MIAMI — For a few hundred dollars you, too, could go on a date with Local 10 noon co-anchor Jenise Fernandez.
No, it’s not the latest ratings gimmick from the ABC affiliate.
It’s for the kids!
Fernandez and 19 other high-profile single men and women are set to participate Friday night to one of the only events where you can actually buy a date without risking a criminal charge.
It’s the 19th Annual Make-a-Wish Bachelor & Bachelorette Dream Date Auction, slated for 7 p.m. at Sway nightclub in Fort Lauderdale.
If the previous years are telling, about 800 people, including a high concentration of young professionals, are expected to bid on the 20 single people, all of whom come bearing gifts.
There’s the slick bachelor with whom the highest bidder will go swim with the dolphins. There’s the one with a plane ride over South Florida at sunset. And there’s the bachelorette with a way to really know someone, a daylong fishing trip.
And then there’s Fernandez, 29, a former Miss Miami and fourth runner-up for Miss Florida.
“Well, it’s not necessarily easy to meet people in South Florida,” Fernandez says, “and my co-anchor (Kristi Krueger) is the one who talked me into it.”
Fernandez comes with a dream date package that includes dinner and a VIP experience at a Florida Panthers game.
“I figured guys like sports, so I’m working with the Panthers on making this a special event,” Fernandez says. “The best part is you get to hang out with me. I’m pretty fun sometimes.”
Fernandez confirmed that the men and women getting auctioned promised to Make-a-Wish they’ll be single by the time the party rolls around.
“They’ve been teasing me at work about how I’ll end up sharing my life with the guy who bids on me,” she says. “Hey, you never know. I’m open to anything.”
Fernandez says she’s used to putting herself on display, whether on the stages of pageants and on the boob tube. But she’s expecting a more harrowing experience in front of a packed house.
“It’s a bit terrifying,” she says. “You’re in a very vulnerable position. The worst things could be a no-bid situation, and I’ll feel awful, or someone who’s a little creepy getting the winning bid.”
Regardless, there’s no turning back now for Fernandez. The bidding opens at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets can be had at https://www.dreamdateauction.net for $30 or $35 at the door.
Make-a-Wish grants outlandish wishes to children in a life-threatening health crisis.