Womanless pageant raises over #036;6,000

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005

On Saturday evening at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, some of Suffolk’s most well-known men became some of Suffolk’s finest ladies.

Car dealer Mike Duman, Ray’s Florist owner Ray Bennett, and UPS driver Ronnie Minkins were a few of the participants in the 5th annual Womanless Beauty Pageant, sponsored by the Nansemond River Pilot Club. The event raised more than $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. The Academy will hold its annual Relay for Life on May 20-21.

Duman kicked off the evening by taking the stage with his daughter-in-law and her friend, Shirley Temple-esque attired with blonde curls. The threesome tap-danced their way through, appropriately enough, &uot;Car Wash,&uot; and won the award for Best Talent Routine.

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&uot;We rehearsed that this morning for about an hour,&uot; said Duman, who carried the moniker of ‘Michelle Mercedes’ for the night. &uot;Everyone had a real good time. I was glad I could do this for a good cause.&uot;

With his own long blonde wig flowing down his back, Joe Jones of J. Walter Hosier Insurance danced to &uot;Man, I Feel Like a Woman,&uot; through the audience. Minkins dressed as &uot;Foxy Brown,&uot; (looking like a slightly-shorter Pam Grier in the process) and sang, &uot;Celebration.&uot;

Planters Peanut employee Russ &uot;Amanda Hug-N-Kiss&uot; Greene juggled in high heels and Bennett (&uot;Anastasia Goldigger&uot; for the night) serenaded everyone with &uot;God Bless America.&uot;

Then it was time for the eveningwear event. Greene went for the sexy goth look, wearing his girlfriend’s sister’s black prom dress. Jerry &uot;Twiggie&uot; Branch put on a svelte gold dress, looking like a millionaire’s wife from the early 20th century. Duman also had a &uot;rich madam&uot; thing going on, wearing a long outer coat and elegant blue dress. But Bennett’s full-blown bridal-wear stole the show and got him the &uot;People’s Choice&uot; award.

Descending farther into femininity, the (wo)men took part in an interview selection, picking questions out of a hat. Frank &uot;Franola&uot; Koncz was asked his least favorite chore around the house.

&uot;I really HATE to clean the bathroom,&uot; he said. &uot;I hate having to clean up after my sloppy husband!&uot;

Bennett tried to think of his favorite movie.

&uot;Definitely Patrick Swayze in ‘Dirty Dancing,’&uot; he said, &uot;so he can show me some of those dirty moves.&uot;

But this time, it was Branch’s moment in the spotlight. Asked to describe the last book she read, Twiggie pondered a second.

&uot;It was a short novel, a wonderful telling story of the diversity of men and women,&uot; he said. &uot;It was ‘Dick and Jane.’&uot;

Not surprisingly, his interview was named the best. Other awards handed out were Best Casual Wear (Koncz), Best Hair and Makeup (Jones), Most Original (Greene), Best Legs (William &uot;Roberta&uot; Barrera), and Miss Congeniality (Robert &uot;Violet Bison&uot; Van Liew).

Then it was time for the Miss Relay for Life Award. Judges Tory Bishop of Physical Therapy Works, dentist George Barnett, Dr. Jeff Foreman of Lakeview Medical Center and Janice Holland of Suffolk Public Schools handed in their picks.

It was the Grier throwback herself, Foxy Minkins, who got a packed-house standing ovation.

&uot;I want to thank God for giving me the strength and courage to do this,&uot; he said, decked out in a crown, sash and blue robe. &uot;We’re fighting cancer, and it’s a hard battle, but hopefully we can win it someday.&uot;

&uot;I think it was his natural charisma,&uot; said Bishop when asked why she’d voted for Minkins.

&uot;You can tell he’s a people person, and that’s what the Relay is all about, helping and caring about other people.&uot;