02.12.10 Rocker Sting, tennis' John McEnroe, Gov. Charlie Crist give high-profile feel to Everglades shindig...



Rocker Sting, tennis' John McEnroe, Gov. Charlie Crist give high-profile feel to Everglades shindig...

The Everglades Foundation, which raises cash to preserve the River of Grass, brought a big fish to its small pond Friday night at Palm Beach's Breakers hotel.

Sting, the environmentally-conscious Brit superstar singer of The Police, was the guest of honor and also entertained about 840 guests. Each paid $1,000 to be jam-packed in the foundation's yearly gala, but hey!, there's only one Sting.

And, I'm told, the singer songwriter played the gig free of charge!

The icing on the celeb cake was provided by: Retired tennis bad boy John McEnroe, who emceed well after originally coming in with a sour puss; golf legend Jack Nicklaus, a board member of the foundation; and members of the state cabinet appearing with Gov. Charlie Crist, including Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and CFO Alex Sink.

Needless to say, security may have been unprecedented at a Palm Beach charity gig. The background was heavy with FDLE agents in addition to local lawmen.

Wearing a black jacket and thin cotton scarfs - he looked like the rocker's version of a lord, but then he was knighted by the Queen in 2003 - Sting explained why he was there. Sting's pet issue has been for years the protection of rainforests throughout the world.

"You can't really separate the two issues (the Everglades and rainforests)," Sting told Page2Live. "All of these ecosystems are interrelated and we need to work to protect them now."

But the conversation changed when Page2Live's lensman, Mike Jachles, told Sting he was at The Police's first North American gig in the late 1970s, at a Syracuse, N.Y., bar named Firehouse Tavern.

Sting's face lit up and he replied: "I remember it well!"

Also at the hotel's lavish Ponce de Leon ballroom: local environment legend Nat Reed; author Carl Hiaasen; Netscape founder Jim Clark with his child bride, I mean, much younger wife, Aussie model Kirsty.

Once again, the governor was solo. His wife of just a year, Carole Rome, was MIA, as she's been most of this social season.

Meanwhile the guitar-playing Sting, with four backup players, did an intimate 45-minute set that would have worked great on MTV's Unplugged. They most stuck with the classics, including 'Roxanne', 'Message in a Bottle' and 'Englishman in New York'. Sting added a personal touch, at times talking about the interconnectivity of the environment between tunes.

© The Palm Beach Post by Jose Lambiet
Composer, singer, actor, author and environmentalist, Sting, will be the musical guest at the Everglades Foundation's Fifth Annual ForEverglades Benefit on Friday, February 12, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla. Tennis superstar John McEnroe will serve as master of ceremonies for this year's star-studded benefit, which will include cocktails, dinner and a live auction...
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