Beauty, talent and bribes: Mr. South Whidbey contestants go for gold

Six local men are lining up to unseat the king.

The unflappable Bob Frause, the current Mr. South Whidbey, will relinquish his crown to a successor at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4 as the third annual Mr. South Whidbey competition gets underway at Freeland Hall. The event is the main fundraiser for the Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund.

An irresistible gaggle of guys has been chosen to wrest the scepter from Frause’s tight grip.

To that end, the six hopefuls have been preening punctiliously in preparation for the grueling contest that awaits them.

Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund is a nonprofit, community-funded medical safety net which offers financial help to South Whidbey residents for health-related expenses.

This year the fund has paid more than $53,000 in medical and dental bills for 168 individuals. That’s up about $15,000 from last year, and supporters are ready to rise to the third-year challenge.

Organizers for the tongue-in-cheek fundraiser are busy as bees for what promises to be yet another memorable evening of tight competition, serious stunts and non-stop laughs.

The competition is simple: The candidate who raises the most money for the fund wins.

This year’s pageant contestants include Tom McCabe, Kirk Francis, Drew Kampion, Jay Davenny, Chris Spencer and Bob Dalton, who will all be doing their best to win votes and discover fame.

Sue Frause, accompanied by Randy Hudson, will host the event.

Bob Frause will step down from his throne and deign to crown the new title winner at the end of the night.

Frause said his successor better be ready for such an awesome title.

“The title has complicated my life somewhat because I am recognized as Mr. South Whidbey almost as much as Mr. Sue Frause,” Frause said.

“So, a certain amount of schizophrenia goes with the title.”

Confused identity aside, the contestants know they need to primp and prep as much as possible for their chance to wow the rabid fans and charm them away from their money. They will be judged in several categories including fashion, wit and talent.

But these guys are willing to undergo plenty of unabashed scrutiny for such a good cause.

“The true quest is cash for Friends of Friends ... and maybe a couple of minutes of uninterrupted microphone time,” Kampion said.

Island newcomer McCabe said he’s just happy to have the chance to help such an awesome community, although he was somewhat worried about the talent portion of the evening.

“But it’s not about the talent, it’s about the money,” McCabe said.

All his donations will be matched by McCabe and his wife, and though he said his relationships on the South End have become deeper for participating in the contest, he said he’s a little intimidated by some of the other candidates’ strategies.

“I went to the Fishmonger for a donation. Kirk’s picture with his Oscar is up at the Fishmonger,” the crestfallen McCabe said.

On a serious note, McCabe said that to him the big picture here is the organizations on Whidbey that care about people. “After living here for two years, my wife and I have discovered it was better here than we thought, and Friends of Friends is one of the many reasons why.”

“Hell, it’s a fine cause and somebody’s got to do it,” added Francis.

“As Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once averred, ‘When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.’”

The reigning Mr. South Whidbey is a magnanimous sort who said he is ultimately happy to give up his crown for such an all-around beneficial event.

“This is a really great way for an organization like Friends of Friends to have fun in a unique way and raise some serious money for a great South Whidbey cause,” Frause said.

Bring all your friends, plenty of cash or checks and plan to stuff ballot boxes, buy votes and bribe unscrupulous judges to make sure your ideal man walks away with the title.

Those donors who can’t attend the event can still buy votes.

Send a check to Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund, PO Box 812, Langley, WA 98260. Checks must be received no later than Thursday, Oct. 2 (and remember to indicate for which candidate you are voting).

Anyone who needs help with medical expenses, or those who would like to donate to the locally-based safety net, should call 221-4535.

Tickets for the event cost $25 and are available at Moonraker Books in Langley and 1504 Coffee Bar in Freeland. The price of admission includes light fare prepared by Fireseed Catering.

Freeland Hall is located at 1515 Shore-view Drive in Freeland.

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