By Martin Cheek
San Martin resident Holly Rauser received an early surprise Christmas present at the red-carpet opening of San Francisco 49er football star Vernon Davis’s new gallery in San Jose’s Santana Row. Davis, an accomplished artist who majored in art in college, painted a picture dedicated to her and titled it “Holly.”
“I was shocked, honored, humbled and quite frankly felt a bit like winning the Oscar,” Rauser said when she saw the painting featuring dining utensils at the Gallery 85 art gallery during its grand opening gala event on Dec. 10. She met Davis, a tight end with the 49ers, when he hired her to give him personal etiquette coaching through her company Consider Etiquette. They became good friends and Davis decided to honor that friendship with a special painting on the theme of etiquette.
The painting was a highlight for Rauser at an event where she and her husband Marc and their daughter Catherine mixed with sports figures and celebrities such as Alex Smith, Aldon Smith and 49er owner Jed York who had come to Gallery 85 to support Vernon’s art business venture. Marc Rauser was delighted so much that he purchased “Holly.” The proceeds from the painting, and other paintings at the gallery gala, went to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which Davis actively supports. Upon arriving home, Marc announced to the rest of the Rauser family that Vernon named a painting after Holly.
Rauser said she loves the painting Vernon made in her honor. “When I look at the ‘Holly’ (painting),” she said, “I see elements of Vernon’s urban upbringing combined with his passion for art and being the best at whatever he puts his mind to, even dining etiquette. The ‘Holly’ is proudly displayed in our home and reminds us that no matter who you are, or what you do, etiquette is important.”
“My daughter Melody had the same reaction I did,” Holly said, “’No way! That is soooo cool!’ They are tickled pink!”
Davis had an interest in etiquette coaching so he put his public relations agent, Theodore Palmer of Creative Edge Pubic Relations, to the task of finding him a coach, Rauser said, explaining how an etiquette trainer and an NFL football player formed a friendship. “Theodore called his contacts who referred him to me and I am so grateful. Vernon has been an absolute delight to work with.”
Rauser came to see Vernon as not just a grid-iron gladiator, but a man who cares about people – especially disadvantaged children whom he helps through the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts.
“Through the good, the bad and the ugly, Vernon has emerged a better man ready to give back to those less fortunate,” she said. “Vernon understands that unintentional etiquette faux pas will only hurt his mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged children. So in Vernon’s quest to be the best, he has added etiquette training to his regiment.”