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Rockin' for Robin – Fort Myers Beach benefit Saturday

Island benefit for island gal Saturday at the Lighthouse Tiki

September 10, 2014
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

After diligent fund-raising work for the last several weeks that spread across the county, Rockin' for Robin's big Fort Myers Beach benefit will be taking place Saturday, Sept. 13, from noon to 6 p.m., at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar, 1051 Fifth Ave. Organized to help local humanitarian Robin Curley, currently fighting off cancer, the benefit is the second that's been organized to help with Robin's medical bills, as many from around Lee County wanted to chip in to do their part, all to go toward the many tests, treatments and procedures she has to endure. The first was held in Cape Coral last week, raising more than $4,000 for her cause.

Now, it's Fort Myers Beach's turn to come out and show their love for this island girl.

"It's pretty overwhelming, how everyone is coming together to help me through this," Robin said. "I know that I know a lot of people because I grew up here, but I even have friends from my high school days at Cypress Lake High School donating things and being there for me. It's truly heart warming and made me cry in a good way."

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Be sure to stop by the Lighthouse Tiki Bar Saturday, Sept. 13, sometime between noon and 6 p.m., to take part in the Rockin’ for Robin benefit, raising funds for local humanitarian Robin Curley. Enjoy live music all day long, with more than $6,000 worth of raffle and silent auction prizes, and Popeye’s famous smoked barbecue goodness. Come one, come all!

Robin grew up in Southwest Florida, after moving down in 1971 from the suburbs of Philadelphia. She went to Cypress Middle, Cypress High, Edison College and then a brief stint at USF before moving out to Los Angeles at 22. Ten years later she returned just before her 32nd birthday. You have probably seen her bartending at many local island hot spots, like Junkanoo, the Lani Kai and Top O' Mast, among many others.

"My first job on the beach was when I was 18. I've been a beach girl all my life. This community really has my heart," she said.

Over the years, you've become accustomed to seeing Robin at most if not all of the local fund-raisers, whether it was for some type of awareness, a poker run for a cause or an individual person or family in need. If someone needed help, she was there lending her support. Over the last several years, she's done her part to take a stand for the local environment, and even became organizing coordinator of the local Hands Across the Sand events.

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"When Robin found out she was in trouble, she reached out to Jo List and myself out here on the beach, as well as her friend, Dana Caldwell, in Cape Coral, and there was no way we could ever say no. We've got this," said lead coordinator of the island benefit Mike "Popeye" Dearden.

Now as Robin fights this cancer, her community has nestled around her in support. The fundraiser at the Lighthouse Tiki Saturday will be jam-packed with live music, fresh BBQ, all-around excitement and thousands of dollars worth of prizes to win in the raffles and silent auctions.

"Plans have been coming along fantastically," Mike said. "Our musical director, Jo List, has given us a great set of music. The staff of the Lighthouse Tiki is full of fantastic people especially Carl, the general manager. This is one of Robin's favorite places on the beach anytime she comes out to the beach like during the Hands Across the Sand events she stays there. They were the first ones we approached about the benefit and they were happy to join the team. This is going to be one phenomenal fund-raiser."

Look forward to the live and local sounds of several great groups, all donated by our very talented local musicians, including Frank Thompson, Trinity Andrews, Left Of Center, Habitat For Harmony and Smack Daddy.

"Ms. Trinity Andrews is a talented and charming young lady from Tampa, who has offered to perform here for Robin," Mike said. "She is about to appear on America's Got Talent (on NBC). She has an incredible voice and a magnificent stage presence. She's also just 13 years old!"

As for prizes, Popeye playfully states to "bring your checkbooks, because we have more than $6,000 worth of prizes to be won that day!"

From autographed Kenny Loggins memorabilia, a Shakespeare rod/reel/tackle combo, season tickets to FGCU sporting events, original art from Joni's Gallery and Chester Rogers and many fishing, dolphin and sunset cruises to multiple hotel and resort stays on the island, lots of gorgeous jewelry from several local designers and jewelry shops, an array of gift certificates to many wonderful island establishments, a gorgeous solid wood and glass hutch and not one, but TWO?one-week stays at beach cottages in Costa Rica.

"That shows how far-reaching Robin's love is," Mike said. "These are two completely individual Costa Rican vacations one courtesy of Greg Miller and Beach House Incognito; the other courtesy of Ellie Castaldi Sullivan and Olas Bravas Surf Cabanas. I think we will have one in the silent auction and one as a prize in the raffle. The silent auctions should provide some lively bidding from all of the fine items we have to give away, including these two Costa Rican vacations and we still have wonderful donations coming in ?people have been coming out in droves for Robin!"

As for food, don't worry, you certainly won't go hungry. Mike plans to host the only kind of barbecue he knows how during Robin's benefit a Popeye BBQ. That means he's pulling out all the stops to offer the juiciest, most savory barbecued goodness you can imagine.

"The tiki invited us to use their outdoor grills and smokers, and thanks to contributions from the Klein family and their business, Seasonal Systems Corporation, and Bruiser Jungwirth, manager of the Surf and Us and the Gulf Motel, we'll be having a Popeye BBQ," he eagerly stated. "We'll have smoked chicken, smoked ribs, barbecue baked beans, chips, potato salad, rolls and butter, all for a $10 per plate donation."

And, although you're already showing your love of Robin and her fight against cancer just by being at the fund-raiser, show your love even more with a commemorative T-shirt or blue wristband, both which will be available at the benefit ($10 for the shirt, $2 for the wristband).

"I'd like to thank all of the merchants getting involved, and give a special thanks to the Lighthouse Tiki Bar and all they're doing for us," Mike said. "The Lighthouse Inn is offering a special rate for those attending the event who would like to stay that evening. (Call the resort for further information.)"

Mike has a great team but says he can always use more help and never turns away volunteers. If interested in volunteering during the benefit, or to contribute a gift for the raffles or silent auctions, feel free to call Mike at 239-244-4437.

"I'm super excited," Mr. Popeye concluded. "We're going to have great food, great music, great people and a great time."

Showing your blue for the cause

Those wishing to show their support before, during or after these special fund-raisers can purchase blue "Robin Strong" bracelets, signifying the fight for colon cancer, for $2 at local hot spots, stating "No One Fights Alone." Pick them up at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar, Surf Club, Beached Whale, Lani Kai or BackStreets in Cape Coral.

Contributing to the cause

Contributions to Rockin' for Robin can be made by making checks payable either directly to Robin Curley, or in the case of contributions desiring a tax exemption letter for their donation, make checks payable to the Florida Helps Foundation. EVERY dollar contributed in this fashion will be remitted to Robin, but in order to receive your tax credit, checks must be recorded in the non-profit's books. This validates your contribution with the IRS.

In either case, mail your contribution to: Popeyepalooza, P.O. Box 6103, Fort Myers Beach, Fla. 33932. Contributions made out directly to Robin will be channeled to her immediately, while those going through the Florida Helps Foundation will experience a one week delay only.



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