By Joshua Winata

The Cove Herald

This week is New York Fashion Week, when top American designers strut their stuff with the latest and greatest styles and couture. But as big names like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis are making an impact on next season’s clothing lines, more familiar names are taking to the catwalk right here in town to make a difference in the lives of abused children.

While Copperas Cove may not have the urban flair or glamor of the Big Apple, one thing it doesn’t lack is a sense of humor. Instead of ordinary models, male community leaders and residents are donning dresses, purses and high heels for the Womanless Fashion Show on Saturday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

It takes a lot to turn tough Texas men into drag queens, but the cross dressing is done for a good cause. All the money collected is going to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas, which provides collaborative investigative efforts involving law enforcement, Family Protective Services, prosecution, and medical and mental health services to recognize the pain and reduce trauma for child abuse victims.

“These guys don’t enjoy doing this, but they’ll do it for the kids,” said Lori Hix, fashion show coordinator and Children’s Advocacy Center board member. “If it’s important enough for a man to dress up as a woman and collect dollars and put them in purses, walk around in high heels and sweat bullets, and do it for over an hour, that tells me that this community is doing everything it can do to fight child abuse.”

Hix started the Womanless Fashion Show six years ago after a colleague on the board of directors challenged fellow members to match his personal $1,000 donation to the center. While Hix couldn’t afford to contribute such a large amount by herself, she and her friend, Annie Hoffpauir, concocted the unorthodox event to get the community involved. In the fashion show’s first year, they raised more than $2,000.

“I think if everybody pitches in, the weight doesn’t just go on one person,” Hix said. “If we all pitched in just a couple bucks, we’d be in pretty good shape.”

The Womanless Fashion Show has since become the single largest fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center. Last year, the event brought in more than $3,000.

A $10 catered dinner from Lil’ Tex Restaurant will kick off the fashion show at 6 p.m. Live music will be provided by Fifteen Minutes, a band composed mostly of local teachers moonlighting as musicians.

Returning as masters (or rather mistresses) of ceremonies are Ron Reynolds and Les Ledger, also known as “Miss Ida.” Meanwhile, the cross dressing models, which include members of the Copperas Cove Police Department and Bikers Against Child Abuse, will be participating in a dance contest and circulating through the room soliciting money in their purses. Aside from a small prize for the contestant who collects the most money, every dollar will be donated to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

“Bring your $1 bills and a good sense humor,” Hix said.

The Womanless Fashion Show is still looking for men to participate as models in the event. To volunteer or for more information, contact Lori Hix at (254) 547-1357.

Contact Joshua Winata at or call (254) 547-6481

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