Charitable men dress for the part in ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’


The “Dude Looks Like a Lady” event has been a fundraiser for the Women’s Center.



Milo Zonka will transform from mild-mannered senior director of finance and administration at the Brevard County Property Appraiser’s Office into super diva Barbra Streisand on Friday, Sept. 8. 

There’s a method to Zonka’s apparent madness since he is one of the 11 men channeling their inner ladies this year for “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” the Women’s Center signature fundraiser. The guys will try their hand at impersonating everyone from Mary Lou Retton to Minnie Pearl. To help them get the look just right, Donovan Productions of Titusville is again stepping in to provide makeup, hairstyling and runway protocol.

It’s not enough that the men must abandon their dignity in front of an audience, but each participant agrees to raise at least $5,000 for the Women’s Center and many raise much more. When all the checks are written, “Dude” brings in $200,000 to help the nonprofit Women’s Center and its programs.

“I think it is an impossible challenge, but I think the audience will be able to appreciate my lame attempt at improvisation,” Zonka said.

“I want people to laugh with me.”

The fellows can blame Sheriff Wayne Ivey for the existence of the fundraiser. Five years ago, Ivey came up with this lark of an idea of men dressing up as famous females to show their support for the Women’s Center. The money they raise with these shenanigans goes to a very serious cause.

More than 10,000 women and their children seek out the Women’s Center each year for services that range from housing for victims of domestic violence to counseling to help women become self-sufficient. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women are abused.

In a fun way, the men of “Dude Looks Like a Lady” are taking their stand against violence.

“Any good-spirited dude should do this,” Zonka said.

“Dude Looks Like a Lady” will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 at the Radisson Resort at the Port, 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral. Individual tickets are $75, and sponsorship opportunities still are available. For information or to purchase tickets, go to