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Peek at the Unique to feature contrasting homes

By Staff | Feb 12, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Exterior of the 40-year-old home of Charles Sobczak and Molly Heuer.

The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva always promises rare experiences on its annual home tour, “A Peek at the Unique,” which raises funds to support organizations whose work empowers women.

This year, there will be a fresh twist: the tour will feature two homes owned by couples who are friends, connected through shared talents, interests, philosophies and love for the sanctuary island, but whose living spaces present unique contrasts.

Charles Sobczak and Molly Heuer, Sanibel residents since 1984, have created a home space that is uniquely personal. Sobczak, a long-time Realtor and published author, and his wife Heuer, an avowed environmentalist, raised two sons there and live what they advocate. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood steps from Bailey’s General Store, their 40-year-old home is packed with mementos of their travels and their principle of “Recycle, Re-use, Reclaim.”

From a stuffed pronghorn antelope on a wall – a garage sale find – to the kitchen’s double sink rescued from a Baltimore junkyard, every item has a story. Rear deck seating came from a bowling alley in Asheville, North Carolina, and most interior doors were salvaged from a central Florida hotel. Sobczak is a stained-glass artist and his work graces every room.

Meanwhile, friends Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez, renowned photographers who visited Sanibel from Miami for years, built an island contemporary structure in another quiet neighborhood, nestled against and overlooking preserve land and a canal. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Fortune established a floor tile business, both backgrounds richly reflected in the couple’s finished abode. Lopez was a BellSouth project manager before picking up a camera.

PHOTO PROVIDED Exterior of the new home of Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez.

The couple worked with S.A.M. Builders of Fort Myers to realize their dreams and incorporate “found objects” that – in tune with their friends – would provide unique touches. A boat hangs over floating stairs of Brazilian walnut; Fortune’s metalwork creations are featured throughout; a baby grand piano was rescued from an insurance dispute. Images by the couple, staff photographers for “Island Scene” magazine, are featured in Sobczak’s wildlife books.

The chance to “peek” into the contrasting homes of these well-known Sanibelians will bring a new experience to this year’s tour. The Sobczak-Heuer home is sponsored by Gene’s Books, and the Fortune-Lopez home is sponsored by S.A.M. Builders of Fort Myers.

Tickets are on sale for the 19th annual “Peek” on March 14. Available through www.EventBrite.com, they are $100 each ($90 for afternoon departures, if they are available), plus a small service fee.

For more information, visit www.zontasancap.com or follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook or on Instagram at @zontasancap.

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sobczak-Heuer home features Sobczak's stained glass and treasures from the past.

PHOTO PROVIDED The Fortune-Lopez home is in island contemporary style, reflected in the dining alcove.

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, Dick Fortune and wife Sara Lopez with Molly Heuer and husband Charles Sobczak.