It takes a lot of dough - for gowns, jewelry, wigs and shoes - to compete in the 2014 Miss Gay America Pageant (held in St. Louis October 9-14), and the reigning 2013 Miss Gay Missouri America, Christa Collins, can't waltz out onto the stage in the Millennium Hotel Grand Ballroom in just rags, you know.
Collins, better known to most Kansas Citians as Christopher Barksdale-Burns, retired member of the Kansas City Ballet Company - he danced with the company for 21 years - has been raising funds for the pageant for the past year, including a Sunday pancake-brunch benefit at Californos, 4124 Pennsylvania, two weeks ago. It raised $500.
Californos hosts a second fundraising event tonight at 7 p.m., a one-hour cocktail party (a show follows at 8:30 p.m. on the lower level) with complimentary light appetizers and champagne cocktails. Donations will be accepted in the main bar, and the goal is to raise $500, says Aaron Barksdale-Burns, Christopher's spouse and sales director at Californos.
Christopher Barksdale-Burns has participated in the Miss Gay America Pageant before, but this is his first year as a contestant. Last week, Christa Collins relinquished the crown of Miss Gay Kansas City at Hamburger Mary's restaurant when that night's pageant winner, Heidi Banks, was crowned Miss Gay Kansas City 2014.