INsite Magazine

Monday, October 26, 2009

They came. They saw. They bid.

Big Brothers Big Sisters' "Match for the Stars" date auction at Sharab Lounge last Friday (Oct. 23) was a hit. At least 250 people crowded Sharab Lounge, eager for their chance to lend a helping hand and win some much-coveted date packages. With bids starting at $50 and dates such as private flights, six-month gym memberships and expensive dinners up for grabs, the value of the night was evident beyond the obvious charitable contribution.

Among the highest bids of the night were $300 dished out for a "Next Top Model" date package with Neutral 7 owner Albert "Albey" Coronel; our very own editor's Sunday Fun-Day: Cars, Wine and Theater" package went for $310; and TV-20's Jordan Smith's Cedar Key date climbed to more than $400!

There was even an all-out bidding war for the "A Fantasy Flight" date, which included a private flight to Sarasota (flown by Gainesville Health & Fitness Owner Joe Cirulli) and a dinner at The Columbia at Saint Armands Circle.

On stage, the bachelors looked great in suits and ties, but the bachelorettes stole the show in form-fitting frocks—many provided by Calzatura boutique. Attendants were treated to a free drink ticket and finger food provided by Mi Apa Latin Cafe. (Mi Apa's owner was on site and won the bid for Amanda Decker, also WCJB TV-20 news anchor.)

"The committee did such a great job putting this together," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Florida executive director Paul Halpern. "You don't see anybody in the room not smiling."

Check out our photo slideshow on our Web site!

—Stephanie Granada
Photos: Rodney Rogers

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