Polish Club members hold drag event for cancer victims

Tim Edwartoski, strikes his best pose as he walked the catwalk at the men's "beauty pageant" at the Polish Club on Sunday. Monies raised at the event go toward helping those in the area afflicted with cancer.

A standing room only crowd watched as 14 men walked the “catwalk” dressed in evening gowns and even a bikini, in a spirited competition at the Polish Club, in Newberry, Sunday.

Over $700 was raised to aid those afflicted with cancer as spectators paid a dollar for each vote for their favorite “beauty.” The winner chosen was Mike Confer. He received a trophy, flowers and a tiara, and of course a sash proclaiming him “Mr. Polish Club.”

The event was the brain child of Connie Hakes, a member of the club, who said this was was the first year for this particular type of event.

“We try and do something every month for cancer,” Hakes said. She added that the money collected is put in a fund that will be given to someone locally in need.

“Connie has a big heart,” said Donna Bower, another member of the club.

Members of the Polish Club have been doing something every month for the past year and a half in order to raise money to help cancer patients. In the past they have sold peanuts and pierogies and this week they will be offering chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day.

“We just want to help someone out,” Hakes said. “Everyone needs some kind of help. We don’t care how they spend the money, just to go out or get their fingernails or hair done, I don’t care.”

She added that there are no stipulations on how the money can be spent and recipients are chosen just by someone hearing of a cancer patient in need.

One of the contestants Mike Helminiak admitted he wanted to do this, because it was a “very, very good cause.”

“There are people who need more help than we do,” he added.

A local bridal shop donated dresses for the show and the men’s hair and wigs were professionally styled. Almost 150 people attended the event.