Published Thursday, March 21, 2013

Womanless beauty pageant benefits fund for cancer patients

The weekend’s inaugural Dragging for Dollars benefit proved that dudes in dresses can pack the house for a good cause.

The March 16 event was held at Wadsworth Auditorium in downtown Newnan, and after several local hunks had washed off the mascara and wiped away the last trace of lipstick, organizers of the event were overjoyed to have collected more than $30,000 dollars for the Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare (SAIH) program.

“The board of SAIH is extremely proud of the success of our first fundraiser, Dragging For Dollars,” said board member Katie Brady. “In fact, it went beyond what we ever imagined. We couldn’t have done it without the 21 guys who were willing to participate and for the sponsors who paid their entry fee.”

“It really was very easy to find the participants and sponsors. Everyone was so generous. I know all those who attended were thoroughly entertained,” she said. “We’ve heard nothing but great comments from everyone, saying they have never laughed so hard and so long, and they are already looking forward to next year. We are so excited to have this money to help those patients who are truly in need of assistance while battling cancer.”

The SAIH is affiliated with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Southeastern Regional Medical Center, which opened last year in Newnan. Assistance in Healthcare is a not-for-profit organization that receives no state or federal funding. The organization relies on the support of individual donors. Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare helps alleviate the burden of non-medical needs such as utilities, lodging, transportation, and basic living expenses.

During the event, the contestants answered penetrating social questions and displayed a wide array of talents, some of which defied description.

Three winners were selected — the Talent Winner, Miss People’s Choice, and Miss SAIH.

Casey Smith of Redneck Gourmet won the Talent award for juggling on stilts while wearing a bikini. Smith is rumored to be in line for the next “Guys Gone Wild” video.

The People’s Choice award was won by Carl McKnight, who was sponsored by Raleigh Studios Atlanta and Senoia Enterprises Inc. The People’s Choice award was presented to the contestant who raised the most money the night of the competition. McKnight also took Miss SAIH honors. It was reported that McKnight, who performed under the name Carla Cupcake, brought a huge number of fans with him. At one point during McKnight’s performance, his groupies tossed cupcakes at him. No arrests were made.

Judges selected the talent winner and Miss SAIH. The People’s Choice winner was determined by who raised the most money for SAIH during the event. Audience members had the opportunity to donate money to their favorite contestant(s) during the gala.

“We are excited to have the community supporting us in our efforts,” Brady said. “Cancer affects everyone, not just the patient. Our goal is to help them as much as possible during their treatments so they can focus all their energy on getting well.”

Contestants included:

Rev. Daniel Nance – Central Baptist Church Student Ministry.

Clayton Hicks – SouthTowne Motors of Newnan.

Brandon Lovett – Newnan Utilities.

John Daviston – McKoon Funeral Home.

Dr. Steve Barker – Mike Fitzpatrick FLM and Southern Credit Union.

Jac Counts – Trey Rhodes State Farm.

Brad Sears – Sanders, Haugen, Sears, P.C.

Coach Mike McDonald – Crain Oil.

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady – Josey, Young & Brady Realtors, LLC.

Carl McKnight – Raleigh Studios Atlanta & Senoia Enterprises Inc.

Hasco Craver IV – Rosenzweig, Jones, Horne, and Griffis, P.C.

Garnet Reynolds – BB&T.

Parrish Underwood – Summit Family YMCA.

Cleatus Phillips – CPS (Comprehensive Program Services).

Casey Smith – Redneck Gourmet.

David Boyd Jr. – The Heritage School.

Coweta Commissioner Al Smith – Lisa R. Roberts & Assoc.

Pastor Tamarkus Cook – St. Smyrna Baptist Church.

Andy Gilroy – Hi-5 Port-A-Potty and AM Construction.

Mark Barnes – CTCA.

Patrick Brown – Swope Foundation.

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