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Kellie Burns' Scene & Heard

News, notes and gossip from along the Gulfshore.

Golf Cart Parade

 Now all the world can see Captiva for its charm and creativity. The Travel Channel showed up there in December to shoot an episode on the Captiva Village Golf Cart Parade, part of the island’s three-week Christmas Festival. Business owners, employees and islanders had to have spent weeks transforming their carts into Christmas favorites. The big winner, Tween Waters’ version of the Polar Express, was so like the movie version I expected to see the Tom Hanks character behind the wheel. “This is such a great opportunity to bring our quirky island festivities to the world,” says chair Denice Beggs. Fair warning for our global admirers.

Shop and Sip

Shopper alert! Want champagne and some nice nibbles as you try on a new dress or two? That’s what Jennifer Williams is promising every Friday through June at her shop, Jennifer’s Boutique in Fort Myers. Jennifer’s celebrating 30 years in business with her “Fashion Forward Fridays”—and expect plenty of good to come from this. Beyond the stylish looks you’ll buy, 5 percent of all sales will go local charities. Feeling better already about those new duds?

Good Taste

Members of the exclusive the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Bonita Springs and Naples clearly want to keep the good life coming in Southwest Florida. The distinguished food and wine society is providing scholarships for students in the School of Resort & Hospitality Management at Florida Gulf Coast University. President of the Naples Chapter of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Sandi Moran got it started with a $5,000 check to school officials during a wine tasting and dinner reception in November at FGCU. It clearly left a good taste in everyone’s mouth.

From Raves to Cookbook

Visitors to the hope for Haiti compound in Les Cayes rave so much about the homemade Haitian food prepared by longtime cook Carmene Alverbe that the Naples-based charity is producing a cookbook of her recipes. Carmene’s renowned for her pumpkin soup and my favorite is her pineapple pie. Proceeds from the book will help empower families in Haiti to make a living in the food industry. To order the cookbook, go to hopeforhaiti.com.

Carmene Alverbe.

Heavy Hitters

That was some “night at the Nest” Dec. 2 when 600 people packed the Alico Arena on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University to raise money for its athletic programs. It was a big league deal all around. The auction raised $160,000, double last year’s take and All-Star pitcher Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox was on hand to talk about his career on the mound for the FGCU Eagles. Guests got to meet other major leaguers, including Sales’ former Eagle teammate Casey Coleman, who plays for the Chicago Cubs. In a grand show of diplomacy at the head table, FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw wore Coleman’s Cub jersey, while his wife, Jo Anna, was decked out in Sales’ White Sox pinstripes. That’s turning a nice double play, don’t you think?

Tacos at Masa.

Hot New Restaurant

Restaurant-industry vets, media folks and business leaders were on hand for the December  launch of Naples’ hottest new restaurant, Masa (for more on the food, see p. 122). Among those spotted enjoying samples of the delicious twist on Mexican cuisine were Baron Collier’s Judy Sproul, Marissa Collections’ new marketing maven Joe-Jo Jennings and radio host Bob Harden. Inside tip: Try the outstanding guacamole and the margarita de diabolita made with habenero-infused tequila.


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