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Drag queens help raise money for meals for AIDS, cancer patients (PHOTOS)

Friday - 4/26/2013, 9:32am  ET

drag queens (WTOP/Bob Madigan)
Three of the drag queens are seen outside Annie's Paramount Steakhouse. The restaurant donated 100 percent of Thursday's proceeds to Food & Friends. (WTOP/Bob Madigan)
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WASHINGTON - Some people have to be dragged out to dinner, others just go in drag.

A shuttle bus zipped around downtown D.C., Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle Thursday night with a sign on the side that read "Food & Friends Presents: Queen Force One."

Inside, there were up to a dozen drag queens out to support "Dine Out for Life." It is a simple concept. By dining out, people were able to ensure that thousands of children and adults facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses, receive the daily, nutritious meals so vital to their care.

So the "lovely ladies" after being dolled up and then made up by MAC artists (who donated their time, expertise and make up) traveled around visiting a dozen of the more than 100 restaurants throughout the D.C. metropolitan area that donated 25 percent to 110 percent of their proceeds to Food & Friends.

Queen Bambie was one of the organizers of the concept of "Drag Force One" eight years ago.

"Because I felt it was important to have more of an outreach into the community. Scarlett and I got dolled and we are the veterans on the tour bus this year," Queen Bambie says.

They have been doing it all eight years, and the rest have intermittently joined them over the years.

Another person who dresses in drag once a year for this is Food & Friends Executive Director Craig Shniderman.

"We like to have fun promoting our cause because what we do for our clients is very serious. The mission of Food & Friends is to foster a community caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling," Shniderman says.

"In the words of Queen Bambi, 'We are not spreading attitude. We are spreading love. And we are raising a lot of money!'"

"I use my drag powers for good," he says.

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