew I still had a long way to go, but this was a turning point for me. My dream shifted from impossible to attainable. The road was long and full of potholes. With determination and my incredible support system pushing me along, I reached my destination. So, please remember, whatever your dreams are no matter how impossible they may seem. Never give up. Keep pushing forward, because dreams can become reality!
One final thought, please get out and VOTE!
Valentino “Val” Rios
Mister USofA MI Classic