After a two-year reign, a new king was crowned in the male pageant world of Whidbey Island.
Jasper Hein, a manager at Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar and a 2003 South Whidbey High School alum, has claimed the title of Mr. South Whidbey 2021.
Last Saturday, Lucas Etzell, Mr. South Whidbey 2019 — and by default 2020 — passed the crown to Hein, who is this year’s winner of the goofy and beloved competition.
Since 2006, the male beauty pageant has been a fundraising crowd-pleaser for the Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund, a nonprofit that covers medical costs for South Whidbey residents who can’t afford them.
In 2020, organizers opted to take a year off and postpone the competition until 2021.
This year’s festivities may have been pared down because of the pandemic, but that didn’t dim the public’s optimism for the popular tradition. As usual, people voted with their dollars and raised a total of $23,500.
Contestants took to the virtual runway and conducted their campaigns via Instagram this year. Six men showcased their talents, from one-armed billiards shots to farm comedy to trumpeting on the beach while wearing a hot dog costume.
Cormac McCarthy, Bob Hezel, Patrick Moote, Travis Furlanic and Ian Magwire all competed alongside Hein.
Hein’s special talent involved juggling a series of items, from cell phones to wrenches to coconuts. Out of the six contestants, he raised the most money, earning him the most votes.
“I was floored to find out I raised the most funds,” Hein said. “I can’t thank my employers, Jenn, Sieb and all my coworkers at Saltwater enough for giving me the platform to fundraise. I saw so many kind gestures and donations from complete strangers who are going to help our very own community members.”
When he was a high school senior, Hein participated in a similar all-male pageant at school, where he performed a Chinese yo-yo act.
A coronation was held for Mr. South Whidbey 2021 Saturday at Boy and Dog Park in Langley.
“Jasper was elated and in his acceptance speech he said we should all do one nice thing each day for someone else and we’ll all be happier for it,” said Kristi Kammenga Price, the current president of the Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund.