Forkin, Marra crowned this year’s winners

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First Posted: 10/27/2014

The Man and Model of the Year party hit the Woodlands Inn with a splash of vodka and a pinch of glitter on Oct. 24. The nominees came dressed to the nines in suits and ties and heels and dresses. The attendees got involved by dancing to music played by DJ Kazz, and helping choose this year’s Model and Man of the Year by taking part in live voting.

And the winners were…Nicole Marra and Jonathan Forkin.

After a nail-biting tie-breaker between Marra and Lauren Bunchalk, Marra won a scholarship to Barbizon Modeling School and Development Center. Forkin took home a gift certificate to the Pocono Raceway. The two accepted their crowns and sashes and the responsibility to represent Weekender at upcoming functions.

Judge and Girl Talk Columnist, Melissa Hughes, said she picked the winners based on sincerity. “I picked my choices based on how they presented themselves, not just physically, but overall poise. I wanted to choose someone who I could be proud of giving this opportunity to, someone I didn’t think would squander it.”

The winners are excited to be part of the Weekender crew and represent their community.

“I didn’t even think I was going to qualify to being in the finals!” Marra said. “I can’t wait to be involved with the Weekender and see where the whole thing progresses.”

“I was completely shocked when my name was called for the top six!” Forkin said. “After the questions and when they called my name as the winner I was blown away. I was just grateful to be given the opportunity to compete.”

Forkin, originally from Avoca, is a graduate student at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, majoring in occupational therapy. He is interested in getting into the modeling and acting world and was thrilled to be able to network and talk to the other men and models who also want to make their mark.

“My friend had recommended I give it a try, so I sent my application in and went with it.” Forkin said. “It was so great to get support from my friends in the area and even my friends in South Korea. My role models Hwang Jang Lee and Chang Il-Do voted from all the way from across the world.”

Hwang Jang Lee is a Japanese-born Korean martial artist and film actor and Chang Il-Dois a Hong Kong actor who is known for his Bruce Lee imitation. Forkin is grateful for the publicity the Man of the Week has given his budding modeling career and hopefully turning him into the next big thing.

Marra hails from Hanover Township and never really thought about modeling until she saw her friend’s picture in the Man of the Week and decided it would be fun to follow suit.

“I never really thought about being a model, but I loved doing the photo-shoot,” Marra said. “It was so fun and then I am excited to learn about the field more with my scholarship.”

Forkin hopes to use his Pocono Raceway prize when he comes home for Thanksgiving break. He said his friends were even more excited about that than he was.

As for what is next for the man and model, only time can tell but some people have some promising ideas.

“I think Weekender should chronicle their progress, at least the model since she won the year of modeling.” Hughes said. “Possibly writing a monthly story on her progress and what she has done with her award, any future modeling prospects. I have often wondered what happens to the contest winners and this is such a huge prize that it would be great to see what was done with the opportunity.”

Party-goers were fans of the photo booth, and the newest edition of a candy bar that helped keep the energy up. Even the model of the year indulged her sweet tooth.

“I really loved the candy bar!” Marra said. “Aside from winning, it was my favorite part!”

The party was a success in showcasing the talent in NEPA and give people a chance to live out their dreams. Make sure you keep an eye out for the next Weekender event so you can meet the Model and Man of the Year and see why the odds were in their favor.