When Agape Animal Rescue hosted its third annual "Glitter and Glam" event last month, one guest in particular wowed the audience with his distinctive look: cross-dressing head turner Willie Fitzgerald.
"Glitter and Glam," hosted by Loews Vanderbilt on July 17, offers financial assistance for many animals in the Middle Tennessee area. The pinnacle of the evening is a fashion show featuring a bevy of four-legged friends.
Willie was the sole male dog to wear a dress during the event's fashion show, sporting two eye-catching ensembles that made him stand out from the pack. Glamorous doggie couture designs were offered by designer Linda Higgins, and her creative flair resulted in this extra special wardrobe for Willie.
"Linda emailed a picture of (two dresses)," says Christine Gibson, Willie's best human friend. "So not only was he not going to wear a tux, but would be wearing two dresses. From then on, we just said Willie will be the best looking drag queen on the runway. It turns out he was the only boy wearing a dress."
When attendees first saw Willie strut his stuff down the runway, they let out shouts and whistles that proved their decision was a wise one.
"The audience's reaction was awesome," she remembers. "The moment he came from behind the curtain and started his walk, the crowd went wild. It was so exciting with the crowd cheering, the music playing and the flashes going off from all the cameras. I called it the 'pawparazzi'."
In addition to the popular fashion show, "Glitter and Glam" featured an array of auction items, and included weekend retreats for pets, select art pieces, and unique Nashville Predators merchandise. Gibson, who volunteers for numerous dog-related causes in the area, was just happy to do her part to support Nashville's animal community.
"Willie and I embraced the experience because it was for charity," she says. "Tanya Willis (Director of Agape Animal Rescue) and the other doggie moms were incredibly helpful and supportive. The event was a blast and went off without a hitch and I realized I had been nervous for nothing."
For more information on Willie, check out his Facebook page.