Beaufort News

Stephen Murray, a.k.a 'Miss Sassy Brown,' wins 'Beauties' crown

A ballroom full of people at the Dataw Island Club got a chance to see some of Beaufort's most prominent men in a whole new light Saturday.

Performing under stage names and teetering awkwardly on high heels, seven well-known Beaufort-area men dazzled a crowd of about 100 as part of the second annual "Beaufort Beauties" beauty pageant. The pageant raised money for Main Street Beaufort, U.S.A. and several other local nonprofit organizations.

After opening the show by dancing near -- and often on top of -- various members of the audience and the panel of judges, the "ladies" competed in talent and evening gown competitions. The panel of judges included Beaufort City Councilmembers Donnie Beer and Mike Sutton and Municipal Court Judge Ned Tupper.

"These ladies are all packing something a little extra," said the event's emcee, Terry Sweeney as his character, "Lucinda Ravenel."

"I'm talking about talent. Get your mind out of the gutter," Sweeney said.

After the talent portion of the competition, the panel quizzed the contestants on everything from the title of their hypothetical autobiography to their views on same-sex marriage.

"As long as it's sexy, I'm OK with it," said Randall Burch, the chairman of Main Street's board of directors as his character, "Miss Randa Licious."

The night's big winner was Stephen Murray of New South Shirts who performed under the stage name "Miss Sassy Brown."

Murray took home the crown, honors in the talent and evening gown competition and walked away with the "Miss Congeniality" prize for raising the most money. Final figures were not available Saturday night.

The other contestants took Murray's victory in stride.

Lee Levesque, a firefighter from the Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District, performed under the name "Miss Bubbles," and said the night was among the weirdest of his life.

"Of all the stuff I have on, the thing that is bothering me the most are these nails," Levesque said while wearing a glittery silver dress. "It's all good though. It's all about raising money for a good cause and we're having a great time."