Agog passersby on their way to the Sugden Theater on April 28 avoided the pirate mob that descended onto the plaza for a raucous tented reception prior to the Yabba Island Pirate Ball staged to benefit the building of Children’s Museum of Naples, C’mon.
Becky Nicholson, a fetching wench and Capt. Jack Sparrow (aka Travis King) stood at attention at the entry to vet the armed arrivals on shore leave. Sold out three weeks in advance, the sixth annual ball hosted by Skip Quillen’s Culinary Concept/ Karma Club drew 200 eager guests — women garbed in outfits ranging from extreme decolletage, mini-skirts and net stockings to tricorns or rakish headbands, dreadlocks, eye patches, and thick mascara and eyeliner on the carousing men. Evening ambience was created by Brimmer’s Custom Decor.
Energized by mugs of rum-based Pirate Punch and hot hors d’oeuvres that included tuna sushi, shrimp corn dogs and beef tartare, they plundered more than 30 lots of silent auction items. Luxury staycations, grog collections of tequila and select wines and booty for lads and lassies drew considerable attention.
Miniature treasure chests containing a small treasure and a key that might just unlock the Grand Prize, a Van Cleef and Arpels, Naples donation of a Papillion watch and matching pendant valued at $14,450, were snapped up at $150 each.
Mob standouts were big, tall John Allen flexing his skull-and crossbones-tattooed bicep; John Fumagalli with a shrunken head dangling from his neck; and Kirsten Blabey batting extended, gold-tipped eyelashes. Karen Coney Coplin showed up in ragged, borrowed male attire and a hook instead of a left hand, “lost while slicing whale blubber while aboard ship.” Simone Lutgert, capital campaign chair, dazzled in her aqua-hued, undersea pirate siren costume bought in New Mexico.
As soon as invited in, the motley crowd converged on the adjacent Yabba Island Grill to gorge on shellfish and crustaceans awash in chilled Sailor Soup, a trencherman-sized, Barbados-inspired main course and tiered epergnes of sweet friandises.
Co-chaimen Sara Farley and Nancy Davenport and C’mon Guild members deftly conducted the live auction of rounds at the Seminole and National world-class courses; an exclusive Oregon wine harvesting holiday; and a four-day, three-night fishing adventure for six guys on Islamorada.
In white dress coat and black tricorn, the debonair Admiral of the Pirate Fleet Joe Cox, who also serves as C’mon executive director, has announced that net event proceeds reached $200,000. The sum includes ticket income at $350 per person, all auction proceeds and treasure chest purchases.