For the Love of Robin
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. When that person is a close friend whose kind smile and endless generosity has affected hundreds - if not thousands - in two cities, it seems particularly unfair. The good thing is that in times of sadness friends and family tend to circle their wagons around their loved one and do whatever they can to help that person get through their time of strife. Such is the case with "Rockin' Robin Curley, beloved long-time islander and now Cape Coral resident whose friends are holding two benefits to help her in her fight against colon cancer.
Robin's trials began this summer. When a routine colonoscopy turned up cancer cells in her colon, Curley - who had no symptoms and felt fine - was flabbergasted but determined to do what needed to be done. Many not-so-pleasant tests later, she successfully completed surgery last week only to be told that she must go through chemo and radiation because one of the twelve lymph nodes removed revealed itself to have cancer cells. Meanwhile, her medical bills have been piling up and this proud, self-sufficient woman has been relying on the generosity of friends and family to run her cleaning business, prompting those closest to her to hold a meeting where they came up with an idea to help: two benefits, the first of which will be held in Cape Coral on Sunday, August 31st and the second on Fort Myers Beach on Saturday, September 13th.
Cape Coral Event - 'Rockin Robin Curley'
"This event will be at a popular watering hole called Back Streets Sports Bar, not far from the Cape Coral Bridge at 915 SE 47th Terrace,” said Dana Caldwell, a friend of Robin's from back when she tended bar on Fort Myers Beach. "It will be on Sunday, August 31st from 1-7pm, and the musicians we have lined up are some of the best in the business: Renee Hose, DVS, ReVamped and Myth.”
Caldwell has some pretty interesting raffle and auction items lined up for the event, including a $500 hot air balloon ride for two, jewelry, spa sessions, tickets to sporting events, sports memorabilia, baskets of handmade soaps and lotions, artwork and gift certificates to local restaurants.
"We are doing this not only to raise money for Robin, who has insurance but whose mounting co-pays have nearly wiped her out financially, but also to raise awareness of colon cancer and the importance of getting a regular colonoscopy,” Caldwell said. "We are planning a day full of fun and surprises.”
Dana told us that anyone wishing to simply donate to Robin can go to PayPal and type in her name. When it asks for a phone number or email address, use: email@example.com.
Fort Myers Beach Event - 'Rockin For Robin'
The Fort Myers Beach event will be held at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar on Saturday, September 13thfrom noon to 6pm, and is being organized by Mike 'Popeye' Dearden of Popeyepalooza fame.
"Robin reached out to us, asking for help cutting her grass and stuff, and when we realized she's going to be out of work for at least eight weeks and maybe longer with the chemo and radiation, we realized she needed some real help,” Dearden told us. "She's done so much for so many people - all you have to do is mention her name and people want to do everything they can.”
Popeye said that he chose the Lighthouse because that is Robin's favorite place to stay when she 'comes home' to see her friends and run events like 'Hands Across the Sand'.
"Whenever Robin has an event on the beach, she always stays at the Lighthouse, and she has booked a room for this event, too, so she will be here,” Dearden said happily. "So far, we have signed up Sundance Dave and Mary Winner with Habitat for Harmony to perform, and we are working on signing up a 13-year-old Tampa girl who will be on the TV show 'America's Got Talent'. Smack Daddy has also offered to play, so we are working on that, too.”
Like the Cape event, the beach benefit will also feature 50/50 raffles, auctions, door prizes and prize raffles. To make it easier for folks to donate, Popeye is making his Popeyepalooza post office box available for the event.
"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,” he says. "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 organization's books. This validates your contribution with the IRS.”
In either case, folks are asked to mail their contributions to:
P.O. Box 6103
Ft. 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 1 week delay only,” he continued. "Thank you for your generous support!”
Both Caldwell and Dearden are still looking for sponsorships for t-shirts (businesses' logos will be printed on the back), banners, prize items, and - in the case of the beach benefit - food so Popeye can serve up his legendary BBQ. Those interested in helping out can call Popeye at 239-244-4437 or Dana at 239-253-7401.
Also, make sure to get your blue 'Robin Strong' bracelet before the event - they can be purchased for $2 at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar, the Surf Club or the Lani Kai.
As far as Robin herself, she is currently home resting, using Facebook to update her friends on her condition and urging everyone to get tested.
"This colonoscopy test is covered under my insurance plan, but I just blew it off for a couple of years,” she said. "Finally, one day I said, okay I'll go. That was on June 19th. On June 25th, they called me back in and I demanded to know why because I was about to go on vacation. Well, it turned out I had this big polyp and it was cancerous, so a month later I found myself going into surgery to take out part of my colon.”
"I had no symptoms and no family history of this, that's what's so scary,” she said. "But if I'd cancelled my appointment this year there may not have been a next year.”
Help us help this special lady who's helped so many!
Keri Hendry Weeg