The Buzz: Tallahassee Museum’s Zoobilee, James Bond Style

Welcome to The Buzz, Tallahassee Magazine’s column created to share who’s where and what they’re doing. While we try to flit around with all of Tallahassee’s social butterflies, the Buzz can’t be everywhere. Send the skinny on your next soiree to


About 40 guests gathered at the art-filled Bobbin Brook home of Dan and Robin Hassler Thompson in October to enjoy “A Night in Venice,” a “friendraiser” for Pace Center for Girls/Leon. It was one of generational advocate Jack Levine’s Good Cause Cuisine dinners, which he prepares to bring folks together to eat and hear about “good ideas” to benefit the community. Chef Jack’s healthful Mediterranean small plate fare included antipasto, lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce, parmesan-style eggplant, grilled asparagus and crab cakes. Among those who spoke after the dinner about Pace’s mission to help girls living with crisis were Executive Director Kelly Otte, Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christy Daly, Board Chair Harriett Williams and Jacksonville-based PACE CEO Mary Marx.

Drinks were served by “gondoliers” Debbie Kearney and Renee Starrett. Enjoying the evening’s festivities were Dean and Gloria Pugh, Kelly O’Keefe, Katrina Rolle, Sandy and Robin Safley, Steve Uhlfelder, Neil and Madeline Skene, Barby Moro, Tony and Alison Carvajal, Stefanie Bowden, Rep. Jason Broedur, Wansley Walters, Justice Harry and Sue Anstead, Greg Lane, County Commissioner Nick Maddox and Drs. Lawrence and Lori Rosenberg.


When kickoff is at noon, it just makes sense to have the tailgate after the game. That’s what the Old School club did after the Seminoles trounced the University of South Florida on Sept. 11. It was all part of a weekend’s worth of activities planned for the Old School Open to raise funds for a variety of good causes. Guests were grabbing burgers as fast as they came off the grill and were also lining up for barbecued chicken and ribs as well as libations — including a spiked watermelon — and cigars.

Rick Kearney was enjoying his cabana and celebrity chef Art Smith, in town to cook a special brunch the next day at The Edison restaurant, enjoyed watching his children play in the facility’s waterfall pool. Among those enjoying the afternoon were host Adam Corey, Mark and Nan Hillis, Tom and Jenny Futch, Beth Stevens and Richard Tanner — as well as a contingent of Bulls fans.

Several student veterans were invited into the President’s Box and honored during the game. Among those feted at the tailgate were Ryan Taylor, Nick Collier, James Parker, Roly Magnus, Harley Rockhill III and Chris Marley.


And in other tailgate news: Before Florida State University met (and ultimately beat) the University of Miami on the gridiron Oct. 10, the Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson law firm hosted more than 175 friends at a pre-game tailgate at The Gathering in CollegeTown. The menu included appetizers and hot-off-the-grill churrasco steak, burgers, Bradley’s smoked sausage and chicken. Hosts from the firm included Eugene Stearns, Reggie Bouthillier, Bridget Smitha, Ken Metcalf, Glenn Burhans, Peter Desiderio, Brian McDonough, Randy Barcelo and Alison Miller.

Guests (who definitely skewed Seminole) included Steve Vancore, Drew Jones, Ben and Laurie Graybar, Dean and Gloria Pugh, Jake and Michelle Kiker, Jennifer Kilinski, Alan Hooper, Claude and Laurie Walker, Nick Maddox, Dr. Russell and Cheryl Rainey, Chip Hartung, Michael and Allison Rayboun and Ben and Susan Wilkinson.


Capital City Bank hosted an after-hours gathering for clients and friends at Proof Brewing Co. in Railroad Square. Guests were given a tour of the brewery and a tasting of the beers along with a selection of hors d’oeuvres. Among those attending were the bank’s President and CEO Bill Smith, William Smith, Brian Proctor, Les Akers, Kelly Hetherington, Ed West, Michele Eubanks, Benson Green, Ed Murray, Loranne Ausley and Bill Holloman, Brian and Cherie Rowland, Dan Parisi, Tom Allen and Sam Childers.


Tallahassee Museum’s largest “Fun-Raise,” Zoobilee, proceeded in a style that James Bond himself would be proud of. On Friday, Nov. 6, guests decked out in their best Bond attire gathered to party on the museum grounds for an event benefitting the museum’s educational, conservation and preservation programs. Would-be Bonds and Bond girls swayed to the music of The Groove Merchants with libations from the open bar in hand. Local eateries, including Madison Social, The Cake Shop, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant, 101 Restaurant, Taco Republik, The Egg Café and Eatery, Real Paella, Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille, Shula’s 347 Grill, Genghis Grill, the Museum’s own Trail Break Café and many others, lined the party’s perimeter offering several all-you-can-eat options.

Enjoying the night’s festivities were Mike and Flo Schmidt, Chris and Kellie Kraft, David and Shelley Goodson, Karen Moore, Charles and Leslie Redding, Michael and Jenny Carter, Dean and Malinda Horton, Michelle Wilson, Doug and Cherie Hall, Claudette Silver, Doug and Tammy Purdue, Robert Downie II , Kent Hutchinson and Robert and Renn Vickers.


A generous group of folks busted out the denim and diamonds for the 6th annual Belt Buckle Ball, held Nov. 9 to benefit Shands Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. The Farm once again hosted the western themed event featuring music from the Houston Dees Band, a mechanical bull, a silent auction and some “funny money” gambling.

WTXL ABC 27 anchor Kellie Bartoli served as the night’s emcee, which included a story about the importance of Shands to the local area told by Tallahassee native Rebekah Gaudet. A patient at Shands from 2006 to 2007 being treated for osteosarcoma, she is now cancer free, and is married and with her own child.  Honorary chairs for the event were Adam and Melissa Putnam.

Among the sold-out crowd of 300 were Bob and Ellen Crabtree Marshall and Kimberly Criser, Virginia Glass, Terra Palmer, Gavin Phipps, John Nicholas, Michelle Ward, Rob Lane, Dr. Kenneth Kato and Nan Nagy, Gabriella and Claudia Parisi, Dr. Charles and Patricia Williams, Wendy Hollady, Billy and Julz Graham, Clair Harrison, Ida Thompson, Vinse and Carlene Barrett, Bill and Mary Moor, Jason and Karen Unger, Randy and Melinda Allen and David and Krista Kahn.

Compiled by Rosanne Dunkelberger

Categories: Society