Womanless beauty pageant to raise funds for formal wear charity

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Holly Calkins, right, and her mother Erica Calkins look through dresses Saturday at Monarch Formals. Holly Calkins needed a dress for a father daughter ball held at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The contestants in the womanless beauty pageant don’t have to sing or dance but they do have to wear a dress.

They can sing or dance if they choose, said organizer Ty Caffrey.

The pageant is a fundraiser for Monarch Formals. Caffrey started Monarch Formals in April. The program provides formal wear for those who can’t afford it.

Caffrey said she has 10 men signed up for the pageant. Each contestant gathers donations for Monarch Formals, such as dresses, shoes, tuxedos, suits, and cash donations for dry cleaning, alterations or tuxedo rentals.

Contestants are judged on their talent, formal wear and how many donations they gather.

“I just wanted something different. I was looking for a fundraiser tied into formal wear. I wanted something fun,” Caffrey said.

Contestant Master Sgt. Eric Butt said he hasn’t thought too much about his outfit or talent.

“It’s one of those things we like to do to help out the community. Clovis likes to stand up to help us and we like to stand up to help Clovis,” he said. “If we can give back to the community then I have no problem whatsoever dressing up like a woman.”

Butt said he didn’t hesitate to join in.

“I’m secure in my manhood. It’s all good,” Butt said. “I guess I’ll wear whatever seems to be best looking and shows off my best features.

Contestant Master Sgt. Jason Vinson said he didn’t have a problem dressing as a woman for a good cause.

“I’m going to do stand up comedy for my talent. I think I’m pretty funny so I’m going to try at it,” he said.

Vinson said he plans to have a funny outfit also.

“I found the funniest dress I could possibly get,” he said.

Twenty-five percent of a contestants score is based on talent, 25 percent on formal wear and 50 percent on their donations. Attendees will have a chance to donate to a contestant or to Monarch Formals in general at the door of the event.

“I think it’ll be great for guys to go out and put on heels and try to put on panty hose and just see what it takes for their daughters or wives to get all dressed up,” Caffrey said.

Caffrey said she hopes the event gives Monarch Formals the exposure it needs.

“I want people to know that we’re here all year long,” she said.

Monarch Formals is a free service housed at the Matt 25 Hope Center. Dresses, shoes, some suit and tuxedos are available. Caffrey said the program can also help pay for dry cleaning, alterations or tuxedo rentals. Caffrey said she’s shortest on formal wear for men.

Donations for Monarch Formals can be dropped off at Matt 25.