Ryan Hoag is beautiful, and he knows it. "He never met a mirror he didn't like," joked his handler, Minnesota Vikings community relations director Brad Madson.
But at least the footballer and reality TV star put his endowments to good use. On a rainy night last week, Hoag and 20 other sexy singles went on the auction block at the second annual Date for Life event. In turn, partygoers got to bid on dates with these lookers. Proceeds went to the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
Hoag was merciless as he worked a room packed with lonely hearts. "Can I get a hug?" he said, rather tenderly, as he approached one defenseless woman. She ended up making an ill-fated bid.
In the end, it was Kate Ryan and her dad, Tom Ryan -- owners of Elko Speedway -- who won out. They paid $550 for Kate to accompany Hoag to dinner and a football game. "At least I know she'll be out with a stand-up guy," Tom said sincerely.
Among the women in the room, there was much chatter regarding who was hotter -- Hoag the beefcake or wholesome St. Paul police officer Tony Holte.
"If you want to be cheated on, lied to -- go to any of these other guys," said Holte's sister, Kristi Holte, a forceful saleswoman. The date -- to a shooting range and Axel's Bonfire Grill -- sold for an impressive $600.
Young women were also bestsellers -- especially Jessica Kohanek, a slinky Hooters waitress from Burnsville who advertised a private photo session with her and some co-workers. While standing on the auction block, Kohanek wriggled, licked her lips and even smoothed her palm against the backside of renowned auctioneer Karen Sorbo. This strategy worked like a charm: One fellow was enticed out of $950.
But a savvy thirtysomething businesswoman raked in even more dough. Sarah Christiansen, a national business developer with U.S. Bancorp -- and a classic beauty -- offered a date that consisted of private beer- or wine-making lessons and an aerial tour of the Twin Cities. It sold for a whoppin $1,050.
Toss in a few silent-auction items, and these lovely folks raised more than $21,000 at the event.
Christy DeSmith is a Minneapolis writer.