Phil-once’ 2013 Charity Queen

It’s official. Phil-once’ (think rhymes with Beyonce) is the 2013 Outer Banks Charity Queen of the Third Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant. In a selection process that Phil Foreman owner of Brew Thru–the man behind the queen–described perfectly when he wrote, “This pageant is not won, it is bought!” left little doubt. By raising over $10,000 for Get Pinked–a grassroots effort sponsored by the Outer Banks Hospital to raise money for breast cancer patients–Philonce’ bribed the judges into awarding her the crown.
Sponsored by Doug and Joan Brindley of Brindley Beach Vacations, this was an evening that brought out all that is best about the Outer Banks. It was fun and funny, loud and raucous and it was about people caring deeply about the needs of others and the needs of their community.
There is no way to describe the sight of 11 men dressed in women’s clothing dancing in heels . . . although that won’t keep us from trying. One image that came through clearly was that their efforts to get in touch with their feminine sides were . . . well, interesting.
But it didn’t stop anyone from dancing, and laughing and remembering that the best laughter is when you can laugh at yourself.
The highlight of the evening? That’s a tough call. Just the introductions alone are worth the price of admission–11 womanless beauties making a grand entrance to the pulsating beat of their signature song. 
The Q&A with MC Cory Taylor created some interesting moments.
But it’s the talent part of the competition that truly allows these “women” to shine. And shine they did beginning with Jamie Sparkle and the Sparklettes dancing for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. James Skinner of Brindley Beach in real life, as Jamie and her troupe danced ’til the crowd went wild–so wild they started throwing money on stage–lot’s of money . . . $5, $10, $20. 
It was a tradition that lasted throughout the evening.
Not every talent was singing and dancing. Cory Taylor had the pleasure (?) of interviewing Mabel Midgea (Jody Midgette for Relay For Life). Picture Moms Mayblee cloned into Madea’s body. The interview did not go smoothly for Cory who kept mispronouncing Mabel’s last name.
Then there were the singing nuns–Ima Keeper (Doug Meekins of KH United Methodist Church) and his choir singing–actually singing–”I Will Follow Him”. Ima donated her earnings to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Clinic at Duke University.
Beneath the laughter, though, was the very real knowledge that this is about something bigger than any individual. One of the most powerful moment of the night came when Bob Davis took the stage.
He talked about the three years he has been associated with the Womanless Beauty Pageant. He talked about how he and Dave Holton (his escort) were two time cancer survivors. Then he told the crowd that his cancer had come back a third time. A lung cancer, but because it had been diagnosed so early and with an experimental treatment at Duke, the cancer was eradicated in one treatment. 
“This is my swan song,” he said as he performed for the last time as Bobbie Roberta. His performance of “Could Have Had It All” for the Relay for Life was powerful and evocative.
Giving the contestants the chance to raise money of the charity of their choice created a very real connection to the local community, but the power of this evening was that no one lost sight of how important giving from the heart truly is. 
A beautiful night of fun, entertainment and dreams fulfilled. Sign up now for next year, because it keeps getting better and better.
Some special notes of thanks. Dee Buchanan has somehow managed to organize everything, collect all the money, make sure everyone is on the same page at the same time and still look like she’s having fun doing it. 
Mike Kelly was very generous in working with the Womanless Beauty Pageant this year.
And especially–Doug and Joan Brindley gets special thanks. The $50 ticket included food and drink because they footed the bill for that. Because of their generosity, all the funds raised went to the designated charities.