Kellie Burns' Scene & Heard
Kellie Burns shares gossip, news and notes from around Southwest Florida.
Exciting news. The quirky, colorful and talented Leoma Lovegrove is creating a new collection for Bealls Department Store. Her gallery in Matlacha is always a big draw for collectors seeking tropical, vibrant colors, and now fans can get her creations at any Bealls store—from clothing and luggage to handbags and beach towels ... Todd Gates of Gates Construction and his wife, Angela, chairing this year’s Cattle Barons Ball for the American Cancer Society, will be making some changes. Those cowboy boots will be stepping up from winter to a spring outing (March 28), and the stomping grounds move south to the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa to draw more guests from south Lee County and Naples. Great occasion to cowboy—and pony—up ...
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“We’ve approached Clyde Butcher and Delores Sorey to play a married couple.”
—movie producer KC Schulberg
Hollywood’s coming to Southwest Florida with a movie that industry veteran KC Schulberg hopes to begin shooting in Ever- glades City and Keewaydin perhaps as soon as May. The film, A Dream Last Night, is based on a story by KC’s uncle Budd Schulberg (who wrote the Oscar-winning On the Waterfront and the novel What Makes Sammy Run). It’s got romance, the Seminoles, a touch of the fantastical—and the Butcher-Sorey scene is brief, but meaningful. Additional star power? Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond has shot films for Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma and Woody Allen. And Schulberg is busy lining up Christopher Plummer, Eric Roberts and Linda Hunt to play key roles.
... “Stay busy. It keeps you young.” Barbara B. Mann certainly followed her own advice. When the matriarch of the arts in Lee County passed away at the age of 100 in December, she had put together quite a series of accomplishments. She founded the Community Concert Association and the Southwest Florida Symphony and will be forever memorialized by the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. She ruled the arts community in Fort Myers for many decades, and we were all the better for it. Farewell to a legend ... “We all have a little bit of PACE girl inside of us,” State Senator Lizbeth Benaquisto told guests at the annual PACE Believing in Girls luncheon in November at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. The center helps troubled girls get back on their feet and get their education, too. Benaquisto was honored with the organization’s Senator of the Year Award, and the event raised more than $100,000 with a matching donation from the ever-generous Dave and Cheryl Copham ... Cable TV’s Travel Channel featured the Captiva Holiday Village “Xtreme Xmas” as part of taking viewers inside some of America’s most unusual and awe-inspiring Christmas celebrations. Sanibel’s Christmas golf cart parade kicked off the event, which draws tens of thousands of people to the island in the two weeks before the holiday. For the third year in a row, the winners of “best in show” were Betsy Hanna, Terry McClure, Cannella Mullins, Kim Nealon, Kathleen Nealon and Deb Wendall. This year, they dressed up as crazy nutcrackers and called them- selves “Mixed Nuts.” As Travel Channel producer Nicole Dunn said, “We are showcasing the best of the best across America, but wanted to get away from the typical stories.” Glad they found us going nuts here ...
“Reality hit home when I realized some of the athletes that I coached at the university needed the food bank to eat.”
—Dave Tolett, Florida Gulf Coast Univer- sity baseball coach
Tolett sure stepped up to bat for FGCU athletes in Night at the Nest in December, when he beseeched the crowd to help fund 11 of the athletics programs at the school without full scholarships. Credit supporter Dr. Bob Ryan with helping make the evening a big hit. He put together some incredible packages and muscled his friends to bid on them. The event raised nearly $300,000.
... All hail Marissa Hartington. What a show she put on to celebrate the 10th annual Hats in the Garden fundraiser in November for the Naples Botanical Garden. The owner of Marissa Collections show- cased dozens of exquisite designs from Lanvin, Marchesa, Oscar de La Renta and Valentino, among others. The social elite, including Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott, turned out in force in their best hats and fascinators. As the afternoon’s grand finale rolled out, the highlights included a breathtaking bridal gown along with junior brides- maids; adorably, the ring bearer and flower girl were little Max and Celie Dockweiler, the children of longtime Hats supporters Jamie and Heather Dockweiler. The precious pooches on the march were the beloved pets of Patty Baker and Cynthia Sherman. All walked the runway like pros, whether two- or four-legged. And, oh yes, the take for the day was $500,000, setting a new record for money dropped into the hat ... As if to underscore the growing importance of young professionals’ contributions to local philanthropy, newly appointed David Lawrence Center CEO Scott Burgess made his first public appearance—before even meeting the full board—at the Gulf Ball. The event, hosted by the center’s Young Executive Committee, brought in more than 100 of the under-40 set to the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club in December to support the center’s mental health programs.
A sampling of money raised for local charities
2013 Charity Classic Celebration $1.7 million
Angel Ball $765,000
Bootstrap Boogie Barn Dance $550,000
Festival of Trees Gala $250,000+
Christmas Gala at Historic Palm Cottage $138,520