tampabay.com

Jocks and Jewels Celebrity Fashion Show

By AMY SCHERZER
Published March 9, 2007


Flamenco dancers, ballerinas from the New Tampa Dance Theater and Paul and the Pop Tarts on Feb. 24 headlined the fourth annual Starry Nights dinner, a benefit for Mental Health Care Foundation.

Coleman Middle School mimes helped event co-chairs Laurie and D. J. Johnson show 200 guests the way to the buffet. Later, Roxy, a mannequin creatively painted by Aerial Innovations, stole the show at the live auction. She sold for $1,100 to Kathy Jewel, who also donated her company's talents, Indigo Zebra Designs, to decorate the Tampa Club for the party. Organizers netted $30,000 and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay matched 33 percent of that for the endowment fund.

Deion Sanders, of both football and baseball fame, and Desmond Howard, 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and ESPN college football analyst, should consider doing play-by-play for Project Runway. Middleweight champ Winky Wright couldn't stop laughing even as his wife, Tammy Wright, modeled at Jocks & Jewels, Charisse Strawberry's annual celebrity fashion show, at Saks Fifth Avenue on March 1.

The co-emcees pointed out Super Bowl bling, Prada bags and a giant diamond on Deleon Sheffield's finger. "Wedding ring sold separately," Sanders noted.

He got serious, too. "Alcohol and drugs have affected Charisse's family, and she wants to help others with the disease," he told 200-plus guests mingling with the athletes modeling with their wives to benefit the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Tampa Bay.

Nicole and Mike Alstott, who just signed again with the Tampa Bay Bucs, got the most applause. Auctioneers Lee Mezrah and Michael Stewart, representing the 13 Ugly Men, lost much of the crowd when the show ended and they went to mingle with the celebs. They eked out $1,200 for a football autographed by Peyton Manning and $2,900 for a framed Michael Jordan jersey.

The Big Reveal was a big thrill for Tom and Cynthia Tate, their three kids and tons of their friends and WCI Communities and loads of their suppliers. They all piled into Tampa Theatre on Sunday night to watch ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on the big screen.

Neon palm trees towered over the Cuban Club patio, an ideal setting for sampling cigars, drinking mojitos and eating roast pork and black beans at Cigar City Celebration, an annual benefit for Achieve Tampa Bay.

"It's all for United Cerebral Palsy," said committee member Wayne Greenberg of Northdale, naming one of the 200 disabilities served by Achieve Tampa Bay.

Ten cigar manufacturers passed out hundreds of stogies on the spacious patio where 680 guests were comfortable, regardless of age or disability. Latam Restaurant served a Latin menu; Island Way Sherbet frozen in lemon, orange and coconut shells was delightful. There also were 30 casino tables and three bands.

Auctioneers Jack Harris and Tedd Webb of WFLA-AM 970 goaded bidders for trips to Seattle, Martha's Vineyard and Italy. Executive director Karen Ryals expects the celebration to net $155,000.

 

Events

March 27: Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council's annual Women of Distinction luncheon; noon; A La Carte Event Pavilion, Tampa; $60; 262-1759.

March 27: Fourth annual "Fashion Funds the Cure" benefits Pediatric Cancer Foundation; 6 p.m.; Saks Fifth Avenue; $75: 269-0955.

March 31: USF Women's Club Golden Anniversary. Dinner, dancing, 6 p.m., Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, must make reservations by Thursday . E-mail usfwomensclub@arts.usf.edu or call 813 974-2011.

April 19: Tampa Palms Women's Club fifth annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon, benefits OASIS, 10:30 a.m., Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club; $22, (813) 971-8063.