Beauty pageant raises funds for Landstuhl Fisher Houses

by Laura Darden
Landstuhl Fisher House

Margarita Karizskaja was crowned Miss Harley Davidson KMCC at a local beauty pageant Oct. 30 at the Auto Exchange Military Car Sales in Kaiserslautern. The purpose of this pageant was not to obtain a crown though; it was to raise funds and awareness for the Landstuhl Fisher Houses.

The idea for the fundraising event, hosted and coordinated by Catalina Magee, came about as a way to give back to an organization that has given so much to Mrs. Magee and her husband, Gerard Magee. 

Mr. Magee was injured in a terrible accident in November 2010 and spent several months recovering. During recovery, Mrs. Magee and her husband were fortunate to be able to stay at the Brooke Army Medical Center Fisher Houses in San Antonio, Texas, as a home away from home.

“We had a wonderful experience with both the Fisher House organization and our fellow guests,” Mrs. Magee said. “It was then I decided I wanted to help out this organization in any way that I could.”

Mrs. Magee has participated in several beauty pageants all over Europe and is also a model and photographer, so a beauty pageant allowed her to use her unique experiences to coordinate an out-of-the-ordinary event and bring the community together for a good cause.

The pageant had 17 participants who competed in several categories during the pageant.

The keynote speaker for the event was Staff Sgt. Josh Forbess, a wounded warrior now stationed with the Medical Transition Detachment at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and a Fisher House volunteer.

The pageant was a huge success, raising $1,850 for the Landstuhl Fisher Houses. Karizskaja, winner of the pageant, and Tatjana Pfeifer, Miss Popularity, were there with Mrs. Magee to present the check Nov. 8 to Vivian Wilson, Fisher House manager.

“We are especially appreciative to be the recipients of the proceeds made from the beauty pageant because the inspiration for doing so came from a family who had stayed at the Brooke Army Medical Center Fisher Houses. The Magee family saw an opportunity to give back,” Wilson said.

Mrs. Magee was the coordinator of the fundraising event, but had great support from friends, co-workers and local sponsors who all contributed to make the event a success. Sponsors included Harley Davidson of the KMCC, with great support from their manager Andy Clarke, Auto Exchange Military Car Sales, MSS (which donated Victoria’s Secret products), the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, So Young Fashion, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Origins, Shiseido, Carol’s Daughter, Yankee, Too Faced, and Nars.

Volunteers were a large factor in the success of this event as well. The volunteers were Darlene Johnson, Lisa McConnell, Leon Washington, Lenny Connolly and Superjam D.J. Photography volunteers were Greg Champion, Ismael Gomez and Leona Jenkins. Volunteering as make-up artists were Inga Krasileviciute, Esther Foster, Kimi Kunoichi, Sandrine Aguilar, Nicole Etler and Amel Ely.
The two Landstuhl Fisher Houses provide a home away from home for families and patients receiving medical care at LRMC. 

Guests come from the U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa Command, and the 72 embassies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. As of today, the LRMC Fisher Houses are proud to have supported more than 10,000 families of which more than 2,500 have come from Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation New Dawn (formerly OIF). The Fisher House has also assisted numerous coalition countries during their families’ time of need.

Given as a gift from the Fisher House Foundation, the houses are owned, operated and maintained by the Department of the Army, under the Army Fisher House Program.

The Landstuhl Fisher Houses depend greatly on the charitable donations and volunteer hours of individuals and organizations for day-to-day operations, projects and events.

For more information about the Landstuhl Fisher House, call 06371-618-3311 or visit