Beauty pageant raises money for Lou Gehrig’s disease

Beauty pageant raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease (Image 1)

On Saturday, the Mrs. Tennessee pageant crowned a new winner, but also helped a former contestant.

Paige Bennett of Memphis was crowned Mrs. Tennessee in 2004.

Two years ago, Bennett's husband, Dave was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Dave Bennett is a former University of Tennessee football player.

Since Bennett's diagnosis, it has been a difficult journey.

“Something as simple as scratching an itch on your face, this disease takes that from you,” Paige Bennett told Nashville's News 2. “My husband can't speak, can't walk, he can't eat.”

At the time of Bennett's diagnosis, his company was in the middle of changing insurance carriers and was left uninsured due to the disease.

Pageant organizers held a silent auction and the contestants collected donations for the Bennett family.

“Just as her Mrs. Tennessee family we wanted to do something to support them even if it's in a small way, just to let them know that we love them,” Delayna Bridges, the Mrs. Tennessee pageant director, told Nashville's News 2.

“I really was just overwhelmed because throughout our entire journey we have been so truly blessed by the outpouring of support of people that want to reach out to our family,” Bennett said.

Currently there is no cure for ALS.

To make a donation to the Bennett family, visit their Web site.

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