Add another big Super Bowl party to the list of events canceled due to the economy.
The Brooks & Dunn Inaugural Golf Classic, a celebrity party and golf tournament hosted by Bucs Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks and scheduled for Jan. 29-30 in Tampa, has been cancelled, officials with both players' charities said this week.
Natalie Boe, executive director for the Warrick Dunn Foundation, said — and stop us if you've heard this one before — the dismal economy was a definite factor.
"We had been fortunate in securing just over $100,000 in sponsorships; however, we were still short of our goal of $200,000," Boe said. "Their concern was that with only six weeks to go before the event — and two of those weeks being holiday weeks, with a lot of people not having their budgets re-evaluated for January — we were afraid we wouldn't get that commitment for the event."
Boe added that it had been difficult to line up celebrities to jump on board, which made it tough to justify the $10,000-per-foursome price tag for sponsors. Still, both Buccaneers will be visible around town at other fundraisers during Super Bowl week.
Dunn — who famously builds homes for the underprivileged through his Warrick Dunn Foundation — will be part of SuperBuild, an NFL-endorsed event designed to erect six Habitat for Humanity homes in the days leading up to the game. Donate at habitatsuperbuild.com.
Brooks will be part of the Ebony Fashion Fair, a fashion show at the Tampa Theatre that will benefit his Derrick Brooks Charities Youth Auxiliary Rites of Passage Program. Tickets to that event are $35 at derrickbrookscharities.org.
Pam, Simeon christen new club Aja
It hasn't even opened yet, and already, new Channelside nightspot Aja has a big-time Super Bowl party lined up.
Athletes and Angels, starring Pamela Anderson, Simeon Rice, DJ Vice and a host of NFL players, will take place from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Jan. 31 at the new club at the base of the Towers at Channelside, 290 S Meridian Ave.
"(Anderson) was bringing her kids to the football game, and she wanted to do some kind of event while she was in town," said Enrique de Jesus, one of the partners in the property. She'll be sitting in the middle of the venue, so ticketholders may get to mingle with the Baywatch babe. Tickets are on sale now for $300 at ajachannelside.com.
If you can't wait until then to check out the sleek, 12,000-square-foot club, Aja will host a grand opening party at 9 p.m. Jan. 16 featuring a performance by DJ Sky Nellor. Tickets are $20 at ajachannelside.com; Call (301) 367-2553 for a table reservation.
Colts' Freeney ready to rack 'em up
The Indianapolis Colts' Dwight Freeney is gearing up for Dwight Freeney's Super Billiards Tournament, 7 p.m. to midnight Jan. 29 at GameWorks in Ybor City.
Warren Sapp, Marcellus Willey, Terrell Suggs, Tommie Harris Darryl Strawberry, Jim Jones and DJ Clue are among the scheduled guests. The event will raise money for the Dwight Freeney Foundation, which promotes healthy lifestyles for kids. Tickets are available for $50 and $100 at dwightfreeneyssuperbilliardstournament.com.
Hall of Famers hit the Columbia
The Fourth Annual Super Bowl Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon is set for 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Ybor City's historic Columbia Restaurant. Merlin Olson will host the event, and confirmed guests include Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Thurman Thomas and Lee Roy Selmon.
Only 175 tickets — at $1,250 a pop — will be sold. A Hall of Famer will be seated at each table, and ticket holders will receive a limited-edition Dick Butkus autographed lithograph. Sponsorship opportunities are $25,000, $50,000 (whichincludes two Super Bowl tickets) and $150,000 (which includes four game tickets.)
For more information, visit profootballhof.com/hall/sbluncheon.jsp.
More party tidbits
• DJ AM is booked to play the Maxim Party on Jan. 30 at the Ritz Ybor. No word on whether he'll bring partner in rhythm Travis Barker.
• Terrell Owens, Vida Guerra and singer Casely have been tabbed to appear at the Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XI game, which has been moved from USF to Jefferson High School in Tampa. The charity hoops game kicks of at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 and will feature a performance by the Souldja Boyz, a hip-hop trio from Tampa. Tickets are $40, $60 and $250 for VIP floor seats; expect more players to be announced soon at gridironhoops.com.
• Aspiring rappers may want to check out a Super Bowl edition of the Gainesville Music Summit, an event that's part party, part music-biz seminar and part beat battle showcase. Tay Dizm and Tom G are among the artists scheduled to appear. It'll take place Jan. 27 at Tampa Live, 2620 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. For details, call (813) 728-7881 or visit gainesvillesummit.net.
• The Vince Lombardi Trophy, the shiny little trinket awarded to the Super Bowl champions, will be unveiled in the most masculine of venues: Breakfast at Tiffany's. The silver bauble will appear at an invite-only breakfast Jan. 24 at Tiffany & Co. at International Plaza. Guards will then whisk it to the NFL Experience, where the public can see it.
— Jay Cridlin, Janet Zink