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Art, glamour and glowing Divas highlight WrestleMania Premiere Party
MIAMI – One look at the giant silver yacht parked at the marina, another glance toward the Swarovski crystals adorning Brie Bella's dress, and you knew this was a WrestleMania Premiere Party like no other. (PHOTOS: RED CARPET | FASHION SHOW | ARTWORK)
Heck, even The Miz's Chihuahua – yes, he walked around with a Chihuahua – was dressed to the nines in a miniature tuxedo.
Together with Grammy Award-winning artist Timbaland and Miami philanthropist Stuart Miller, WWE hosted a star-studded event Thursday night on Star Island to benefit Alex's Place at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The 3,200-square-foot pediatric hematology-oncology clinic is set to open later this spring in Miami.
"WWE is all about giving back, and that's what we want to do here all week long during WrestleMania Week. We want to give back to the community," said WWE’s Executive Vice President of Creative, Stephanie McMahon.
For the very first time, the event also featured a dazzling fashion show with WWE Divas Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, The Bellas and Eve modeling outfits from top designers alongside Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. All of the outfits, jewelry and accessories that the models wore on the runway, from Kelly's black-and-white animal print dress to Eve's flowing white gown, were auctioned off and raised thousands for the terrific cause.
"It's an amazing opportunity for the Superstars and Divas to be here," said Natalya, who was honored to be WWE.com's red carpet hostess for the event. "To use WWE as a platform to help kids with cancer is so rewarding. We put smiles on people's faces."
In addition to the head-turning high fashion, party attendees were given the one-of-a-kind opportunity to bid on WWE-themed artwork, a portion of which was created even while the event was going on. One of those works of art was a piece crafted by none other than WWE announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler, who used an 8x10 photo of John Cena as inspiration for his portrait. After the frantic bidding war settled, the piece sold for $3,500 to the same woman who successfully bid for Lawler's portrait of The Undertaker at WrestleMania last year. ( VIDEO)
"If you ask me what this is worth, it's priceless," Lawler said of his Cena artwork.
Members of the WWE Universe who were unable to attend the gala continued getting involved in the auction – and continue to do so through Sunday night – from afar, as they bid online on WWE-themed works of art, with net proceeds from the online auction benefiting children's oncology care at the Center. ( AUCTION DETAILS)
James Durbin, be a STAR spokesman and former American Idol contestant, noted that his "gut instinct" tells him that Cena is going to triumph, but added that there's a controversial feel to the clash that suggests it could go either way.
As the party continued into the night, we inch one step closer to The Show of Shows, and the chatter on the red carpet made it clearer than those Swarovski crystals: the real premiere event of the week – the year, in fact – will soon be here.