The sound and light guys were ready to go, the models were pacing nervously backstage, and the huge cavernous firehall echoed with the rising energy of 200 women, all eager for one thing: firefighters. And lots of them.
Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” cranked up as I jumped on the stage. “Welcome to Hot Fashions!” I hollered over the crazy noise. “Are. You. Ready? Let’s go, girls!” I signalled the opening music and “It’s Raining Men” blasted out of the speakers. The cheering was almost deafening as the lights dimmed.
Fuelled by a little liquid courage, our heroic firefighters climbed the catwalk in twos and threes, took their turns in the limelight, nervously at first but then warming up to the certainty of all these women cheering them on as they sashayed, strutted, and danced their way out into theaudience on the long-fingered stage.
Women of all ages clapped and whistled and cheered and smiled, and just plain loved these guys. Some of the bolder models gyrated on stage as the women danced at their tables or reached out for the roses tossed by their tuxedoed heroes.
And when it was over? $14,000 raised for a local charity, a few moments of glory for the guys who risk it all every day, and a night of wild laughter, dancing, and a little harmless flirting and escape for everyone…..even the 89 year old birthday girl at Table 6.