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Miss Tootsie raises funds for NY Mills Royalty program

Connie Vandermay for the Focus From left: Judy Jutsu (Joe Jasicki) won Miss Tootsie People's Choice, Tequila Mockingbird (Terry Lillis) won Miss Tootsie and Betty Wins (Cole Cottreall) won Miss Tootsie First Princess at the Miss Tootsie Pageant in NY Mills on April 15.

Eleven men from all walks of life donned gowns, heels and wigs and strutted their stuff in the second annual Miss Tootsie Pageant held April 15 at the New York Mills School.

A couple of high school students, a fireman and some business owners entertained with various talents including dancing, singing, a poem recital and even a scrapbooking demo.

There were three royalties crowned by evenings end. Miss Tootsie People's Choice went to Judy Jutsu, also known as Joe Jasicki. First Princess went to Betty Wins, also known as Cole Cottreall. The 2011 Miss Tootsie Winner was Tequila Mockingbird, or Terry Lillis, a junior at NY Mills High School.

Though very entertaining, the true purpose of the cross-dressing men was to raise money for the NY Mills Royalty program. The Miss Tootsie Pageant fundraising earnings were down from last year, due to poor weather conditions Friday night.

The NY Mills Royalty has various fundraisers to raise money to cover the costs of their volunteer missions statewide. Last year the royalty helped at over 40 events, including the Shrine Circus, the Great American Think Off, the Ronald McDonald Ride and many local and statewide benefits for families in need.

"When people need help, they call the NY Mills Royalty and the girls go and help," said Shanna Dettwiler, one of the coordinators of the program.

"I can't stress enough that this is not a beauty pageant. Our motto is to turn today's girls into tomorrow's leaders by giving them opportunities to grow," Dettwiler added.

The seventh annual NY Mills Royalty event will be held on June 9. The deadline to sign up is May 11. The NY Mills Royalty can be followed on Facebook under nymillsroyalty.