All for charity: Half-priced diamonds up for auction at special Marco Island fundraiser

What sparkles like nothing else? A diamond, right?

But diamonds can become quite costly, so what’s a woman to do? Easy, attend A Diamond Affair, a benefit for the American Cancer Society, where you can take away expensive jewelry at half the retail cost — all in the name of charity.

The fine diamond jewelry silent auction, to be held Oct. 2, features jewelry donated by Chuck and Karen Coates, owners of Gulfcoast Jewelers.

“The pieces being auctioned are Robert Wyland creations,” said Chuck Coates. “Wyland is an environmentalist. He (puts) the funds he receives from sales of his work in a trust fund that he has set up to clean and restore the waterways.”

Wyland, an artist who lives in Hawaii and the Florida Keys, is an accomplished scuba diver.

“He goes out there and swims with the manatees, so that when he paints a manatee, he knows exactly what they look like,” said Coates. “He is not a designer who stylizes images. His dolphins will look like real dolphins.”

Bidding starts at half the retail value of each item. One item, a necklace and pendant, is valued at $4,400, and matching earrings. Bidding will start at $2,200.

“There are 86 points of diamonds in the pendant,” said Coates. “This is an 18-inch Omega necklace. It’s made from 33 grams of 14 karat gold. We estimate its value by the using lowest-priced gold selling price we could find.”

Tara Trevethan, who owns Tara’s Steakhouse, is enthusiastic about the evening. “This event will raise money for Relay for Life, which my family supports. This is our chance to give back.”

The gala’s spectacular hors d’oeuvres menu was created by Tara Trevethan’s mother, executive chef Jeannie.

“We are of Italian descent,” said Tara Trevethan. “Holiday dinners, Sunday dinners were eight-hour sit-downs. My mom can make absolutely anything. Give her weird ingredients and she will do something amazing.”

Fresh Gulf shrimp cocktail, with homemade cocktail sauce, lollypop lamb chops, center-cut filet mignon on garlic toast with shebang! sauce, mini crab cakes and spinach stuffed mushrooms are a portion of what guests will sample at the event. Hors d’oeuvres will be passed from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

“Our dry-aged, corn-fed beef filet mignon is center-cut, which actually makes it so that you can cut it with a fork,” said Trevethan.

Wynn Dixie manager, Mike Silvero, donated a portion of the food’s ingredients, to help offset expenses for the event.

Tara Steak & Lobster House is donating dinner for six, to be auctioned at the event, in cooperation with Mike McNaboe, of Easy Come Easy Go Limo, who will provide limousine transportation to and from the restaurant for the winning bidders.

Those who attend the auction can stay for dinner and will enjoy a complimentary bottle of Tara wine, with the purchase of one entree.

Also being auctioned is a deep-sea fishing trip for four, valued at $1,000, donated by Capt. Mark Garcy of Reel One Up Charters.

“He fishes for everything,” said Marva Sutt. “Tripletail, marlin, grouper, whatever it is, he is one of the best of Marco Island charters.”

Relay for Life is one of three major fundraisers held annually to raise money for cancer research, according to Jim and Marva Sutt, of Marco Island, who act as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society. Both are also cancer survivors.

A Diamond Affair is by invitation only, but event coordinators Marva Sutt and Tara Trevethan extend their invitation to include interested donors and bidders who would like to attend. Additional seating is limited to 30 more people. Please RSVP by Sept. 27, to Marva Sutt at (239) 774-1411 or Tara Steak & Lobster House at (239) 394-0212.

Info: (239)642-8800, or visit

If you go

A Diamond Affair, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

Oct. 2, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Tara Steak & Lobster House

760 N. Collier Blvd., Ste. 105

(239) 394-0212

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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