01/18/10 — County finalizes plans for womanless beauty pageant

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County finalizes plans for womanless beauty pageant

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 18, 2010 1:53 PM

Some volunteered without knowing exactly what they were volunteering for. Still others were volunteered or tricked into participating, while others were simply talked into doing it.

But for whatever reason, the 10 men who will don women's makeup and clothing for the Wayne County Sweetheart Womanless Beauty Pageant, agree the importance of the cause far outweighs any kidding they might endure.

The pageant, sponsored by Terrell's Tornados, the Wayne County Employees Relay for Life team, will be Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre.

Organizers are hopeful it will raise $10,000 for the American Cancer Society.

"I have lost enough friends to cancer if I don't ever lose another one," said contestant and county Commissioner Bud Gray. "Even this year we have lost enough. That is the main reason that I am doing it, to benefit research for cancer.

"I am really glad I did, it didn't take much to convince me. My wife (Joanne) is coming around. She is going to support me whatever I do. I will be singing, really, and all of these fire departments need to support this. All of Wayne County needs to support this because everybody benefits."

Gray is the former president of the Wayne County Firemen's Association.

Tickets to the pageant are $15 each or two for $25. For tickets, contact Grover Hood at 734-5281, Ext. 3 or send e-mail to grover.hood@wayne gov.com.

A steak dinner will be held prior to the pageant from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Center, corner of George and Chestnut streets. Tickets are $15 each or two for $25. For tickets, contact Charlotte Jenkins at 734-5281, Ext. 3 or send e-mail to charlotte. jenkins@waynegov.com.

The contestants are:

* Stephen Potter, DSS

* Edward Miller, Health Department

* Luis Carrasquillo, DSS

* Michael Berry, Board of Elections

* Albert Jones, Wayne NET

* Bud Gray, county commissioner

* Howard Scott, Cooperative Extension director

* Trey Rhodes, EMS

* Alan Lumpkin, Tax Department

* Carey Winders, sheriff.

The first pageant, held at Wayne Community College in 2006, raised approximately $7,000. County Manager Lee Smith won the pageant and Winders was the talent winner. Lumpkin was runner-up.

WGBR radio disc jockey Wayne Alley will be the master of ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by Elvis tribute artist Alvin Smith, former Miss Goldsboro Jill Suggs Howell and Eric Lumpkin, who will play the saxophone.

"Center Stage Theater has graciously agreed to provide the props and to do the makeup and hair the night of the pageant as well," Hood said. "The Village People are going to be here live and in person. I think they are going to get back together and reorganize just for this. Its the original Village People from Wayne County. I don't think I am supposed to give any names out.

"Alan Lumpkin is dance coordinator and will coordinate the opening number. He is coordinating a dance for the Village People and yes, it is scary."

Lumpkin said he was out to avenge his loss in the first pageant.

"I was in the last Sweetheart Pageant and I was first runner-up or something like that behind Lee and Carey, so I am back for revenge this time," he said. "I am looking to win this time.

"Seriously, it is an honor, really. It is for Relay for Life. Of course that is the main thing. That is why all of us guys are doing this. I don't think any of us really want to put on panty hose, but it is for a good cause and we are going to do it. My wife is helping me tremendously as far as the fashion part of it. She has been a big part of it."

"When I give up my crown, reluctantly, on Feb. 13 at the Paramount Theatre I will reveal some of the items I have been working on during my reign," Lee Smith joked.

Jones said he was "tricked" into participating.

"Trey Rhodes is going to be a contestant in this, too," Jones said. "He said if he were to do it would I do it. So I did. I didn't think that he was going to do it, but he did. So here I am and I will do my best.

"I think it is fun and the cause, you can't beat the cause. It is a great cause and for that cause I don't mind doing it. She (wife Gail) thinks that it is funny. She is going to help me."

Potter and Carrasquillo, both of whom work in the Department of Social Services, have the same story.

Their boss, Debbie Jones, said she needed a favor.

"I am so proud to be here, but I am proud to be anywhere at my age," said Potter, who is also the mayor of Seven Springs. "I have to be in character. I have never, never been in womanless pageant.

"Well, it is for a good cause so I am tickled to do it, just don't take any pictures please. This will be a first for me. I am thinking this might be it (first and last time). I will rest on my laurels after this one."

"I want to invite everybody from Seven Springs to come see the honorable mayor of Seven Springs," Hood said. "They need to support him. It is a good cause, and he is a good man."

"I am going to say I probably will need a lot of support since I am not going to be wearing the panty hose," Potter said. "I am going to wear white knee-highs."