Superstar Jamie Foxx hosted one of Super Bowl week’s most exclusive parties Saturday night in Edina.
Foxx headlined the Big Game Big Give party at the Edina home of Novu CEO and philanthropist Tom Wicka and his wife, Angie. Party proceeds go to a dozen Minnesota charities and a national fund designed to promote philanthropy.
WCCO power couple Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro helped Foxx emcee and run the auction. The Wickas’ large home was transformed into a posh club, as a DJ spun tunes from a second-floor balcony.
Adding to the luxe feel: a human swan preening in an indoor pool and models with body art.
Besides Foxx, the guest list included NBA great Shaquille O’Neal and Xavier Rhodes with the Vikings. There were 500 tickets available to event sponsors or selling for $3,000 apiece.
“It really puts philanthropy center stage on arguably the world’s biggest stage,” said Marc Pollick, CEO of the Giving Back Fund, which hosts the event. “It will be elegant and exclusive, and all proceeds will go to charity.”
Pollick started the Big Game Big Give event a decade ago to help raise money for his national nonprofit and local charities in each host community. It’s grown to become one of the Super Bowl weekend’s most sought-after tickets, promising guests a chance to belly up to the bar or rub elbows on the couch with athletes and celebs, Pollick said.
Big names from years past include actors Mark Wahlberg and Hilary Swank, swimmer Michael Phelps and rapper/actor Common.
The 2017 event in Houston, hosted by actor Josh Brolin, raised about $1 million. This year’s goal is $1.3 million.
The party had some distinctive Minnesota touches, including a Surly beer pong table, a series of lifestyle rooms sponsored by Cambria, and an ice structure displaying a 2019 Aston Martin Vantage sports car that was auctioned off for charity.
The Wickas agreed to host the philanthropic event in honor of their son Nash, who died last April at age 18 of complications from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle-wasting disease. They started the Nash Avery Foundation, which focuses on treatment and research for curing Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804