Santa Baby, we've been really good girls and boys, so hurry down our chimneys some night with a modest gift or two from the Big Deals section. Maybe a private Super Bowl party for 40 at The Independent? All-access passes to every cool concert in Tampa Bay for a year? Or how about my own line of beer from Cigar City, my name in a Merl Reagle crossword, or beach vacations with my own party bus? That's really not a lot. So, yes, throw in a yacht. Place your bids by clicking on individual items below, or go to cltampa.com/auction.
The Seminole Heights Independent is closed but one day a year: Super Bowl Sunday. This year they're re-opening just for you and up to 40 of your friends. You and your gang will enjoy a 50-liter keg of seriously good craft beer, a pot of chili, assorted appetizers and an entire bar all to yourself. We'll even bring in a TV so you don't have to miss any of the action. All other beer, wine and soda products will be available for purchase through a cash bar. Bidding starts at: $100. Value: $1,500. Package does not include gratuity.
A six-hour cruise in a 36-foot Monk Trawler, suitably named Set Free, from the St. Petersburg Marina to the Intracoastal and under the Sunshine Skyway, or to Egmont Key (aka Gilligan's Island), with lunch at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Your seasoned skippers and perfect hosts will be real estate and yacht broker Joe Chilberg and his charming wife Susan Chilberg, who've sailed the Set Free to the Bahamas, the Keys and all the way up the East Coast, so you know you'll be in good hands. Watch out for dolphins! Bidding starts at: $25. Value: $200. (Limited to four people; no children.)
Tampa's own Merl Reagle is an internationally known crossword puzzlemaster, star of the documentary Wordplay and a scintillating Oprah guest — and his puzzle in CL is, of course, a weekly addiction. He's also one of the most entertaining raconteurs you'll ever meet, so if you're a crossword fan don't miss this chance to sit down with Merl for dinner and conversation. Plus, he'll create an original crossword with your name as one of the answers! Bidding starts at: $100. Value: Your name in a crossword? How do you put a price on immortality?
One of the hottest commodities in last year's auction was the private dinner prepared by Best of the Bay-winning, James Beard-nominated chef Greg Baker and his wife Michelle Baker at their restaurant The Refinery in Seminole Heights. Well, they're back by popular demand; the Bakers are once more opening their restaurant on a Sunday night especially for the winning bidder and three guests for an all-inclusive dinner paired with craft beers. You'll be sitting with a kitchenside view as Greg prepares the food, sharing cooking tips and tricks of the trade. The menu may consist of anything from foie gras to truffles to ostrich, and The Refinery's craft beer guru will also be there to present the pairings. Bidding starts at: $100. Value: $600.
A six-month Select Membership to Tampa Bay Match Makers
Dating can be a full-time job. That's why your love life needs its own personal assistant, to provide you with dating advice and set you up with other commitment and marriage-minded singles of all ages and backgrounds. After you complete a confidential profile and have a personal consultation with one of TBMM's professional matchmaking coaches, the team will actively seek matches for you throughout Tampa Bay. Bidding starts at: $100. Value: $1,250.
Hey, buddy, there's a beer with your name on it at Cigar City! Literally. If you win this item, you will work with the brewers of internationally known, award-winning Cigar City Brewing to craft a signature beer which will be released to the public with your name and face on the label. Plus you will get two cases of your namesake beer to share with your friends. Or you could just leave the bottles around your man (or woman) cave for the bragging rights. Bidding starts at: $100. Value: Priceless.
Play Unplugged is a performance series unlike any other. Artists play intimate, acoustic sets at the Play 98.7 studio and venues around Tampa Bay, and afterwards stick around to hang out with the fans, take photos, sign autographs and maybe even take a Jäger shot or two. The 2011 lineup included Fitz and the Tantrums, Daughtry and OAR; the winner of this auction will be on the All-Access list (plus one guest) for every Play Unplugged performance in 2012. Bidding starts at: $50. Value: $500.