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Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley joined more than 25 pageant titleholders from across the country on August 20 to model the latest fashions for the second annual St. Jude Beauty Queen Classic Luncheon and Fashion Show. Cooley, along with 20 other contestants from the Miss USA pageant, was asked to attend the event to support St. Jude by Donald Trump, star of The Apprentice and owner of the Miss Universe Organization.
"This year's event was like none other with the appearance of Miss USA, courtesy of Donald Trump," said Helen Wood, event chair. "This was the first time that 20 other state Miss USA titleholders united since the crowning of Chelsea as Miss USA. It is great they are reuniting to benefit such a great place, St. Jude."
Hosted by the ladies of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) at the Hilton Memphis, the Beauty Queen Classic is one of few in the nation that brings together former and current beauty queens at the national, state and local levels. Proceeds from the event benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The pageant titleholders, who donated their time in support of St. Jude, showcased fashions from The Shops of Saddle Creek and bridal couture designs by Pat Kerr, Incorporated.
Nearly 500 guests were treated to a champagne reception and lunch with the opportunity to bid on numerous items during the silent auction. In addition, a 2005 BMW Convertible provided by Roadshow BMW, a baby grand piano provided by AMRO Music and a diamond necklace by Kay Jewelers were put up for bid during the event's live auction. The event raised nearly $40,000 to benefit St. Jude, including $10,000 from the Memphis Charitable Foundation founded by Pat Kerr Tigrett.
Special guest model, St. Jude patient Jessica Turri, joined the pageant titleholders on the runway. The 17-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, in 1997. She received chemotherapy treatments at St. Jude for more than two years. Jessica is currently cancer-free and is a senior in high school.
Prior to the Beauty Queen Classic event, a number of the pageant titleholders came to St. Jude on July 14 for a day of make-up and dress-up, giving some patients a taste of being beauty pageant hopefuls. Allison Bloodworth, Miss Mississippi USA 2003; Amy Lindberg, Miss Memphis 2005; Samantha Pappas, Miss Teen Collierville 2005; Amy Robbins, Miss Collierville 2005; and Catherine Werne, Miss Tennessee United States 2004 all participated in the day's activities, which included a walk down the runway. Titleholders also visited patients again on August 19.
Official sponsors for the Beauty Queen Classic included The Shops of Saddle Creek, Pat Kerr Incorporated, KAY Jewelers, Brandon Company, Shackelford's Florist, Signature Advertising, Hilton Memphis, At Home in Memphis Magazine, Allstate, First Tennessee Foundation, Shaker Advertising, Hi Gorgeous, Memphis Woman Magazine and the Miss Universe Organization.
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