Painting the town red

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

After overcoming her fear of heights to jump off a cliff and dining with her Ogakor tribal mates on mangrove worms, crickets, grubs, cow brains and other delicacies during her time on &uot;Survivor: Australian Outback&uot; in the spring of 2001, Wakefield resident Maralyn &uot;Mad Dog&uot; Hershey

might have thought she’d seen it all.

That is until she attended the seventh annual &uot;Paint the Town Red&uot; fundraiser for the Red Cross Tuesday at the Cedar Point Country Club. There, Hershey teamed up with local car dealer Mike Duman to ride a toy horse, watched Del. S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) chew on a mouthful of marshmallows, and helped hand out drinks and hors d’oeuvres to the hundreds in attendance.


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But, in true Mad Dog spirit, she got into things, gleefully auctioning of the bra she wore on &uot;Survivor,&uot; offering visitors a chance to check out her tattoos, and joking that she’d be serving, &uot;What else? Fried cockroaches!

&uot;I must say that this is an absolutely outstanding event,&uot; said Hershey, who was scheduled to visit the 2004 celebration, but had to cancel out at the last minute. &uot;When you think of the Red Cross, you think of a group that’s been around for decades and the millions and millions of people that it’s helped all over the world.&uot;

The event raised more than $35,000 for the Cross.

Along with Hershey, Duman and Jones, other celebrity waiters included Sonny Andre of 95.7 R&B, Kerri Furey of the WAVY 10 news team, and Ellen Drames of Rose and Womble, who

was considered by Virginian Pilot voters as Suffolk’s Best Known Person of 2004.

Drames outlasted Jones and Avis Blow of the U.S. Inspection Service by stuffing six marshmallows into her mouth and still maintaining the ability to blurt, &uot;Thanks for helping out the Red Cross!

&uot;It was easy,&uot; she said of the contest. &uot;It was all in the technique. I’m always eating candy, and I just packed it into my cheeks. I had no ideas that was going to happen. Last year, I had to catch peanuts that someone was spitting at me, and I’d rather do either of those than sing!&uot;

Jones, who recalled his early days flipping burgers at the old Village drugstore in Chuckatuck, where he made &uot;a pretty decent milkshake,&uot; had his fill of the sweets, both literally and figuratively.

Overall, &uot;This is a great event for a great organization,&uot; he said.

Being on the WVEC-13 news most late hours, Sandra Parker didn’t know if she’d be able to attend. Fortunately, she got Tuesday off to turn red for the Red Cross.

&uot;I usually work nights, but they were kind enough to invite me back,&uot; she said. &uot;The Red Cross does all it can for this community, so I’ll do all I can for them.&uot;

Furey outlasted Andre and her newscasting competition in a contest of chewing up crackers, and then attempted to blow bubbles with gum.

&uot;I won in hula-hooping last year, and I had to defend my title,&uot; Fuery said.

&uot;It was hard, because the crackers made the gum dissolve and it tasted disgusting. I just hope I can get the gum unhinged from my jaw in time for the news tomorrow.&uot;