I attended the swanky event on behalf of my client and silent auction prize provider, the Westin St. John. Held at trendy new steakhouse STK, the fundraiser benefitted New York Jets star Rhodes’ efforts to provide educational and financial opportunities to students in underserved high schools nationwide.
While enjoying a vodka cocktail at the bar, I chatted with charming Sicily-born NYC restaurant owner Vito. There’s something about a man with an Italian accent – especially when he’s talking about what goes into making a good Carbonara.
In the small world department, I found myself standing next to WNBC anchor/reporter Demarco Morgan. It turns out he had the same professors as I did at Columbia University’s Journalism School, shared the anchor chair with a classmate of mine, and knows the WNBC team that I worked with back in my freelance writing days.
“We’re family,” he said. “We should break bread sometime.”
Once business associate Michelle -- who handles PR for the Virgin Islands – arrived, it was time to take our seats for dinner. On the menu, Caesar salad, skirt steak and mashed potatoes, and a vanilla ice and molten chocolate cake that I’m still daydreaming about.
A couple of NFL stars mingled during the meal, including our gracious host.
We also met Rhodes’ teammate Jerricho Cotchery, who smiled good naturedly when Vito said he had a bet riding on how the Jets do this season. Other celeb attendees included ABC sports anchor Dr. Marvell Scott and Miss USA Kristen Dalton.
After a stirring performance by John Legend’s brother Vaughn Anthony, I decided to call it a night. For a Monday, business definitely managed to mix with pleasure!