Annual pageant raises money for One Human Family and VNA/Hospice
VNA/Hospice’s Event Coordinator Kellee Bartley, sweat-soaked and exhausted, was putting the final touches on last week’s 32nd Annual Queen Mother Pageant that closed down the 1100 block of Duval Street.
“Over the years, Queen Mother has raised in excess of $220,000 for Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice,” Bartley said. “It’s because of events like the Queen Mother pageant that we are able to continue to provide quality care for all of Monroe County.”
The event brings in money for not only the local VNA/Hospice, but also the non-profit, all-volunteer One Human Family, the official philosophy of Key West, and an international grassroots movement uniting people for equal rights, dignity, and respect. One Human Family was created by local artist J.T. Thompson, who was also a judge at the pageant.
“The three major donors are Queen Mother, 801 Bingo, and Key West Wreckers, but the Wreckers disbanded this year, so we are now down to the two,” said Thompson. “We have given out more than two million free stickers and 300,000 wrist bands, and One Human Family is now on every continent, even Antarctica.”
The six contestants competed in evening gown, talent and interview and Aqua’s Beatrix Dixie was crowned Queen Mother.
“Was last night a dream?,” Dixie questioned on Facebook Tuesday afternoon. “Thank you so much for everyone that came out and supported Queen Mother … Thank you to every helping hand that made last night possible!”
Dixie also thanked the other contestants, outgoing queen Elle Taylor, La Te Da, and the judges for believing in her. She promises to make her reign memorable and incredible.
Contestant QMitch Jones has vied for the title twice and is known throughout the community for her eccentric personal style, full beard, and caring heart.
“I love that it supports Hospice/VNA,” she said referring to the care friend R.V. Beaumont received before her passing. “She passed with dignity and respect, and I always hope hospice will be there for these people.”
Qmitch said she will vie for Queen Mother again next year. Until then, she’s calling numbers at 801 Bingo on Sundays at 5 p.m. Bingo supports 25 different local charities, like One Human Family and VNA/Hospice of the Florida Keys, which are rotated every six weeks.