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 2014-2015 Fundraising Season
4/16/15Coastal Conservation Association Tampa Tampa
4/11/15The Wanderlust Gala Auction Estero, FL
4/10/15Immokalee ChildcareImmokolee, FL
4/10/15ForEvergladesNaples, FL
4/2/15Coastal Conservation Association CharlotteCharlotte
3/28/15Heart BallEstero, FL
3/27/15Annual Avila Charity Tennis TournamentTampa, FL
3/26/15Coastal Conservation Association Polk
3/25/15Robb & Stucky Chairs for Charity Ft Myers, FL
3/24/1514th Annual Van Wezel Foundation GalaSarasota,FL
3/24/15Bayshore CAPANaples, FL
3/22/15Golf and Grape MS Society Naples, FL
3/21/15The Ohio State Buckeye Club GalaNaples, FL
3/21/15The Boots and Boogie BashNaples, FL
3/20/15Useppa GalaFort Myers, FL
3/19/15Coastal Conservation Association Ft MyersFort Myers, FL
3/14/15LMHS Wild About Kids GalaNaples, FL
3/14/15Berkley PrepTampa, FL
3/14/15Carrollwood Day School GalaTampa, FL
3/13/15Pet LoversNaples, FL
3/12/15Coastal Conservation Association CitrusCitrus
3/9/15Gulf Shore Play HouseNaples, FL
3/6/15American Cancer Association, Bucket List Bash Naples, FL
3/5/15Magic Under the MangrovesNaples, FL
3/4/15Imagine Champagne Afternoon TeaNaples, FL
2/28/15Wine FestFort Myers, FL
2/28/15Tampa JesuitTampa, FL
2/26/15Boston Red Sox Tee Party, LMHS Forrest County Club
2/21/15CRF GalaUpper Keys, FL
2/21/15Neighborhood Health Naples, FL
2/18/1510th Anniversary Celebration Naples, FL
2/16/15Basketball Hall of FameNaples, FL
2/15/15Fiddle SticksFort Myers, FL
2/13/15Fiddle SticksFort Myers, FL
2/8/15Celebrity Martini GlassNaples, FL
2/7/15The Love of Art Auction GalaNaples, FL
2/7/15FGCU President's GalaNaples, FL
2/6/15Fun Time Learning AcademyNaples, FL
2/6/15Costal Conservation Association Ocala Ocala
2/5/15St Ann School Foundation Naples, FL
1/27/15Heights Foundation Fort Myers, FL
1/17/15David Lawrence CenterNaples, FL
1/14/15Guadalupe CenterNaples, FL
1/12/15Old Fashioned Round Up, Latch Key LegionPelican Bay, FL
12/12/14Artis-Naples Winter Gala and AuctionNaples, FL
12/10/14Dodge Viper, LMHS Fort Myers
12/5/14Ave Maria Law School Christmas GalaNaples, FL
12/4/14Coastal Conservation Association St AugustineSt Augustine, FL
11/21/14Coastal Conservation Association SarasotaSarasota,FL
11/15/14Naples Community School Angel Ball Naples, FL
11/14/14Immokalee FoundationNaples, FL
11/13/14Coastal Conservation Association North PalmPalm Beach, FL
11/9/14TheatreZone GalaNaples, FL
11/8/14Praying for Our ChildrenTampa, FL
11/8/14Arts for ActFort Myers, FL
11/6/14Coastal Conservation Association JacksonvilleJacksonville, FL
11/1/14Red Kettle Gala Salvation ArmyNaples, FL
10/26/14From Our HeartsFort Myers FL
10/23/14Costal Conservation Association DadeMiami, FL
10/11/14St.Petersburg Catholic High School St. Petersburg, FL
10/9/14Coastal Conservation Association OrlandoOrlando, FL
10/9/14Coastal Conservation Association OrlandoMelbourne, FL
10/4/14Sandbar ProductionsFort Myers, FL
9/27/14Bartlet Regional Hospital Seafood GalaJuneau, AK
9/25/14Coastal Conservation AssociationSouth Palm Palm Beach, FL
9/18/14Coastal Conservation Association PinellasSt. Petersbug, FL
9/6/14FARA Energy BallTampa, FL
8/31/14Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers FoundationSonoma, CA
8/21/14Celebrity Chef's DinnerCape Coral, FL