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Brunswick County code enforcement administrator Fred Morris is among more than 20 men who have signed on to compete in a womanless beauty pageant Saturday night in Little River, S.C., to benefit the Kayla Bennett Softball Scholarship Fund.
Bennett was a rising junior at North Myrtle Beach High School when she was killed July 26, 2007, in a one-vehicle crash outside Loris, S.C., attributed to speeding and drunk driving by another teen.
Her parents, Greg and Connie Bennett, launched the scholarship in Kayla’s memory with plans to award the first to a deserving NMBHS senior softball player in 2009, when Kayla would have graduated.
Kayla was on the softball team, and her dad was one of the coaches, Morris said, adding Greg also worked very hard with the NMBHS Booster Club and annually prepared a barbecue and chicken bog joint fundraising luncheon for the NMB baseball and softball teams.
Kayla’s grandmother, Deborah Hardee Causey, lives in the Calabash area.
North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Mayor Marilyn Hatley will be one of three pageant judges at the first Kayla Marie Bennett Scholarship Fundraiser slated for 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at North Myrtle Beach High School. Admission is $5.
Morris plans to wear a pink tutu, play the banjo and sing at the event, performing as “Miss Buttermilk” and contestant No. 20. He will be competing against 21 other local men who have agreed to gussy up and strut their stuff for a fundraising sponsorship of $150 each.
Other “womanless” competitors include North Myrtle Beach Fire Capt. Ed Hughes and Nick Randone (“Luscious Lilly”), son of Brunswick County GIS Manager Steve Randone, who was Kayla’s church youth group leader.
“I’m doing this to make people laugh, because laughter is the best healing medicine God could give us for good physical and mental health,” Morris said.
“But more importantly, I’m doing my small part, like many others, in raising softball scholarship funds in Kayla’s honor.”
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org