'Beauty queens' to strut at Lions Club fund-raiser

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2000

Think of it as a Miss America pageant -- with a burly twist.

In the name of fun and for a good cause, about 20 Kenai Peninsula men will raid women's closets for just the right outfit and strut their stuff for a Cook Inlet Lions Club fund-raiser.

Aside from lots of laughs, the goal is to raise $4,000 -- primarily for the Central Peninsula Special Olympics, said Richard Dominick, a past Lions president.

Central Peninsula Special Olympics lost the majority of its sports equipment in a July fire at the Anchor Plaza strip mall, where its office was located.

The International Winter Olympics will be held in Anchorage in March and the Lions are helping the local athletes participate in the festivities, Dominick said.

The idea of the pageant came from the Lions club in Kodiak which had a similar event. That evening raised about $3,000 which was donated to scholarship funds.

Saturday's fun will begin at 6 p.m. at the Kenai Elks Lodge with the introduction of the contestants and a prime rib dinner, Dominick said.

After dinner, the costume and talent portions of the pageant will begin.

Contestants will dance, sing, perform a comedy routine and more in front of a panel of judges who are female senior citizens of the community.

The group will be narrowed to five men who will participate in a question-and-answer session after the talent portion of the pageant.

"All the guys are having fun with it," said Dominick, adding the men will furnish their own costumes but makeup and hair stylists will be available before the show.

Kenneth Cole, current governor for the Moose Lodge, said he plans on wearing a long black dress, courtesy of his significant other, and a wig.

Cole said a member of the Cook Inlet Lions Club asked him to participate. He said he has no problem dressing up for the evening's festivities.

"I think it is for a good cause," he said.

On Thursday Cole was unsure of his talent plans, but said he did have to go shopping for new shoes.

Dominick, who also is a pageant contestant, said he is planning a Dolly Parton look with a wig, nylons and pumps, not heels.

"I think it (wearing high heels) would be a little awkward," he said.

Among other activities, the Lions club works to prevent blindness. The club purchases eye glasses for needy children and it has a machine that screens children's eyes.

The Lions take the screening machine "anywhere where there is large public exposure with small kids," including schools and health fairs on the Kenai Peninsula, Dominick said.

The club also has helped the Blood Bank of Alaska.

"If we raise funds in the community, those funds go back to the community," he said.

To purchase tickets or to participate in the pageant, call Dominick at 776-7652.

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