The fifth annual “Dragging for Dollars” event, a popular womanless beauty pageant held in Newnan, raised more than $44,000 for Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare.
The much-anticipated March show included Cancer Treatment Centers of America Southeastern Chief Operating Officer David Kent, along with 10 additional community leaders and businessmen willing to don a dress for a good cause.
Dragging for Dollars was held at the Donald W. Nixon Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan and served as the largest yearly fundraising event for the Southeastern Alliance in Healthcare (SAIH), a local nonprofit organization that provides assistance to patients and families of patients undergoing treatment for cancer. The charity helps families not with medical expenses, but with unexpected costs associated with having a loved one in treatment.
According to SAIH board member Katie Brady, the event included fewer participants than in years past, but was a huge success for the organization and just as popular locally.
“The guys were great contestants and helped us to raise a lot of money to help cancer patients,” Brady said. “That is the ultimate goal.”
Profits from this event contribute significantly to the more than 100 patients and families SAIH helps each month. The Swope Family Fund acts as the event’s presenting sponsor each year and, according to Brady, the 2017 pageant had broad support from the local business community.
“We were very pleased with the event (this year),” Brady said. “We think everyone who attended had fun and laughed a lot, and we thank all of those who donated to each of the contestants.”
The womanless pageant is formatted similarly to the traditional American beauty pageant, sans the swimsuit portion of the competition. Each contest struts across the stage in elegant attire, answers questions from a panel of judges, and offers a talent performance.
Dragging for Dollars raises funds for SAIH in a number of ways, including ticket sales. Locals are invited to visit the SAIH website before the event to make donations to their favorite contestant. Each donation counts as a vote for that particular participant, which go towards the overall People’s Choice awards presented at the end of the evening. Donations, or votes, can also be made during the pageant.
The 2017 SAIH People’s Choice award was given to David Kent. Kent raised the most money via votes from attendees and supporters. The award for the talent portion of the competition was presented to Paulo Manso de Sousa, owner and director of Southern Arc Dance company. Manso de Sousa was sponsored by Southtowne Automotive Group. Rick Reeves, sponsored by Coweta-Fayette EMC, was runner-up in the talent competition. Overall winner, Miss SAIH, was awarded to Christopher Bolling, East Coweta High School teacher who was sponsored by Crain Oil.
“With all of this support from the community, we will be able to help many financially struggling cancer patients with their non-medical needs,” Brady said.
The SAIH organization was established in 2012 and serves Newnan and the surrounding metro Atlanta counties. The nonprofit was formed as a branch of Assistance in Healthcare, the parent organization that began in 1983 when a group of volunteers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Illinois came together to raise funds in support of cancer patients and their families.
The local chapter serves more than just those patients being treated at CTCA, however. Though established by the Stephenson family, founders of CTCA, the Southeastern alliance is a separate organization.
For more information on the Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare, please visit SAIH online at www.newnan.aih.org
Photo courtesy SAIH board
Rick Reeves, sponsored by Coweta Fayette EMC, was runner-up in the talent portion of the Dragging for Dollars womanless beauty pageant, a popular annual event that helps to fund the Southeastern Alliance in Healthcare.