Kellie Burns' Scene & Heard: June
‘Most Entertaining Fundraiser Ever’ … A Baby for Jay Hartington … Kathleen Rooney’s Movie
Marissa Collections co-owner Jay Hartington is expecting a baby with girlfriend, TV host Courtney Hansen, this summer.
Leave it to Florida Repertory Theatre to put on what Jessica Stilwell Catti called “the most entertaining fundraiser ever.” The FineMark Bank executive—and celebrity performer for the night—was describing the popular event “Radio Daze,” which launched laughs aplenty at The Club at the Vines in March. The live radio portion of the performance featured two short acts with local celebrities, including State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, Tom and Pam Cronin, radio DJ and diva Stephanie Davis, Sunny Lubner and restaurant owner Gloria Jordan. In Don Abbott’s script, customized for these amateur actors, they performed as if part of old-time radio program Fibber McGee and Molly. Tom Cronin’s harmonica-playing brought the crowd to tears …
EXPECTING A DAUGHTER
Courtney and I couldn’t be happier about this amazing blessing. We can’t wait to bring our daughter into the world and begin our family.
The co-owner of Marissa Collections and son of Marissa and Burt Hartington expresses his joy about the upcoming birth of his first child, expected this July with TV host and author Courtney Hansen.
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… PACE Center for Girls honored three Lee County matriarchs at the Grand Dames Tea at Broadway Palm Theater in April—Margaret Sirianni, Sarah Sciole and Barbara Brown. “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions,” Sirianni told the crowd … And speaking of wisdom for living a quality life, this is what Elizabeth Star said on being honored as a Woman of Initiative at the annual awards luncheon in March at The Naples Beach Hotel: “Be true to yourself. Be your best. Be kind. Love unconditionally and with all your heart. Grab life and all it has to offer. Live in the moment and plan for the future. Achieve, and you will make a difference.” She said this was the best advice she had ever received … Actor and comedian Jim Belushi has opened a music and comedy club on the top floor of the Tilted Kilt restaurant. Belushi’s cousin, Chris Karakosta, and his friend Steve Berger are the forces behind the new restaurant at the old Ballyorney Castle, formerly Dwyer’s on U.S. 41 in South Fort Myers. The club is filled with Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live memorabilia in honor of Jim’s late brother, John. Belushi and his band rocked the house at the grand opening on April 11. Belushi seemed to have a grand old time soaking in the atmosphere, mingling with the patrons and posing for photos …
FILM WITH A MISSION
In creating, writing and producing the film, I hoped to highlight the threat to religious freedoms worldwide and to develop female characters who are intelligent, independent and fun like so many of my friends in Naples and elsewhere.
In April, Naples philanthropist and now filmmaker Kathleen Rooney, above with director Lance McDaniel, screened Light from the Darkroom, a faith-based thriller, at the John Paul2 Film Festival in Miami. “The production of the film,” she says, “has been a nonstop journey of support and encouragement from family, friends and professionals in the film industry.”
… Todd and Angela Gates called the roundup for this year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball at the Hyatt Coconut Point in March to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In the most emotional moment of the evening, Lee Sar founder Bob Simpson spoke movingly of his beloved wife, Linda. Just days after they found out they would be honored at the ball for their achievements in raising money for the ACS, Linda was diagnosed with the disease and is now undergoing chemotherapy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house once Bob finished speaking … The American Heart Association Ball in April at the Hyatt Coconut Point once again proved to be the party of the season, drawing 600 guests and, most amazingly, keeping half the guests on the dance floor till midnight grooving out with DJ Ceron … “He told me every day that he loved me and that he wanted to marry me. He called it ‘staying on message,’” said Jane Hess, fiancee of TV meteorologist Jim Reif, who died in a bicycle accident on April 7. What an incredible outpouring of condolences, memories and prayers there was for the man who came into our living rooms with his forecasts for 35 years. Among many others, Today show host Hoda Kotb, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore shared their recollections of working with Jim.