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Second time around’s the charm

Vjecko Zima of Port McNeill strikes a pose during last year’s Victor’s Secret fashion show at the Community Hall in Port McNeill. Organizers return this weekend for a pageant featuring local men wearing bras donated to the Bras for a Cause fund-raiser. - Photo by J.R. Rardon
Vjecko Zima of Port McNeill strikes a pose during last year’s Victor’s Secret fashion show at the Community Hall in Port McNeill. Organizers return this weekend for a pageant featuring local men wearing bras donated to the Bras for a Cause fund-raiser.
— image credit: Photo by J.R. Rardon

Having organized the inaugural Victor’s Secret Fashion Show a year ago, Cheryl Verbrugge should have been more comfortable preparing for the second annual event this weekend.

Well, yes and no.

“I think it’s easier,” Verbrugge admitted, then added with a laugh, “But I’m starting to get stressed that I’m not more nervous.”

The format has changed a bit for this year’s show, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday at Port McNeill Community Hall. Instead of a fashion show on a runway, this will be a pageant, complete with judges, evening gowns and swimsuit and talent “competition”.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and a dance will follow the pageant.

Two things remain the same: all the pageant contestants are men, and each of them will be outfitted in the wildly decorated foundation garments created for last summer’s Bras for a Cause fundraiser at The Flower Shoppe.

The Victor’s Secret Pageant continues the fundraising, with particular emphasis on helping out North Island cancer victims and their families. Last year’s fashion show raised nearly $6,000, with $2,000 donated to fighting breast cancer and the rest remaining in the community, Verbrugge said.

“It wasn’t my idea,” she said of the Victor’s Secret events, “but I got it going when a friend of mine was dying and was going to Victoria for (cancer) treatments. She said, ‘I just can’t do it anymore; it’s too hard.’ I just wanted to do anything I could to help.”

Verbrugge and her fellow volunteers have clearly hit on a winning formula. Last year’s fashion show sold out the 150 available tickets to the community hall, and this weekend’s pageant sold out last Friday.

“Last year was kind of flying by the seat of our pants,” said Verbrugge. “I guess this year will be, too. We’ve got a lot of new guys.”

Last year each model was escorted down the runway by “showgirls” Alyssa McAstocker and Julie Tait to a bump-and-grind soundtrack. They then strut their stuff in the zany-themed bras as fans — women dominated the crowd — shrieked and tossed tokens to their favourites.

The show wrapped up with all the men dancing to the Macarena in a grand finale.

Verbrugge said this week’s pageant, which will feature as many as 34 of the Bras for a Cause entries, will also feature a finale. Though it may need some more work in the final days before the show.

“We had one practice for them, but they were not confident,” she said. “So we have a couple more meetings scheduled, and then they’ll do it again at dress rehearsal.”

Unlike the pageant contestants, Verbrugge believes she is ready to roll out the show with plenty of volunteer support.

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