At least two Fort Myers women are competing to be a cover girl for Inked magazine. Round one voting started Tuesday and continues through Feb. 20.
Fort Myers woman Amy Dimon is competing to be a cover girl for Inked magazine. And she already knows what she'll do if she wins the $25,000 grand prize.
"I would donate $5,000 to SalusCare, the rehab that helped save my life 12 years ago," Dimon says on the contest's website. "The rest I would invest in land to start an animal sanctuary. This is my dream and purpose.
"There is nothing more pure than the heart and soul of an animal, and we need to protect them."
Dimon, 42, isn't the only Southwest Florida resident competing in the contest. Several other women have signed up, including Musician Frankie Orion of local synth-rock band Cobress, Port Charlotte resident Marcy Corridino and Cape Coral residents Maria Venegas, Caitlin McColgan and Christal Maiden. And more will likely join between now and the Feb. 18 deadline.
Voting in the first round started Tuesday and continues through Feb. 20.
By Wednesday, Dimon was ranked as No. 1 in her group of 38 other competitors, one of many online groups competing in the national contest. Orion was ranked 10th in another group.
Dimon, 42, says she was thrilled to be in the top spot, although that could change as more votes come in and more competitors sign up. "I’m blown away by it. I don’t expect to win, but if I did it would be awesome."
Voters must register through their Facebook account. You can vote once every day.
The News-Press wrote about Dimon in 2018, when she dreamed up a fundraiser to raise money for local mental-health and substance-abuse treatment provider SalusCare. She and 10 of her friends, family and co-workers all got tiny, apple-shaped tattoos and raised $10,000 in the process.
Dimon got the idea after her employer, Miami-based food supply company Mr. Greens, announced it would give $1,000 to any employee who got a company logo tattoo. She convinced Mr. Greens to donate $1,000 for 10 people who agreed to have the apple-shaped logo tattooed on their body.
They held another fundraiser last year, raising about $20,000 from both Mr. Greens and other sponsorships.
SalusCare holds a special place in Dimon’s heart. She got hooked on opioids at age 14 and kept abusing drugs until she was 30 and finally went through a treatment program at SalusCare.
"When I went in there, I had nothing," she told The News-Press in 2018. "No money, no job, no shoes, no high school diploma, no care. Nothing.
"They saved my life. It's not just stopping taking drugs and getting clean, it's a whole new way of living."
Today, she has a degree in computer information technology and is the regional manager of the west coast division of Mr. Greens, which supplies restaurants, hotels and other food service providers.
Last year, thousands of women competed in the Inked Cover Girl Search, according to Inked’s website. In addition to $25,000, this year’s winner gets an all-expense-paid trip for a cover shoot with celebrity photographer Christopher Kolk.
After voting in round one ends Feb. 20, the top 20 women in each group will continue competing in more rounds until they're narrowed down to one winner per group.
After that, those winners progress to the quarter finals (March 22-26), the semi-finals (March 27-April 2) and the finals (April 3-9).
Here's where to vote for the local women mentioned in this article:
Amy Dimon: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/amy-dimon
Frankie Orion: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/frankie-orion
Maria Venegas: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/maria-venegas
Caitlin McColgan: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/caitlin-mccolgan
Christal Maiden: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/christal-maiden
Marcy Corridino: cover.inkedmag.com/2020/marcy-corridino
Learn more about the contest at cover.inkedmag.com.
Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter), @crunnells1 (Instagram)
This story originally published to newspress.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.