Locals like to tout the fact that along with Rick Scott's $3 million budget for his inaugural bash comes an inevitable lift to the Tallahassee economy from booked hotel rooms and ancillary events. At the "Tribute to First Lady, Ann Scott", this afternoon, the catering was not handled locally but was the work of D.C. restaurant owner Art Smith. Smith, however, has Tallahassee connections. He is a FSU grad and cooked for former Gov. Bob Graham when he was in the gov's mansion.
Here's the pool report from John Kennedy of the News Service of Florida:
About 300 invitees crowded into the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science to honor incoming First Lady Ann Scott, at a luncheon featuring a half-dozen longtime friends of Florida’s soon-to-be-first couple.
Many of those who spoke from a stairwell stage overlooking the room were from Naples, the couple’s home the past seven years. Others told
From the series of anecdotes, the women who spoke on Ann’s behalf described her as caring, organized, funny, a person willing to drop everything to help a friend in need. They told of sharing family stories while walking the beach, stopping for coffee and home workout regimes.
Donna Tycer recalled that Ann helped her relocate from New York City following 9/11, where she had worked for Delta Airlines.
“They say you find out who your true friends are when you need a friend,” Tycer said, recalling how Ann found her an apartment, helped decorate it, and even had candles lighted in it for her when she arrived from New York.
Another longtime friend, Susan Mulican, called Ann, “a true asset to Rick.”
The Scott daughters, Alison Guimard and Jordan Kandah, also managed to get through their tributes to their Mom.
Jordan said, “My Mom always wants to do the right thing,” and recalling unspecified events added, “she’s a bad liar, and she doesn’t like to lie.”
Jordan added that her mother had shaped her life that she often would gauge her actions based on, “What would Ann Scott do?”
For her part, Alison broke down in speaking about Mom. But she sniffed, giggled and soldiered on through it saying, “This is so embarrassing.”
But her recollections of her mother leading school field trips, taking horseback and clogging lessons with her daughters, along with jazz classes, concluded with Jordan saying, “I can’t think of a better first lady for Florida.”
Even Ann Scott’s mother-in-law gave her props. Esther Scott, a familiar face from the campaign trail and her son’s ubiquitous television ads – “he’s a good boy,” – said Ann and Rick were a couple with strong character.
“They’re people that don’t give up,” she said.
The featured couple then had a chance to respond.
Rick Scott lauded his wife, “When you build a company, you get a lot of accolades, when you run for office, you get a lot of accolades,” the gov-elect said. “But your wife never does.”
He thanked her for agreeing to date him in high school, get married and launch a life that included travels while he was in the Navy, and the hardscrabble starting of businesses and, eventually, a campaign for governor.
Ann was equally appreciative – of her husband and friends.
She thanked her “girlfriends. I can’t live without them. They keep me grounded,” she said.
Ann Scott also said she owed Rick Scott for, “making me challenge myself every day, doing things I never thought I could do, including standing up here and speaking to you.”
Ronan Tynan, the Irish-born tenor who formerly sang on New York Yankees games, closed the comment period with a performance of Ave Maria.
Lunch was served in the art gallery on the museum’s third floor. Catering the event was Washington, D.C., restaurateur Art Smith. The menu included such items as "citrus state summer squash soup, farm breast of chicken and Horseshoe Beach Flounder with Florida blue crab sauce.