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Drag star dies in mid-performance

by Daniel A. Kusner
Tuesday Sep 9, 2008
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Before she hit the stage, Ilene Alloverya told Donna Dumae that she had a dramatic performance in store. It was the last number of Dumae’s 12th annual "Friends Helping Friends" fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas held last Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Dallas Eagle.

At one point during her "Nobody Does It Like Me" number, Alloverya crawled across the floor to accept a tip from Dumae.

"During the song, he threw out his arms and then just dropped to the floor. It was incredible. At first, I laughed, thinking ’Oh Ilene, you were right. That certainly was dramatic,’" remembers Don Jenkins (a.k.a. Donna Dumae).

But then Ilene Alloverya didn’t move. So Jenkins hit the stage yelling, "Ilene!" Others in the audience rushed the stage, too. A registered nurse began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and Eagle owner JD Buchert began mouth-to-mouth, Jenkins remembers, "But it was too late."

"It appears he suffered a massive coronary arrest," Jenkins says.

Chip Doran (a.k.a. Ilene Alloverya) was 55 years old - a retiree and former Dallasite who relocated to Austin and drove to Dallas for the Labor Day weekend fundraiser. The United Court of the Lone Star Empire, a 30-year-old volunteer organization that raises money for Dallas charities, organizes "Friends Helping Friends."

Jenkins says while they waited for the ambulance, patrons stood at both doors of the Dallas Eagle. Jenkins said paramedics arrived in the Inwood Road parking lot near the back door off of the Eagle.

"I guess the paramedics were just waiting inside the ambulance. Someone had to go out to them and tell them to come inside the bar. When they entered, they strolled in like they were walking through the park on a Sunday afternoon. It was clear that they were uncomfortable that it was a gay bar with men in drag," Jenkins says.

Jenkins says Doran was one of his best friends. He probably didn’t fit the definition of a beauty queen, "but he had a heart of gold and would do anything for the community. He was so humble. Since I produced the show, I feel just terrible. He was truly loved and will be missed very much."

Copyright The Dallas Voice. For more articles from the community newspaper for Gay and Lesbian Dallas, visit www.dallasvoice.com

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