Shoeless Bob Hopkins to compete for Miss Firefly

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In what shouldn't be mistaken for a Cinderella story, Bob Hopkins is looking for a woman who wears size 12 shoes.

Hopkins, director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, is not so much interested in women with big feet as he is in their shoes.

He wants to borrow their shoes, and no, he's doesn't have a foot fetish.

He's just trying to help raise money for volunteer fire departments in this county as its budget crunch has threatened to cut the $4,500 matching grants that Marshall County commissioners offer to rural fire departments.

Hopkins has confirmed that he will appear as the bearded lady in the reincarnation of a Womanless Beauty Pageant that raised money at a similar event several years ago in Cornersville.

He is not alone. A number of other volunteers - all men - are those who go where others fear to tread, not out of foolishness, but service.

Another contestant, Fred Haley, a former county commissioner who runs his own Marshall County Internet Service in Chapel Hill, has entered the contest to be held at the Lewisburg Middle School Auditorium on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

Haley's got an answer to Hopkins' shoe problem.

"Flip flops that my wife is going to decorate," he said. "You can't see the feet anyway because it's a long formal" dress.

Kathy Orr is the grand dame for the Womanless Beauty Pageant. She's doing it through the offices of the Farmington-Rich Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

"The Rural Volunteer Fire departments of Marshall County, along with the city's department in Lewisburg, have teamed up to bring you a night of entertainment you won't soon forget," Orr said.

"From the contestants of firefighters will be crowned Ms. Firefly of Marshall County," she continued. "The best talent will be chosen from the contestants as they perform their best in the talent show.

"A Miss Congeniality will be crowned from contestants for the most money votes," she said, explaining that collection jars will be available with the names of contestants. The firefighter who has the most money placed in his jar will receive the coveted title of Miss Congeniality from the 2009 Miss Firefly Contest in Marshall County.

Children five years old or younger will be admitted free. Adults admission is $5 and children age 5-12 will be admitted for $2. Beauty Pageant and talent contest winners will be paid a percentage of the gate's proceeds after expenses that includes the crowns.

"We had a big time and everybody raised a lot of money," Hopkins said of the contests held several years ago in Cornersville.