Proceeds from dresses sold at today’s event benefit AID Atlanta through Cotillion, the annual event where men become debutantes, with the one who raises the most money for AID Atlanta being crowned Cotillion queen.

The Running of the Belles is set for 2-4 p.m. at Bellissima, 560-B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.atlantacotillion.com.

Founded in 1997, Atlanta Cotillion has raised more than $650,000 for AID Atlanta, according to Bryon Brown, Cotillion co-chair, known at the event as debutante Lauren Elizabeth “Bess” Eatenton. Last year’s event raised $115,000, with only $36,000 in expenses.

Debutantes do their own fundraising throughout the summer by hosting events and seeking donations. The debutante season culminates with the Cotillion Ball, a Sept. 18 gala at the Foundry at Puritan Mill.

“I think our model is different than any other fundraiser,” Brown says. “Having the individual debutantes that host and produce the individual fundraisers throughout the season bring something new and different each and every year.”

Those, male or female, who want to wear tuxedoes pay $150 to attend, while those joining in female attire pay $75 for their tickets. Not to be confused with your ordinary drag show, the ball requires those who choose to attend in “formal female attire” to take their dress code seriously — no campy beards and make-up allowed.

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