Eager fans hoping for a brush with fame lined up outside RiverCentre as sleek black Town Cars pulled into a sleepy downtown St. Paul Sunday. One woman stood back waiting patiently as her husband peered through a glass wall watching for Adrian Peterson. Inside, photographers shouted, “Adrian! Adrian!”
Athletes, musicians and VIPs -- from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to “Mini Me” actor Verne Troyer -- casually strolled past the phalanx of photographers, waving and stopping to chat with reporters. These A-list celebrities swooped into town to attend Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “So the World May Hear” Gala.
Sporting a red skull scarf and red canvas tennis shoes, singer Sammy Hagar lowered his Ray Ban aviators and jokingly said that even though the Star Tribune wrote a “bad review” about him, he’d talk with reporters.
Former Minnesota Viking Jack Brewer admitted he forgot his tuxedo, and had to rush “across the street” to buy a black and white Armani Privé replacement.
Those hoping for a glimpse of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were disappointed. Clinton was scheduled to speak at the gala, but skipped the red carpet.
Vikings player Greg Jennings, who wore an electric pink skinny tie, arrived with his wife Nicole at his side. The couple, who have been on a mission trip with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, said it changed their perspective on helping people in need. “The first kid I fit for a hearing aid … she said she heard music and she was actually talking about the gravel we were walking on,” Jennings said. “I realized I totally discount all the little things that we hear.”
The annual Midwest fete helps raise upward of $7 million for the foundation, which distributes hearing aids to kids around the world.