VERO BEACH – The sun really does shine on Vero Beach, thanks largely to two local boys who made good in the world of sports and music, and are now helping Indian River County charities, as well as forcing the arctic air north for a beautiful day of competitive tennis at the exquisite Grand Harbor Golf Club.
The holiday shopping traffic on Ocean Drive was light, due to the fact that friends of the Fish and Owen families seemed to be doing their holiday shopping at the silent auction table. In what seemed to be more the atmosphere of a neighborhood reunion, rather than a fundraiser, guests relaxed in the beautifully decorated club house, for a silent auction, a live auction, a tropical themed buffet lunch and a fashion soiree, complete with beautiful women modeling festive finery from Blondies on Ocean.
Following a security check that rivaled any conducted by the Secret Service watching out for a president or a king, guests were greeted by volunteers in K-Swiss t-shirts and leis, adding to the holiday in the tropics theme, as well as flutes of mimosas or sparkling wine.
Refreshments in hand, guests perused the many silent auction items, including golf and tennis lessons with local club pros, dog training sessions, autographed memorabilia from Jake Owen, lunch from Casey’s, lots of Indian River citrus, beauty treatments, vacations, and all kinds of fun luxuries and necessities provided by local merchants and restaurants.
Brett Haber, former host of ESPN’s Sports Center, was the Master of Ceremonies for the silent and live auction
A mouth watering island-inspired buffet, including a Floridian salad, grilled Mahi Mahi with pickled ginger relish, mojito marinated pork loin, followed by tangy key lime pie and tipsy pineapple rum upside down cake (to be worked off later watching the real tennis players), was served to guests, fortifying themselves for a rousing afternoon of professional, competitive tennis.
The tournament of course featured Mardy Fish, who grew up in the shadow of the Riverside tennis courts, and ran late for lunch because he was working with local children all morning, along with Vero Beach resident, and eight-time grand slam singles winner, Ivan Lendl, and the Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, nine-time Grand Slam doubles winners.
Before the tennis spectacle occurred, beautiful models sashayed through the sunny dining and grill rooms, leisurely showing off sparkly, swirling frocks, courtesy of Blondies on Ocean. Owner Trish HIckey-Reyd said this was the first time a fashion show had taken place during the lunch.
“Sally and Meredith Fish are good customers, which is probably why I received the call to put the fashion show together,” she explained, noting that the fashions in her shop run the gamut from classic casual to holiday formal, emphasizing the terrific, versatile travel pieces of gorgeous textures that she carries to keep her clients from the north happy.
Mardy’s Tennis & Jake’s Music Fest has provided support to children, healthy and sick, in our community for the past four years, and has brought barrier island and mainland residents together in support of the good works of our own two local heroes.