Only Along the Gulfshore

Scene & Heard: Flirty Patriot … A Rauschenberg in the White House … Opening the Grammys

Kellie Burns' news and notes from around Southwest Florida.

BY May 4, 2015


Fox 4 reporter Tara Molina made sports headlines across the nation after star New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski had what one newspaper called “a somewhat sassy interaction” with her. The All-Pro tight end was at his mother’s place in Miromar Lakes, relaxing right after his team had just won the Super Bowl in early February. Not exactly shy, he was playing to the TV cameras, doing pushups in the sand and swimming laps in the lake. When Tara asked him if he had plans for Valentine’s Day, the 25-year-old bachelor saw his opportunity. “Whoa!” he exclaimed. “Whoa! What are you doing?” Tara coyly replied, “I don’t know.” All we know from there is that Gronk spent Valentine’s Day with teammates in New York—but not before preening in front of cameras in a spirited dodgeball game on ice at a Florida Everblades hockey game. No one ever accused him of not showing his Patriotism … First Lady Michelle Obama was on the Today show in February unveiling the first room in the White House to get a modern update, and we’re proud to say the work of the late Captiva artist Robert Rauschenberg is on prominent display in the Old Family Dining Room. Mrs. Obama is the first White House occupant to add 20th century touches to the room. “It’s kind of unbelievable we haven’t done this before,” she said, “because modern art and design are such an important part of the American tradition.” …



“Jeb, it’s Mom!

—Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States

That’s how Barbara Bush got her son’s attention in the middle of his introduction at the Celebration of Reading gala at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in February. She Skyped in to thank supporters of her annual event. The ever strong-minded former First Lady had something else to share as well. She had raised eyebrows two years ago when discussing the possibility of son Jeb’s running for the White House. She said she thought two Bushes as President were enough. Now? “Listen,” she said, “what do you mean ‘too many Bushes?’ I changed my mind.” Phew. It would have been hard for a guy to be acting out against his mother’s wishes. Particularly this mom.


… The Ritz-Carlton, Naples has stars in its eyes—again. The Naples beach resort was honored in February with a prestigious Forbes Five-Star Award for the 25th time. That, says Gerard Inzerillo, the Forbes Travel Guide CEO, is unheard of: “It really makes it one of the rarest of the rare.” Something we already knew here … “He was the apple of her eye. And sadly my mother was heartbroken, of course.” Naples resident Theo Dahl was commenting about the death of his sister, Olivia, when she was just 7 years old. A heartfelt letter written by his father, world-famous author Roald Dahl, nearly 30 years ago is surfacing again after measles cases make an unfortunate comeback in communities around the country. The man who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach loved children, but tragically lost his precious daughter to measles … Fort Myers’ own Cliff Williams and his band AC/DC opened the Grammy Awards show in February to rave reviews by the critics for their medley of hits. The renowned bass player had taken note of criticism of the show in recent years and said, “Our participation in this year’s show was a chance to throw something into the works that was a little more straightforward than the usual glam of many of the acts, and I really enjoyed it. Kudos to the organizers for containing that many personalities under one roof for one show.” … Meanwhile, Cliff’s wife, Georgeanne, was holding down the fort in town, attending the Storybook Ball at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, where their longtime friends Norman and Mary Love were being honored. The Loves are known internationally for their line of chocolates, but are also acclaimed as major supporters of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Make-A-Wish, Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and many other worthy causes. Surrounded by 50 friends and family members who flew in from across the country, the Loves talked about their modest beginnings, the building of their multimillion-dollar candy company, and why they feel so compelled to donate time and money to children’s charities. All in all, a well-deserved Love-fest.



If you are trying to surprise someone on their birthday, don’t blindfold them and drive around.

—Peter Busch, NBC2 anchor

It was all so romantic, Peter thought. To celebrate his wife Rachel’s birthday in February, he had invited dozens of friends to a surprise party. To heighten the drama before springing the surprise, he blindfolded Rachel on the way over. Next thing you know, she was getting very car sick and he had to pull the car over to the side. Once she recovered, it all ended happily ever after for Rachel with a lovely birthday bash. For Peter, the news bulletin was that love may be blind, but not blindfolded.


Gala Scoreboard

A sampling of money raised for local charities

Ronald McDonald House’s 21st Annual Storybook Ball: $228,000

Guadalupe Center’s Fire & Ice: $1 million+

Fourth Annual Ave Maria Scholarship Dinner: $625,000

David Lawrence Center’s Signatures of Greece: $240,000

Youth Haven Luncheon: $300,000


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