The Truth Behind My Colorful Vests

Many historic and memorable events occurred in 1996. Betty Ruble debuted as a Flintstone vitamin. The movie “Showgirls” won the 16th annual Golden Raspberry Award. John Tesh hosted his final show on “Entertainment Tonight.” And I discovered colorful vests.

I always wear a tuxedo at charity auctions. When the style evolved from cumberbuns to vests, I evolved as well. But I felt a black vest made me look like a waiter, and as the ringmaster for the evening I wanted to stand out from the crowd and those all important and valuable servers taking such diligent care of the hungry and thirsty masses.

It’s not a fashion statement many other benefit auctioneers adhere to. It’s pretty much just me – on stage – with a black tux and an overly colorful vest. In a subtle way it helps me project confidence and really establishes my presence at the event.

Over the years I’ve managed to own more than 43 vests. While the majority come from my favorite tuxedo shop, Black Tie Tuxedo in Fort Myers, Florida, I do have them custom made if I find really nice fabric with great colors and an unusual pattern.

I’m not superstitious, so I don’t have a “lucky” vest that I wear on a regular basis while working. I simply try to match my vest to the theme of the event.

So, the next time you see me at a benefit auction, I look forward to you telling me “Nice Vest.” The only thing I don’t look forward to is the time when cumberbuns come back into style. What am I going to do then?

Serving Florida and the Eastern United States. We have performed auctions in fourteen states including but not limited to the following cities: Atlanta, Bonita Springs, Bradenton, Brandon Brooksville, Cape Coral, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Clearwater, Coco Beach, Crystal River, Everglades, City Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hollywood, Immokalee, Islamorada, Sanibel Island,Captivia, Jupiter, Key Largo, Key West, Knoxville, Lexington, Louisville, Marathon, Miami, Mt Doro, Naples, Nashville, New Port Ritchie, New York, Nokomis, North Port, Ocala Orlando, Palm Beach, Park City, Pittsburg, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, St Petersburg, San Diego, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantuckett, Sarasota, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Venice, and Vero Beach. "Have gavel will travel."

Auction Dates for the 2013-2014 Fundraising Season
DateAuctionPlace
10/11/2014St.Petersburg Catholic High SchoolSt Petersburg
10/9/2014Costal Conservation Association OrlandoOrlando
10/4/2014Barge-Less PartyMatlacha
9/27/2014Bartlet Regional Hospital Seafood GalaJuneau Alaska
9/25/2014Costal Conservation Association South Palm Palm Beach
9/18/2014Coastal Conservation PinellasSt Petersburg
9/11/2014Coastal Conservation Coast Space CenterMelbourne
9/6/2014Fara Energy BallTampa
8/31/2014Sonoma Valley Vinters and Growes FoundationSonoma, CA
8/21/2014Celebrity Chef DinnerCape Coral
5/10/2014Chinese American International SchoolSan Francisco
5/9/2014Cal TroutSan Francisco
5/8/2014Crohn's and Colitis FoundationSan Francisco
5/3/2014Central Florida Womens LeagueOrlando
5/2/2014CCA Life Member OutingEverglades City
4/27/2014JR Achievement of SWFEstero
4/26/2014Friends of Foster ChildrenNaples
4/24/2014Coastal Conservation HernandoBrooksville
4/12/2014Tails Humane SocietyChicago IL
4/11/2014ForEverglades Naples
4/7/2014Founders FundNaples
4/5/2014Southwest Florida Heart BallEstero
4/4/2014Mike Ditka/Jim Hart Celebrity Golf TournamentSugden Hall
4/4/2014Wanderlust FGCUNaples
4/3/2014Coastal Conservation Association PolkBartow
3/29/2014Boys and Girls Club of Monterey CAMonterey CA
3/22/2014Naples CAPANaples
3/20/2014Coastal Conservation Association CitrisCrystal River
3/15/2014Temple BethelFort Myers
3/13/2014Coastal Conservation Association of Fort MyersFort Myers
3/8/2014Ohio State Buckeye ParadiseNaples
3/8/2014Tampa Jesuit SchoolTampa
3/7/2014Seahorse Dream GalaSanibel Harbor
3/6/2014Magic Under the MangrovesNaples
3/4/2014Mardi Gras for Catholic CharitiesSarasota
3/1/2014Bucket List BashNaples
3/1/2014Venetian Ball for Catholic CharitiesFort Myers
2/27/2014Coastal Conservation Association ManateeBradenton
2/23/2014Celebrity Martini GlassNaples
2/22/2014Southwest Florida Wine and Food FestNaples
2/21/2014Carrolwood Day SchoolNaples
2/20/2014Boston Red SoxNaples
2/19/2014Opera NaplesNaples
2/16/2014Fiddlesticks Bobby NicholsFort Myers
2/15/2014Neighborhood Health ClinicNaples
2/15/2014New Missions System GolfEstero
2/14/2014Fiddlesticks Pipers AuctionFort Myers
2/9/20143rd on CanvasNaples
2/9/2014Pirates BallMatlacha
2/7/2014Van WezelSarasota
2/1/2014FGCU Presidents BallNaples
1/31/2014CCA OcalaOcala
1/26/2014Marion Downs FoundationDenver, CO
1/18/2014Seacrest Country Day SchoolNaples FL
1/17/2014David Lawrence CenterNaples FL
1/15/2014Heights Community FoundationFort Myers, FL
12/7/2013Friends of Foster Children Naples
12/6/2013Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee CountyFort Myers
12/6/2013Ava MariaNaples
11/24/2013Florida Hospital Golden GalaOrlando
11/21/2013CCA SarasotaSarasota
11/16/2013Immokalee FoundationNaples
11/15/2013North Palm BeachPalm Beach
11/12/2013Seminar with Online Marketing of fundraising auctionNaples
11/9/2013Angel Ball for Community School of NaplesNaples
11/7/2013Coastal Conservation of FloridaJacksonville
11/2/2013Haverford SchoolPhiladelphia
11/1/2013Red Snook Fishing Tournament/Auction Conservancy Southwest FLSouthwest Florida
10/24/2013Coastal Conservation of FloridaMiami
10/17/2013Coastal Conservation AssociationArcadia
10/10/2013Coastal Conservation Association OrlandoOrlando
10/3/2013Coastal Conservation Association GainesvilleGainesville
9/26/2013Coastal Conservation Association South Palm BeachPalm Beach
9/24/2013Fundraising Auction SeminarNaples
9/19/2013Coastal Conservation Association PinellasTampa
9/16/2013Benefit Auctioneers SummitChicago IL
9/14/2013Players Ball for Bridges of Light FoundationOrlando
9/7/2013Fara Energy BallTampa
8/31/2013Ronald McDonald HouseCape Coral
8/22/2013Rum Runners Event for LMHSCape Coral
8/16/2013Thinking Outside The BoxNaples
5/4/2013Heart Ball Lee CountyFort Myers
5/3/2013Coastal Conservation Association Life Member OutingEverglades City
4/26/2013Chamber of Commerce Fort MyersFort Myers
4/21/2013JR Achievement GrandezzaBonita Springs
4/20/2013Canterbury SchoolFort Myers
4/13/2013Friends of Foster ChildrenNaples
4/12/2013ForEvergladesNaples
4/9/2013CCA Polk CountyBartow
4/7/2013MS Golf BanquetNaples
4/5/2013Avila Charity Tennis TournamentTampa
3/28/2013Coastal Conservation Association KeysIslandmorado
3/24/2013Theatre ZoneNaples
3/23/2013Bayshore CAPA Naples
3/22/2013Useppa Muesum GalaUseppa Island
3/21/2013Coastal Conservation Association Banquet and Auction Fort MyersFort Myers
3/19/2013Naples Opera Port Royal Great GadsbyNaples
3/16/2013Carrolwood Day SchoolTampa
3/14/2013Manatee Co CCABradenton
3/9/2013Tampa Jesuit SchoolTampa
3/9/2013Ohio State Buckeye Club NaplesNaples
3/7/2013Magic Under the Mangroves Gala Conservancy Southwest FLNaples
3/2/2013St Pete Catholic High SchoolSt Petersburg
3/2/2013Venetian Ball for Catholic CharitiesFort Myers
2/23/2013Southwest Florida Wine and Food FestFort Myers
2/18/2013Martini Glass Auction Naples PhilharmonicNaples
2/17/2013Fiddlesticks Classic AuctionFt Myers
2/16/2013FGCU GalaFt Myers
2/15/2013Van WezelSarasota
2/15/2013Fiddlesticks Pipers AuctionFt Myers
2/10/20133rd on CanvasNaples
2/10/2013Priates BallMatlacha
2/9/2013Actors TheaterLouisville Ky
2/8/2013Ocala CCAOcala
2/2/2013Muscular DystrophyPalm Beach
1/26/2013Catholic Charities of SarasotaSarasota
1/25/2013IGFANaples
1/19/2013Seacrest Country Day SchoolNaples
1/18/2013David Lawerence FoundationNaples
1/16/2013Guadalope CenterNaples
1/9/2013American Cancer SocietyNaples
12/3/2012Art of the OlympiansFort Myers
12/2/2012Night at the Nest for FGCUFort Myers
12/1/2012St John NeumannNaples
11/16/2012Immokalee Foundation GalaNaples
11/8/2012Sarasota CCA Banquet and AuctionSarasota
11/3/2012Angel Ball for Community School of NaplesNaples
11/2/2012Red Snook Fishing Tournament/Auction Conservancy Southwest FLNaples
10/18/2012Dade CCAMiami
10/11/2012Orlando CCAOrlando
10/6/2012Natural High San DiegoSan Diego