“I’ll see you later, and I’ll be in a dress; that’s something I’m not looking forward to,” said Clover High School social studies teacher Frank Falls as he headed backstage March 29 for the fourth annual Moped to Memphis Womanless Beauty Pageant.
Moped to Memphis began in 2008 as a class project to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The fundraising goal is $1 million by 2020. Clover High School graduation marks the beginning and end of each fundraising year, when all money collected throughout the year is delivered by moped to St. Jude’s. This year’s event raised $20,000, bringing the six-year total to $260,000.
Moped to Memphis pageant manager Tracy Stiff, inspired by fundraisers her parents had organized in the past, was the imagination behind the Womanless Pageant. A mix of high school students, teachers and community figures compete in talent, evening gown and interview categories; the winner is determined by a combination of money raised and judges’ scores.
Griggs Road Elementary School math teacher Andy Carter as Amanda Reckonwith, whose students raised nearly $1,900 for the program, was crowned Ms. Moped 2014. Clover High School junior Bailey Bottini as Bailey Bokini was first runner-up, and Shawn Latta as LaShawndra Latta was second runner-up.
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Also competing were Clover High School teachers Will Plyler as Anita Studmuffin and Graham Stafford as Queen Elizabeth; CHS seniors Drew Collins as Drewcilla, Tanner Alexander as Taneesha, Alex Wilson as Lexi Dukes, Shane Hurin as Windy Day and Austin Stollar as Austina Stollavich; Oakridge Middle School Assistant Principal Rod Ruth was Sweet Baby Ruth; and CHS grads Peanut McMackin as Pricilla Nutella and Willie Vaughn as Sally O’Malley trotted out, too.
Kelsey Foster, Gail West, Ann Harvey, Tim Juntgen, Mary Edmunds and Courtney Causby judged this year’s event. Joe Lee McCarter was the emcee.
“He makes the show. He knows there’s a line, and it’s never going to be crossed,” Falls said. “There’s a lot of innuendo and a lot of fun, but it’s all playful.”
Tim Juntgen of Carolina Fun Machines has donated seven scooters to the program.
“There is no scooter without Carolina Fun Machines. Tim has a big heart, and he proves it every year,” Falls said.