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Kellie Burns' Scene & Heard

Kellie Burns shares gossip, news and notes from around Southwest Florida.

The Eddy women at the 3 Wishes Gala.


Filmmaker Scores … Audience to the Rescue … Hot Jam Session


The Naples International Film Festival wrapped up its four-day run in November giving a Naples filmmaker the Audience Award-Florida. Barron Collier High School grad Vito Trupiano took his camera into the football team’s locker room to document the relationship between coaches and players in his film, The Storm. Now in its fifth year, the festival seems to being doing better and better in attracting directors, producers, actors, critics and fans to the Silverspot theater at Mercato … Fifteen years ago, Michele Eddy’s daughter Jace was diagnosed with cancer and needed the services of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Since then, the Lee County philanthropist has raised countless dollars for the organization. In February, it will honor her contributions at its 20th annual Storybook Ball at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point …

To read the entire article, pick up Gulfshore Life at select newsstands or purchase a copy of the digital edition. A full version of the story will be available on Feb. 3. Or subscribe now to Southwest Florida's leading magazine.




“This is Stella’s best day in months. She loves having visitors!”

—Stella Frattarelli’s mother, Rachel

When 2-year-old cancer patient Stella Frattarelli was too sick to make it to the American Girl Fashion Show in November, the event co-chairs, Ann Wittenborn and Wendy Tooley, decided to bring it to her room at the Golisano Children’s Hospital. When Stella’s story aired on NBC2 News, the outpouring of love and support was beyond anything anyone could have expected.


Sarah Grueneberg, the season nine runner-up on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, joined Angelina’s Ristorante in December as executive chef. She had worked most recently at Spiaggia, a four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago … The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties kicked off its fundraising campaign with a breakfast in October, drawing a record-breaking crowd of more than 800 volunteers and community leaders. The most touching moment for sure came when 11-year-old Yesenia Flores got a case of nerves singing God Bless America. Just when it seemed she couldn’t go on, the audience started singing along with her—finishing off the song and underscoring the United Way’s mission of people helping people … And speaking of help, the Jewish Family and Community Services of Southwest Florida expects to open Collier County’s first senior center this month. It’s non-sectarian, will provide a central access point for social and supportive services, and will also serve southern Lee County ... That Dave Copham 70th birthday party in October at The Heights Center in Harlem Heights reached new heights of celebration. Dave hired Martina McBride and his good friend Billy Dean to perform at a fundraiser for The Heights Foundation. Dean brought guests to tears with his song While They are Young, and Martina’s birthday tribute to Dave produced a huge smile on the big guy’s face. Guests included Denise and Brian Cobb, Penny and Lee Anderson, JoAnne and Joe Catti, and Georganne and Cliff Williams. No party would be complete without an after-party, and so there it was at Sandy Stilwell’s Sunshine Café, with one final flourish—Billy, Dave and Cliff revving it up with an impromptu jam session …



“What a night. I woke up the next day pinching myself.”

—Emcee Amy Sedlacek

In a little different take for a fundraiser, 3 Wishes aimed to help three local charities that serve sick children and their families (Golisano Children’s Hospital, Make-a-Wish and Ronald McDonald House). What was it about this November event at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center that so inspired emcee Amy Sedlacek? The substance of it was the whopping $400,000 raised. And, of course, there was the frosting on the cake. Celebrity chocolatier Norman Love persuaded three renowned pastry chefs—Florian Bellanger of Cupcake Wars, Keegan Gerhard from Food Network Challenge and Top Chef ’s Johnny Luzzini—to prepare an exquisite feast for the 140 guests. A sweet night for all concerned.


… Cool thinking here: Like any new restaurant, the Terrazzo at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples wanted to roll out the red carpet for VIPs to show off during its pre-opening period. But instead of inviting longtime clients, Ritz officials gave 10 local charities each 100 tickets to be redeemed for dinner. The only catch was that the charities had to get at least a $100 donation for each ticket. So in effect, Terrazzo raised $100,000 to give back to the community.



A sampling of money raised for local charities

3 Wishes  $400,000+

American Girl Fashion Show  $197,000+

Becoming Cosmopolitan  $61,000

Dancing with the Stars for Literacy  $32,000

NCH Hospital Gala  $1,000,000+



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