Bachin’ it for charity
Bikini-clad blondes will have to sit this car show out, having been usurped by “10 top Colorado singles.” General Motors is hosting the Denver Date Drive July 17, where a car and truck show meets the dating game. They call it an “influencer event.”Ten eligible bachelors and bachelorettes will take the stage with a General Motors vehicle. Attendees can bid on a date with the person, all proceeds of which go to the charity of the bachelor/bachelorette’s choice.Two Vail rascals have been chosen to strut their star qualities: extreme skier Chris Anthony and “The Bachelorette’s” Ryan Sutter’s little brother, Chris Sutter. They join the likes of Denver Bronco running back Clinton Portis, Colorado Avalanche hockey player Dan Hinote, Miss Colorado 2003 Erin MacGregor Miss Rodeo America 2001 and Miss Rodeo Colorado 2000 Tara Graham and more.”When we started looking at bachelors, we of course thought sports,” said Christie Conti, General Motors spokesperson. “While we were planning it, “The Bachelorette’ was on, and we thought it would be great if Ryan joined us if he wasn’t chosen. Besides, we wanted to go after a firefighter for one of our categories. But luckily it was a love connection for (Trista and Ryan).”So, they found a Denver firefighter, and asked Chris Sutter to join the line-up, which he did willingly.”It’s for charity, so why not?” he asked.Sutter will be donating the money he raises to Standard British Primary, a school that trains elementary shool teachers for both private and public schools. Sutter begins a teaching internship this August, and hopes to teach third, fourth or fifth graders.”It’s neat to work with kids,” he said. “I think it would be fun to interact with them on a daily basis. Being a teacher, no two days will be the same.”Anthony, on the other hand, couldn’t limit himself to one charity. He’s splitting his three ways between First Descents, Eco Vail and Vail Valley Charitable Fund.”Just to guarantee I don’t get embarrassed up there, I come with incentives,” said Anthony.His incentives include a Vail four-resorts ski pass, a first tracks run and breakfast with Bill Jensen, clothing and gear from ACG, Obermeyer, Go Fast, Colorado Ski Country and Specialty Sports, and a pendant from the Golden Beaver.”It’s a good package even without me,” he said. “It sounds like a fun event. I was just recruited at the last second, I guess they’re really desperate.””When you’re Chris Anthony you have to hedge your bets a little bit,” quipped Sutter, laughing. “Hey, I’m enough of a benefit.”Anthony has a penchant for courting humiliation for charity. He was the poster child for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund’s 2003 Vail Undressed calendar, which had him hucking off a cliff, naked, while being photographed. Naturally, it made the cover.”I think it’s very, very funny that I’m even involved,” said Sutter. “I’m not a celebrity, I’m related to a moderately famous guy.”Adjusting to Ryan’s celebrity status has taken some getting used to.”Our lives have definitely changed,” he said. “It went to kind of weird to kind of funny, to just getting over it and moving on. It’s sort of tough because we used to go out a lot, and obviously we can’t do that now.”Both bachelors got to choose their dream date of choice, and General Motors is footing the bill. They’re also throwing in $2,000 to the charity pool for each single on the auction block.”We wanted to introduce vehicles in a new fashion,” said Conti.In Portland, they decided to fuse the car show with the local art scene, and in Hollywood they had celebrities including Adrien Brody model with the cars the week of the Oscars.”There’s a lot of ways to be exposed to vehicles,” she said. “We just like the synergy of these events. It’s a fun, unique way to not be in your face about presenting a new vehicle. Maybe you’re sitting in the audience saying, “I’d never buy a Buick,’ and Miss Colorado comes out in a new one.”Each person has a song. When the music comes up, the curtain parts, and the car rolls out. Then the emcee tells about the person and the vehicle, and the bidding begins.For his date, Anthony will be flying above the world in a helicopter. An avid heli-skier, staying inside the helicopter will be something new for him.”It will be hard to pass over the mountains without stepping out,” he said. “But I love helicopters. It’s like you’re an angel. The things aren’t meant to fly, but when you’re up there, it’s amazing that you can get off the ground. But if that thing can get off the ground, we can do anything.”Sutter will be spending his date at a Rockies game.” A day at the ballpark,” he said with satisfaction. “There’s nothing better in this world than a warm beer and cold hot dogs. … I’m pretty laid back, that’s about it. I’m a laid back, giggly personality. I do a lot of laughing. I don’t take a whole lot very seriously. A day at the park with me will hopefully be a day of fun and laughter.””If I get a date, seeing as I don’t have any incentives,” he added.The Denver Date Drive will be held on the pedestrian walkway in front of the Denver Chophouse & Brewery. The event is invitation-only, though some tickets are being made to the public through Alice 106 FM. Listeners can tune in between 5:30-10 a.m. for a chance to win tickets to attend. Visit http://www.alice106.com for more information on winning tickets.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.