Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Free Admission to the Westerly Armory and Museum
10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Westerly

Stability Ball Fitness Class
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

... View all of today's events

Stay Connected


Loose Ends / David Tranchida: Stilettos on parade to warm our hearts

As we head back into real-world January, with temps nestled in the 20s and below, we have frigid February to look forward to, the month that brought us a blizzard last year. But just in time to warm our hearts and give us a reason to laugh comes the creative idea for the Stilettos and Speedos parade right smack in the middle of this bleak season.

Dreamed up by Elizabeth Mitchell-Cipriano, the intrepid owner of Handlebar Cafe in Pawcatuck — the subject last spring of the cable show “Bar Rescue” makeover effort — this wacky idea will serve the very serious mission of raising funds for Dorian Murray, a 6-year-old Westerly boy who, with his family, is embroiled in a struggle against cancer. Dorian was diagnosed in 2012 with stage 4 rhabdomysarcoma and was enduring chemotherapy to fight off the disease. The chemo was winning and a treatment last June was thought to be his last. But just weeks ago, on Dec. 21, the cancer returned.

Mitchell-Cipriano has been among those following Dorian’s fight on a Facebook page called “Praying for Dorian.” After watching him and his family enjoy months of remission, Mitchell-Cipriano described as “heartbreaking” the news that once again the fight was on.

Not one to sit back and let life pass her by, she shifted into a higher gear and with friends and family came up with Stilettos and Speedos.

The woman who sent some in town into a tizzy during her nationally televised bar makeover is now going to stage a Route 1 parade featuring men and women strutting in heals and Speedos — or maybe not in Speedos — in the middle of winter from her bar to the Stonington police station, a distance of about a half-mile.

Imagine those lost tourists and gamblers looking for Foxwoods as they come across this scene. As of this week, she had about 100 guys committed to this scheme, and we love it.

Given the reason for the event and Mitchell-Cipriano’s gumption, we expect this might just turn out to be a fairly long parade. The organizers are counting on the generosity of those in this region, and are confident they will pitch in to help defray costs for the family’s medical bills and other expenses as they cope with the all-consuming invasion that cancer is. They aren’t asking for registration fees from participants or collecting any money from observers. As the word gets out, the real mission behind this crazy event should be understood, and we also are hopeful that the money will pour in.

This event, like the WARM Center’s Penguin Plunge on New Year’s Day and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in the spring and the America Heart Association’s HeartWalk in the fall will undoubtedly bring out a variety of folks from different walks of life, all coming together to share some laughs and hopefully bring a few light moments to those who need it most.

If Stilettos and Speedos turns out to be as much of a success as we think it will, perhaps it can be added to the calendar of annual events benefiting local causes. And if that happens, we hope more than anything that Dorian and his family will be there to lead each parade with or without stilettos.

David Tranchida is Editor of The Sun.

Back to LatestNews
Top Stories of the Week

Westerly man dies after fall at former Copar Quarry …
WESTERLY — A 28-year-old local man has died after sustaining serious injuries when he fell more than 80 feet at the former Copar Quarry in … more ...

Police: Man broke into home ‘to be closer to girlfriend’ …
WAKEFIELD — A 20-year-old homeless man has been ordered held after police said he had broke into a home across from his girlfriend and began … more ...

Memorial Day parades: Your guide to when and where …
Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the American military, and for many is considered the unofficial start of the … more ...

Train incident leads to charges for Florida man …
WESTERLY — A 39-year-old Florida man is facing charges after police said he was behaving strangely and using a knife to cut himself while riding … more ...

Westerly man charged in domestic assault case …
WESTERLY — A local man is facing charges for the third time after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault on Wednesday. Westerly police … more ...