Womanless Pageant benefits Relay

Published 2:35 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Saturday’s Womanless Beauty Pageant provided plenty of laughs, a few tears and thousands of dollars for cancer research.

Five men – all former winners of the nine previous Womanless Beauty Pageants – competed in the 10th anniversary “Battle of the Queens.” The event is organized by the Nansemond River Pilot Club and also included dinner, provided by Olive Garden.

“The ones who participate in it do it because they have had somebody in their life who had cancer,” said Mary Edna Boyce, president of the Nansemond River Pilot Club, of the contestants. It was a fact echoed by several contestants, decked in dresses, heels and hosiery, throughout the night. Even the emcee for the event, Dave Parker of WUSH 106.1, reflected on his thoughts upon learning this year his wife has cancer.

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Despite the solemn cause for which the event raised money – all proceeds from tickets, contestant’s buckets, the 50/50 drawing, silent auction and sales of Olive Garden dressing will benefit Suffolk’s Relay for Life – the National Guard Armory was all laughs Friday night. Prominent citizens Scott Nash, Jerry Butler, Bruce Bowles, Kenny Campbell and Joe Alvarez strutted the catwalk in tennis skirts, performed numbers from the musical “Chicago” in flapper dresses, lip-synched to “Proud Mary,” danced in island garb and answered questions about their femininity for the crowd. Attendees dropped money in buckets on the stage to “tip” the performers.

“It’s just a fun evening,” Boyce said.

The winners of the contest were: Ms. Relay for Life, Catherine Foxworthy (Kenny Campbell); first runner-up, Tilly Screams (Joe Alvarez); second runner-up, Saturn Nash (Scott Nash); People’s Choice, Diamonds Ironbutt a Plenty (Bruce Bowles) and Best Talent, Shelita Buffet (Jerry Parker).

The real winner, however, is cancer research, which receives the money from the event. Jeanne Banks, Nansemond River Pilot Club member , said the final figure is not yet in. Preliminary figures, however, included $6,000 from ticket sales, $2,000 from donation jars at Olive Garden, $1,000 from the silent auction and $450 from the 50/50 drawing. Beverage sales and the contestants’ buckets have yet to be finalized, but Bruce Bowles had $525 in his bucket, Banks reported.

“We were pleased with the support of the community,” Banks said.