Thursday, February 11, 2010

All-Star Party Dish: Dirk Gets a Date. Actually 2!!!

Get your minds out of the gutter!  It wasn't anything seedy.  Details on the big date in a moment.

Let me start by saying that the snow blanketing North Texas this morning is nothing compared to the avalanche of professional athletes, celebrities and uber-parties that are heading this way this weekend.  I had some peeps at an event Jam Session that was supposed to be private at the convention center yesterday.  One particular NBA All-Star weekend veteran told me it was overflowing with chaos.  Officials were supposed to be limiting entry to the event at the Dallas Convention Center! Patience my friends.  Patience.  Crowds could be overwhelming this weekend.  Trust me.....Dallas hasn't seen anything like it.  I'm just sayin.....

Ok, on to the party.  There will be hundreds of events this weekend ranging from the private and ultra-exclusive to the come one, come all IF you pay $150 to get in the door.

I was lucky enough to emcee a fundraiser for the Seeds Foundation honoring Mavs GM Donnie Nelson for his contributions to their efforts.  The Seeds Foundation is a worthy organization that former Mavs scout turned head of NBA South Africa Amadou Gallo Fall founded that provides schooling to Sengalese youth.  These kids are getting educational opportunities they would never have the opportunity to receive.  This group is making a real difference. I met two Seeds Academy alums and they told me they are changed men.  It's a magnificent cause.

NBA great Dikembe Mutombo served as the honorary chair and was kind enough to help me time and against silence the crowd.  He truly is EF Hutton: when Dikembe talks, people listen.  Anne & Steve Stodgehill were the co-chairs while Mark Followill showed he's a multi-talented man with his live auction skills.  Others gracing us with their presence included: Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who is scheduled to the nanosecond this week, Ben Rogers and Jeff "Skin" Wade, Kenny Goss, Sterling and Inger Miller, Mavs PR guru Scott Tomlin and his beautiful wife, Abbi, designer Abi Ferrin, and too many fabulous names to mention.

The highlight, though, was the Big German.  Dirk Nowitzki is not only an All-Star, he is a gamer.  Nowitzki purchased a beautiful Rolando Diaz painting for four figures and then the fun came!!!!!  The highlight of the live auction was a date with said Nowitzki and Mavs rookie, Rodrigue Beaubois.  Not one to be outdone by Mark Followill awesome auctioneering skills, Dirk took the mic himself for his date.  Bidding started at $1,000.  Dirk worked the room and the mic (I would like to think I was a decent spotter but I doubt my skills had much to do with anything).  Bidding was fast and furious and when Kenny Goss topped everyone with a bid of $5,000, Anne Stodgehill matched it!  $10,000 for a double date with Dirk!  How awesome is that?  Turns out, Goss is good friends with Steve Nash and they're going to try to fly Nash into town and do a big group dinner at Goss and George Michael's home in Highland Park.

Tons of money raised?  Check.   Awareness for a great cause raised?  Double check.  Gobs of fun had by all?  Triple check  My only regret - not taking any pictures! 

And that event, my friends, was just the tip of the All-Star Weekend iceberg.
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