Shania Twain wasn't the only one embracing her feminine side last Friday. More than 20 of Cumberland County's most charitable and good-humored male citizens dressed in their most extravagant female attire for the third annual Parade of Beauties held at the Palace Theatre. While competing for the coveted title of Ms. Avalon 2011, each contestant strutted their best look to not only delight a sold-out crowd, but to also raise money for a good cause — the Avalon Center.
"The Parade of Beauties is a womanless beauty pageant that raises money for the programs and services that the Avalon Center provides to victims of domestic assault and domestic violence," said Carmen Wyatt, executive director of the Avalon Center.
The Avalon Center is a nonprofit organization that has been offering its services for about 28 years. They provide a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter, professional counseling, support groups for women and children, court advocacy support to individuals and families that have suffered from domestic and sexual abuse and a children’s and school outreach program to help break the cycle of violence. All proceeds from the parade go towards the comprehensive list of services, which is offered to anyone who is a victim in Cumberland, Morgan, Bledsoe, Fentress and Van Buren counties.
"Now the Avalon Center has lots and lots of people to thank for this pageant tonight," Wyatt announced.
Among those listed were the event's emcees, Chris Cannon and Dave Bartlett with 105.7 The Hog. The duo were in charge of introducing the pageant contestants and asking each one of them a question picked from a red high-heel shoe resting on the podium.
Capturing the judges' hearts to be crowned Ms. Avalon 2011 was Jerry Manis as Alexis Star. Named first runner-up was Jeff Armes as Fifi Trois, and the title of Ms. Congeniality went to McKinley Tabor as Gabriella Divine. Other awards were presented to Thomas Leasher as Missy Mann for Best Walk; Jason Lanzilotta as Marilyn Manzilotta for Best Hair; Jordan Luttrell as Chevy LaSalle for Best Dressed; Ben Gibson as Miss Roxie Young for Most Popular; and Shawn Caskey as Trixie Chiquita, who won the surprise "Shake, Shake, Shake" competition. Tim Claflin as Kim Kandy was the Top Moneymaker, raising more than $1,400 for the event.
Honorable mentions go to Michael Barricelli as Chi Chi Larue; Ronnie Cox as Lotta Luv; Michael Davis as Michelle Delish; Scott Davis as Shady Sadie; George Earley as Curley Earley; Stephen Garrett as Summer Day; Donathon Johnson as Constance Noring; Drake Largent as Aya Wana Kia; Jonathan O'Neal as Ima Winner; Gary Peters as Gorgeous Gretta; Walt Pierce as Atilla the Hunny; Doug Scarlett as Scarlett Deville; Shannon Shaw as T Swizzle; and Darin Stryker as Ima Real Love.