Purple Dress Run: Dudes don’t look like ladies

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Put the Atlanta Bucks in purple dresses and run them from bar to bar, and it’s no prim-and-proper Southern cotillion. The burly Bucks and their supporters don their gay apparel Saturday for one of the rugby team’s two biggest fundraisers of the year.

imageThe lavender-colored bar crawl (photos) to benefit the Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club starts at Mixx at 1 p.m., and literally runs to the next “refreshment stop” at Blake’s, then over to Frogs Cantina and winds up at the Eagle with a cookout.

“It’s a bunch of adults being all-out silly,” says Bucks President Gary Durden. “Getting all of these people together wearing some form of purple dresses running through the streets of Atlanta makes for a great time. Mix in a little bit of alcohol, and it’s a really fun afternoon—a really fun afternoon.”

The 2010 Purple Dress Run helps raise funds for YouthPride, as well as for the rugby team, which needs to offset the travel costs to play in the Bingham Cup in Minneapolis in June. The tournament honors 9/11 hero and gay rugby player Mark Bingham.

Depending on the turnout, which topped itself last year with 125 attendees raising some $3,000, the Purple Dress Run rivals December’s Miss Ruck & Maul Pageant as the club’s largest fundraiser.

“Last year, we had about 50 pre-registered, and 75 more people showed up on the day of,” Durden says. “This year, we’re sitting at 75 registered, so we’re anticipating 150 to 200 this year.”

imageThe weather will be a factor, but Durden insists that when the Bucks say “Git yo’ dress on” each year, they mean it rain or shine. Forecast looks good for the afternoon, by the way.

To participate, register online before 9 p.m. on Friday for $30, or pay $40 at the door. Fun, frolic and refreshments are in store, including “Redneck Games” plus prizes for Top Finisher, Best Dressed, Best Mess, Best Group and Top Fundraisers.

In order for the team to survive, the Purple Dress Run is “of vital importance,” Durden says. “We have been fortunate in our first six years of existence with some large sponsorships, but with the economy these past few years, those have dropped. The onus is on us to make up the difference, and these fundraisers help offset the loss of dollars.”

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