Scene & Heard
Sightings, gossip and reports from around the Gulfshore.
Well, here’s a fundraiser that demands effort: the Captiva Triathlon at South Seas Resort. But that seemed to inspire rather than discourage as 750 competitors of all sizes, ages and levels of experience turned out for the weekend outing in September. It was defi nitely family- friendly, with the kids’ race on Saturday and the adults’ bike-swim-run around the island on Sunday. Event organizer Angie Ferguson, a well-known local fi tness coach, proudly presented a check for $10,000 to the Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. to stuff backpacks of food for needy families.
I had a personal ah-ha moment there, thanks to Carolyn Rogers, the much beloved public relations executive who is about a year out in her recovery from breast cancer and later discovered she had run the race with a broken foot. This 40-something mother of two was out to prove that you can beat this disease and I can’t tell you how teary I got when I saw her crossing the fi nish line with her sons and husband, Bill, cheering her on. Right on, Carolyn. She’s inspired me to train for next year’s triathlon.
FORBES magazine is out with its forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, and three of the select group have homes in Southwest Florida. Shahid Khan, whose estimated worth of $2.5 billion put him at No. 179, made the cover of the magazine. He lists his residence as Naples. Khan came to the United States when he was 16 and went into the auto parts business after graduating from college. That clearly has paid off and allowed him to do things like buying the Jacksonville Jaguars football team in January for a reported $770 million. Fellow listee Tom Golisano, No. 298 at $1.6 billion, is a familiar name here since he donated $5 million for the naming rights to the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples. Richard Schulze of Bonita Springs, founder of Best Buy, ranked No. 311 at $1.5 billion. Nice to see these hard workers make good … big, big time.
It was lots of fresh faces and uplifting stories for the Gulfshore Business 40 Under 40 celebration at Blue Martini in September. The magazine annually honors 40 rising stars under the age of 40 who are making a diff erence in our community. What an inspiring moment it was, for example, when Daniel Rosenfeld stepped up to receive his award. This determined young man has not let epilepsy keep him from starting the “Walk the Talk” event to raise money to help fi nd a cure for the disease. The fi nal award of the day went posthumously to Tara Parla, who passed away from cancer just a week before the awards ceremony. A moving photo tribute captured the beauty and passion of this 37-yearold mother of two who was being recognized for starting The Passion Foundation, a charity that builds sunshades over playgrounds to keep kids away from the sun’s harmful rays. Her courageous husband, Jonathan, tearfully accepted the award on his wife’s behalf.
You know the leadership of the Neighborhood Health Clinic is still in good hands when it’s going to another Lascheid. Bill and Nancy Lascheid founded it in 1999 to serve the under-insured and working poor. And now daughter Leslie, who has supported their eff orts from behind the scenes for the last decade, is taking the helm. “Bill and I,” says Nancy, “are very happy about this—and Leslie does have the deep-seated passion for the mission.” Sounds like it will continue to be mission accomplished for quite a while now.
Wow, the sydney & berne davis Art Center was rocking in early September when the Art Walks the Runway show took over for a two-day extravaganza. What do you get when you mix fashion, music, dancing, theater and art? I’d call it a fashion week show on steroids, and it packed the house on both nights. I’d never seen anything quite like it in Southwest Florida.The highlight: Lily Patchett’s Paper Grotto performance involving actors, huge sheets of paper, a projection screen and amazing images. Nothing like some edgy excitement for a Fort Myers weekend.
there’s buzz aplenty down on Marco Island over a calendar pairing hot mamas and classic sports cars. Realtor and mom Bonnie Zaikov has created the Moms of Marco calendar to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Moms include Bonnie, Jana Vanderjagt—a former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader- turned-business owner—interior designer Kira Krümm and philanthropist and cover girl Karen Young. Feast your eyes and support the cause. Calendars can be picked up at just about any business on Marco.
This was late august, and one evening, you saw crowds of women scurrying from the Embassy Hotel in Estero and the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, giddily toting armfuls of clothes and accessories into the night. What you had was the ever-popular Love That Dress! event, which attracted 1,500 shopping divas and raised $150,000 for PACE Center for Girls in Lee and Collier counties. The shoppers bought more than 3,000 dresses, some gently used, others brand new (thanks to Donna Noce, president of White House/Black Market). For weeks afterward, at various other events, women proudly told friends they were wearing one of their 10-dollar LTD outfi ts. I just wish they’d hold the Lee and Collier “Dress” parties on diff erent nights. I bet many women would go to both.
It’s always a joy to hear about the kids benefi ting from the ample sums raised by the Naples Winter Wine Festival. One great example was last summer’s trip of a lifetime for 25 underprivileged youngsters who attend the after-school program of the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County. They fl ew up for a fi ve-day outing to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation overnight camp in Aberdeen, Md., where they got instruction in baseball, leadership and team-building skills. “The majority of these students have never been on an airplane or to camp,” says John Scott Mueller, a trustee of the Naples Children and Education Fund, which footed the bill. Call this a home run for 25 happy campers.