Community members dress in drag for Dismas House

The non-profit organization Dismas House will host a womanless beauty pageant tonight at DelMonaco Winery.
Dismas House will be hosting its third annual fundraiser, the “Diva Night” beauty pageant. All ages can enjoy the show as men bring out their inner-beauty.
“We are looking for leaders to participate in this event, men that will be willing to get dressed up and horse around,” Barbara Reynolds, volunteer at Dismas House and former dean of nursing, said.
Rachel Thornton, Bella associate at DelMonaco, said “The contestants in the pageant are from companies and businesses around town, to bring out different types of people.”
Reynolds said the youngest male participant is in his mid-twenties.
The men will go through rounds, give information about themselves, answer questions and perform a talent.
 “Some will sing a song or play an instrument,” Thornton said. “Some have a comedy act to perform, just funny things like that.”
Dismas House is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 in Cookeville. It helps break the cycle of criminal life. It provides practical support for carefully screened, motivated offenders paroled from Tennessee prisons and jails.
By helping to build the re-entry and re-socialization skills necessary, residents of Dismas House have a better opportunity of becoming independent and productive members of the community. It is also a residential program for university and college students. The individuals integrate with community volunteers, college students and staff.
 “The individuals in our program are mostly from alcoholism or something like that,” Reynolds said. “We do not house rapists or murderers in the organization.”
  The residents of Dismas do household chores, attend weekly meetings, participate in evening meals, pay program fees such as rent, obtain employment and learn to use local resources. It is funded by individuals, churches, corporations, civic groups, donations and volunteer services.
The 75 percent success rate illustrates that the program is a unique form of crime prevention.  
Tickets for the event are $35 and will be available at the door if not bought in advance. The pageant starts at 7 p.m. DelMonaco is located at 600 Lance Drive in Baxter.
Anyone 21 or older can buy from the winery’s taste testing bar to enjoy during the pageant. Reynolds said heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.
For more information on the event, contact Thornton at Rachel@delmonacowinery.com or 858-1177, or Reynolds or Kim England at 520-8448.