By Ashlee Coffey
Nearly 1,000 women turned out to enjoy the 2012 Diva Night at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
The free event began with a beer sampling and a free nacho buffet. The women enjoyed visiting with the 56 vendors who offered information about healthcare, purses, jewelry, hair and make-up – to name a few.
“It’s just an awesome night for divas,” said Jill Stephens, of Carson. “We love all the vendors. It’s just a really nice, special night.”
Stephens and her friends, Marcia Buckingham of Macedonia and Deb Forristall, also of Carson, have traveled to the show for the past three years.
“We just like the social time together and we enjoy looking around at all the vendors,” Buckingham said. “And we enjoy the fact that it’s just women and the guys aren’t bugging us to leave.”
If there were anything the trio would change for next year’s event, it would be to add more seating and have the event start earlier.
“We’d definitely come earlier,” Forristall said.
The three women said out of anything the night offered, they were looking forward to the “entertainment” the most.
“It’s always wonderful,” Buckingham said.
The entertainment came in the form of a Fashion Show with celebrity models. Each model represented a different community organization and competed in a speech and talent portion to win $1,000 for the charity of their choice.
Celebrities included Geoff Hubbard, director of Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation, represented TeamMates; Jay Kathol, a realtor for Heartland Properties, for Habitat for Humanity; Jim Lovely, co-owner of Peak Fitness in Council Bluffs, represented Children’s Square; Dr. Ty Dworak of Bluffs Family Chiropractic competed for the Loess Hills Chapter of the American Red Cross; Mills County Attorney Eric Hansen represented the Phoenix House; Bob Wahl, owner of Wahl Optical, competed for Promise 4 Paws Dog Rescue in Council Bluffs; and Kirby Kaufman, a staff writer for The Daily Nonpareil, represented Support Our Local Animal Shelter, or SOLAS.
Before the show, Dworak commented how difficult it was to get his makeup done.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to do this everyday.”
Kaufman, who wore wedged shoes “about three sizes too small,” said he felt like his feet were bleeding by the end of the night.
“I don’t know how you ladies do it,” he said.
A 2011 diva contestant, Crash Davis, a radio host for 96.1 and 1110 KFAB, introduced each of the gentlemen, who came waltzing in to the tumultuous crowd. Goodwill provided the satin and sequin dresses, skirts and shoes each contestant wore. A highlight of the entrance portion came in the form of Tim Lovely, who lost his top on the way to the stage.
Once on stage, each of the contestants introduced themselves and briefly explained the organization they represented. After that was the talent portion of the evening. Talents included song and dance numbers, a hula-hoop demonstration, fancy jump roping, a puppet and joke sessions.
Each contestant earned roars from the crowd but there could only be one winner. A panel of former contestants, which included Mike’l Severe of radio station 1620 the Zone, Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber and local attorney Chad Primmer, named Geoff Hubbard the 2012 Diva.
Hubbard, who was crowned with a tiara and a bunch of silver flowers, hugged the other contestants and waved happily at the crowd.
“I feel honored. I feel like Miss America winning the pageant,” he said. “I had no idea what to expect – I didn’t know what the other people’s talents would be. A goofy jump rope talent doesn’t necessarily make you the winner. I was just happy I made it through the three minute routine without falling down and dying.”
For more photos from the event, please click here.
For a video from the event, please click here.