12/16: Frank Ski’s wine auction at his home
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ABOVE: Frank starts his auction. You can see Bert Weiss in the background with his wife Stacey. That’s his publicist Cherry Banez on the right.
Frank Ski’s 4th annual wine auction to raise bucks for his Frank Ski Kids Foundation is unusual because he holds it at his lavish home. Most of the main floor and downstairs are open to the public. Guards are stationed so people can’t wander upstairs and peek into Frank’s bedroom.
Last year, we did a “Private Quarters” photo gallery of Ski’s home and it was enormously popular. The Dunwoody home includes eight bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. It features a basement with autographed jerseys of various athletic stars on the walls and a room packed with mementos from his various vacations (such as this big swordfish above.)
He raised about $90,000 for his foundation last year and broke $100,000 this year with auction items such as a trip to meet Magic Johnson and autographed items from the likes of LeBron James, Tiger Woods, John Smoltz, Keith Sweat (who was in attendance) and Babyface. (I’m awaiting a total from his publicist Cherry Banez. Yes, that’s her name.)
He used some of that money last year to send a dozen teens from Atlanta to the Galapagos Islands. Three of those teens showed up to the auction to extol the experience including an incredibly moving speech by 15-year-old Asha Carter, who definitely has skills speaking in front of a crowd. He also sends kids to NASA’s Space Academy in Huntsville, Ala. and holds a summer camp for thousands of kids over the summer. He also gives money to rec and parks programs around Atlanta.
His publicist named Cherry gave out a release dangling two A-listers as confirmed guests: Ne-Yo and Diddy. Ne-Yo was a no show, but Diddy showed up— for a few minutes. By the time I realized he was there, he was out the door. The AJC photographer found out just in time and nabbed a single decent shot of him before he left.
ABOVE: 112’s “Q” with injured Falcons defensive tackle Rod Coleman, who was fortunate to miss the drubbing the Falcons took the same day 37-3 to the Bucs.
ABOVE: Brian Jordan, formerly of the Braves and as Ski noted, not included in the Mitchell Report.
But there were other local luminaries there including Atlanta City Council prez Lisa Borders, Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington, DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, former Braves player Brian Jordan, educator, Q100 host Bert Weiss, actor Malik Yoba, Broadway director Kenny Leon, WAOK-AM talker Shelley Wynter, injured Falcons defensive tackle Rod Coleman, 112 member Quinees “Q” Parker, Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew, Speech from Arrested Development and former radio host Michael Eric Dyson, His co-host Wanda Smith and I shot the breeze for awhile, though none of the other major V-103 personalities (Porsche Foxx, Greg Street, Ryan Cameron) showed up. Later on, after I left, Emmanuel Lewis and Dallas Austin popped in for an afterparty party, according to publicist Cherry.
ABOVE: Wanda Smith, Ski’s day wife, as she calls herself, and Tonya, Ski’s “night” wife, or in other words, his real wife.
ABOVE: Wanda with Bert Weiss.
I then stopped by the 99X Mistle Toe Jam. I got there too late for Silversun Pickups and the Shins, but caught part of Silverchair and all of Modest Mouse. Both were solid, fun entertainment and the crowd was definiteily into it. You have to give the station credit, for all its problems, it was still able to sell out the Gwinnett Arena, at about 12,000 people. That’s nearly five percent of its total weekly audience.
For the first time I met Lewis Alston of the 99X night-time show (below), who struck me as goofy nice. Or maybe it was just the Santa hat on top of his head.