The Tampa Bay Rays put their good looks to good use, bringing in more than $100,000 at Rays on the Runway recently.
The fundraiser, put on by the Rays Wives organization, was for the Children's Dream Fund, which makes dream vacations and experiences for kids facing life-threatening illness become reality. Planning and taking a trip, such as a Disney cruise or astronaut training at Kennedy Space Center, is a great diversion from hospitals and treatments. Hamming it up on the runway with the Rays also makes for a pretty fun night.
When Beth Anne and Corey Dickerson reached the end of the runway with 12-year-old Xavier Moses, the youngest model thrilled the crowed with a headstand. Kelly and Alex Cobb presented a funny mini-drama. The pitcher threw an imaginary ball to dream child Christopher Dugan, a rising high school junior, who pantomimed hitting it out of the park, then put his arm around Kelly and the two walked past a dejected looking Alex. Christie and Logan Morrison modeled with Skai Coughlan, who twirled like a ballerina at the runway's end.
Baby bumps made appearances on the catwalk as well. When Wilson Ramos reached the end of the runway with his wife, Yeli Ramos, who looked stunning in a flowing peach dress, he knelt down and kissed her pregnant stomach. Trevor Plouffe and wife Olivia, who rocked a fitted cranberry dress, are also expecting a baby. Each of them has the Roman numerals XXIII tattooed on their finger in honor of Nov. 23, 2008, their first date. They got the tattoos when they had been dating six months and have now been married four years. All the women's clothes were from Canvas Fashion Gallery in St. Petersburg.
Patrons who packed the Vinoy Renaissance Resort bid big bucks for baskets of the players' favorite things. Kevin Kiermaier's collection included four tall boy cans of Busch Light, what he called "the Cadillac of beers." It went for $8,000.