Scene maker: Laura Russell, at the helm of county food bank fundraiser

Laura Russell doesn’t mind an early rise-and-shine time, especially if fishing is involved. A Tallahassee native, Russell is a competitive angler who reels in really big saltwater fish, like the 450-pound blue marlin she snagged near St. Thomas.

She and her husband, Byron Russell, met while fishing and often travel for big game tournaments. They recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas.

Being out on a rocking boat for long hours has its challenges.

“I get horribly seasick,” she confessed. “But I wear a patch and I power through it.”

Besides fishing, Russell, 31, is active in the Junior League of the Palm Beaches and will serve as president-elect next year.

The Jupiter woman has a degree in recreation and leisure management from Florida State University, and worked as a special events planner. She was also a legislative aide for Jeff Atwater and Ellyn Bogdanoff.

The Russells, whose family business is Cheney Brothers Inc., are co-chairs of the Palm Beach County Food Bank Canstruction event June 9-22 at The Gardens Mall.

“We are an independent food distribution company,” she said. “CBI has deep community ties and understands the intricacies of food distribution as well as the needs of the community. The Food Bank ( acts like a mini-CBI, serving as the food distribution hub for more than 100 agencies in Palm Beach County, responsible for serving tens of thousands of children, families and senior citizens. It seemed like a natural fit for us to get involved.”

Canstruction is an international charity of the design and construction industry in which architects, designers and builders compete to create works of art made entirely out of canned and packaged foods.

Last year, the inaugural year in Palm Beach County, resulted in the donation of 23,000 pounds of food to the Palm Beach County Food Bank.

Favorite place for breakfast:

Nothing beats a classic … we love to go to John G’s. Worth the wait! My favorites are Greek salad and gazpacho soup.

John G’s, 264 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, 561-588-7733,

Favorite place for lunch:

I love Field of Greens on Clematis. The family atmosphere and tasty food are favorites.

Field of Greens, 412 N Clematis St., West Palm Beach, 561-820-2465,

Favorite place for dinner:

The Riverhouse is our family favorite. They use amazing fresh ingredients (we can testify) on their one-of-a-kind salad bar. And their grouper in parchment is one of my favorite dishes!

The Riverhouse, 2373 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561-694-1188,

Favorite place to take out-of-town visitors:

We almost always take out-of-town guests for a drink at The Square Grouper or Sailfish Marina. Both are great spots on the water with a beautiful view and hometown atmosphere.

The Square Grouper Tiki Bar, 1111 Love St., Jupiter, 561-575-0252,

Sailfish Marina, 98 Lake Drive, Palm Beach Shores, 561-842-8449,

Favorite spot to watch the sunrise:

I love watching the sunrise from the boat when we are headed out the inlet from the Sailfish Marina to fish early in the morning.

Sailfish Marina, 98 Lake Drive, Palm Beach Shores, 561-842-8449,

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