Men kick up their heels for fundraiser

Published 8:21 pm Monday, January 28, 2013

From left are Celexis, Bud-dah Licious, Sizzling Sweets, Miss Cinnamon Sally, Tilly Mae, Tammy Tat, Cherry Lips, Fannie Mae Butler, Barbielicious and Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. They're ready to strut their stuff in the 13th annual Womanless Beauty Pageant sponsored by the Nansemond River Pilot Club. All the proceeds benefit the fight against cancer.

By Stephen H. Cowles


SUFFOLK — With eyelashes to rival a butterfly’s wings and attitude for days, Princess Consuela Banana Hammock was crowned Ms. Relay For Life 2013 on Saturday night at the National Guard Armory in Suffolk. The audience of 400 cheered as the winner in the 13th annual Womanless Beauty Pageant walked and waved on the runway.

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“I didn’t expect to win. I’m just happy my mama and daddy were laughing,” said Her Highness, better known as Danny Kizzee of Chesapeake.

Kizzee and nine other men agreed to dress as women for the fundraiser — Heels for Healing — sponsored by the Nansemond River Pilot Club, which is a member of Pilot International. All money raised goes toward the American Cancer Society.

Like many of the contestants, Kizzee has personally been affected by cancer. While dressing for the event, he explained that his parents, Roger and Remy Kizzee, have each triumphed over a form of the disease.

Stephen "Fannie Mae" Butler flirts with George Fowler of Suffolk during the pageant. The event raised at least $9,000 for the American Cancer Society.

“He took care of both of us,” a smiling and laughing Roger Kizzee said after his son’s victory.

Ed Delosreyes, also known as Celexis, said he participated last year and had a good time.

“My daughter, Caitlyn, won a pageant and then said it was my turn,” said the Suffolk resident.

First-time participant Stephen “Fannie Mae” Butler, also of Suffolk, said he was asked by a friend to participate because contestants were needed. He admitted nervousness before the show started, but the good cause made it easier.

Other local participants included Dillon Hollowell (Tilly Mae), Wesley Alexander (Sizzling Sweets), Seth Lilienthal (Miss Cinnamon Sally), Al Higgins (Tammy Tat) and Doug Bert (Cherry Lips).

Raising money in the battle against cancer is a cause “dear to my heart,” said David Mathis, aka Bud-dah Licious.

Joe Natoli (“Barbielicious”) of Virginia Beach said his daughter had a bone marrow transplant, and his participation was a way of “repaying favors.”

From beginning to end, the, er, “ladies” inspired laughter, good-natured ribbing and even flirtation with the emcee, Dave Parker of US 106.1 FM radio.

Judges were Steve Patterson, a 2012 Ms. Relay For Life contestant; Jackie Cherry, executive director of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts; and Sandra Johnston.

Whereas last year $4,000 was raised, the Pilot Club’s Becky Adams, event chairwoman, said Monday that around $9,000 was raised, and more money was still coming in. She and Leslie Adams, co-chair, expect the group will meet its $10,000 goal.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Hampton, one of the sponsors, provided the dinner, and It’s All Frosting offered handmade cupcakes.

Other sponsors were: The City of Suffolk, TowneBank, R.W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home, Riverside Cancer Infusion Center, Angus Hines LLC, Cross Realty, Perry Minnow Farm, Mike Duman Auto Sales, Parr Funeral Home and Crematory, Brooks Removal Service, Adams Lawn Care, Suffolk Insurance Corp., LandWerks Contracting LLC, Christian and Pugh Well Drilling, Arrowhead Environmental, C3 Vino and Rose and Womble Realty.