Pageant raises money for Relay

Published 10:05 pm Monday, March 12, 2018

High heels, short skirts and high-volume makeup and hair were the order of the evening at the Nansemond River Pilot Club’s 18th annual “Heels for Healing” Womanless Beauty Pageant on Saturday.

Seven local men modeled women’s casual wear and evening wear, performed hilarious talents and answered interview questions about femininity, goals and romance.

And they did it all to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. For the contestants, the evening was all about having fun, but for a very serious cause.


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“My mother’s a breast cancer survivor, and my grandmother died from cancer,” said Stephen Butler, who wore a sparkly blue dress for the formal wear portion of the competition and performed the final dance from “Dirty Dancing” with a partner for his talent.

“My grandmother died of cancer,” said Nic Heimsoth, a U.S. Navy sailor whose fellow sailor, Peter Homan, convinced him to participate with him.

Homan also said he has lost family to cancer.

“Anything towards the cure,” he said. “Plus, it’s just fun.”

Heimsoth and Homan were “Nicolette Moneymaker” and “Petra Wapalapolis,” respectively.

Heimsoth went shopping at thrift stores for his wardrobe but wound up not wearing any of the five dresses he had bought. Everything came out of his wife’s closet, he said.

Butler, meanwhile, went shopping at Ross to complete his looks.

Talents for the evening included ribbon dancing, lip-syncing to country songs and a comedy routine by Brooks Hedgepeth, dressed as an old lady.

The evening’s winner, Mike Bauder — otherwise known as “Makayla Ashrymes” — said he felt “like a woman” after his big win. He was crowned by last year’s winner, “Tyra Rox,” and given a sash and high-heel trophy.

The event was judged by 13News meteorologist Crystal Harper, City Councilman Mike Duman, Sentara Obici Hospital Vice President for Patient Care Services Phyllis Stoneburner, and 2009 Miss Relay for Life Joe Alvarez.

Money was raised at the event through ticket sales, silent and live auctions, a 50/50 raffle and contestants’ buckets, where spectators voted on the People’s Choice award by dropping money.

Awards were as follows:

  • Stephen Butler, Stephanna Butler — People’s Choice
  • Brooks Hedgepeth, Sherry Cherry — Most Original
  • Nic Heimsoth, Nicolette Moneymaker — Best Casual Wear
  • Josh Butts, Ophelia Butts — Best Interview
  • Dan Bell, Delicious Danni — Best Talent
  • Peter Homan, Petra Wapalapolis — Miss Congeniality
  • Mike Bauder, Makayla Ashrymes — Miss Relay for Life 2018