Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lakewood Ranch student among those chosen to take part in youth tour of Washington, D.C.

Matthew Davis of Lakewood Ranch High School  and Harley Russum of Mulberry High School. (provided photo)
Juniors Matthew Davis of Lakewood Ranch High School  and Harley Russum of Mulberry High School, were among 1,500 students from around the United States taking part in a recent  youth tour of Washington, D.C.

Peace River Electric Cooperative, which serves 10 counties, including much of East Manatee, picked up the tab for Matthew and Harley.

They  were selected from among 16 high schools. Students were required to write a short essay and submit an application.  High school faculty members selected one student to represent their respective school as a candidate in the final selection process.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, headquartered in Arlington, Va.,, has coordinated the youth tour program for more than 40 years, sending high school students to visit the nation’s capitol. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dig that name: Johnny Reagan and the Renegades

Danielle Richardson had the balloons for the kids and the red, white and blue make up for the 4th of July at Music on Main. (Photo Jim Jones)
I don't know anything about the band, but they've got a really cool name: Johnny Reagan and the Renegades.

When they take the stage at Lakewood Ranch's Music on Main 6-9 p.m. Friday, they're promising to deliver classic rock, southern rock and country. Did I mention, the concert is free?

It's a great kickoff to the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Also for your listening and rock 'n' roll consideration, Eddie Money will perform a free concert at Sutton and Lamb Park in Palmetto 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Can you say “Take Me Home Tonight/Be My Baby”?


Friday, June 24, 2011

Lakewood Ranch now has one of county's two visitor information centers

The McClure Center at Lakewood Ranch is now an official county visitor information center. (Herald file photo)

Manatee County Commissioners this week approved a Convention & Visitors Bureau request to designate the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s downtown Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch offices as official visitor information centers.

 Each Chamber lobby already has hundreds of brochures on display for museums, hotels, restaurants and retail.

 Each chamber office will receive new signage promoting them as Visitor Information Centers. The centers are located at  the McClure Center, 4215 Concept Court, Lakewood Ranch, and  222 10th St. W., Bradenton.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Got a nomination for the John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award?

John A. Clarke, former CEO and president of Lakewood Ranch developer Schroder-Manatee Ranch. (Herald file photo)

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund is accepting nominations for the 7th Annual C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund established this award in recognition of former Schroeder-Manatee Ranch CEO and president John Clarke’s lifelong dedication to humanitarian ideals and the high ethical, moral, and professional standards that epitomize his life.

The award will be presented at a reception in October 2011.

Past recipients include John Clarke, Don O’Leary, Pat Neal, Lorraine and Dick Vitale, Darrell Turner and Stuart J. Roth.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund was established in 2000 as a donor-advised fund under the umbrella of the Manatee Community Foundation. Contributions to the Community Fund are made by residents, corporate sponsors and through its fundraising events.

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Aug. 10 at Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, c/o Manatee Community Foundation, 3103 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205. Information: Marilyn Howard at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Continuing an impressive tradition

Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club officers recently installed included (front, left to right) Toni Milholland, immediate past president; Ladd Waldo, president-elect; (second row, left) Joe Weber; Peter Ceccacci, treasurer; John Freeman, president;
Mark Dahle; (third row, left) Nathan Carr, Jared Hermann, and Chris Perkins, vice president. Not pictured, Gary Parker, sergeant at arms.
The Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club, which among its other accomplishments in the first decade of its existence, brought  ShelterBox USA to Lakewood Ranch, and launched the Suncoast Food and Wine Festival as a benefit for dozens of local charities, recently installed new board officers and members.

The installation dinner was held  at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club. 

For more information about the Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club, visit or phone (941) 870-0002.
John Freeman introduced the 2011 SunCoast Food & Wine Fest Chairman Mark Brink at the board of directors induction dinner held recently at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club.  The 10th Annual SunCoast Food & Wine Fest will be held 1-4 p.m. Nov. 12  at the Sarasota Polo Grounds.  For information about tickets, sponsorships or restaurant participation visit the Festival website at or phone (941) 870-0002.

Donna Hayes: 8 years is enough

Manatee County Commissioner Donna Hayes, who has represented District 5 --  essentially the southeast portion of the county -- for eight years, announced today that she won't seek re-election. Here's her statement:
"It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as Manatee County Commissioner.  During the past 31 years, I have enjoyed community involvement on numerous committees and I hope that will continue.  In 1992, I was a vocal supporter of “Eight Is Enough” legislation which limited Legislative House terms to eight years.  I plan to impose those limits on myself.  My original commitment to supporters was to serve a minimum of eight years and, with God’s Blessing, I will complete my eighth year as Commissioner.  I will not be a candidate in 2012.   
"Many folks leave public office to pursue a business opportunity but I have already had a business.  My intent is to spend more time with my family, travel, golf, enjoy my social life and other personal endeavors. Special thanks is extended to all of my family, friends and supporters who have encouraged me to serve another 4 years, but I must confess that my personal commitments have prevailed.  
"My purpose in announcing my intentions early is to allow a proven qualified community leader to seek the County Commissioner seat in District 5.  I will support a conservative candidate with a strong record of community involvement and genuine roots in Manatee County. Manatee County deserves the best.
"Thank you for the outstanding privilege of serving as Manatee County Commissioner.  Campaign contributions (2012) will be fully refunded."
 Lakewood Ranch Vanessa Baugh is an announced candidate for Hayes' seat. JoAnne Klement issued a statement today saying she is considering throwing her hat into the ring.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Braden River Elementary says farewell to 5th graders

School ended this week for Manatee School District children.

Here's a note from Kathy Keebler at Braden River Elementary School:

"We can hardly believe that the last day of school has arrived. To help our 5th graders celebrate we gave them a final farewell "clap walk."  It was with mixed emotions that we wished them well in middle school as it always is!"

This time of the year is especially poignant for 5th graders who will be moving on to midde school.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Far-ranging interests of University Park Womens Club

Collecting items for the Childrens Guardian Fund. (provided photo)

Members of the University Park Women's Club have some wide-ranging interests.

Club members recently had an amenities drive for teenagers in care of Childrens Guardian Fund.

Kris Higgerson and Ann Nellis co-chaired the drive that netted two car loads of boxes filled with personal hygiene items -- deodorant, disposable razors, shampoo, tooth brushes, and  foot powder -- as well as  makeup, curling irons, magnifying mirrors, and nail polish. 

The amenities were distributed among the four group homes that house teens in Manatee and Sarasota counties.  

University Park Women's Club's University Park Chorale

In addition, members of the club's chorale recently performed at the Asolo Rep's Auxiliary lunch and tea and at the Symphony Orchestra Association luncheon.

Carefree Learner outing:
(left to right) Bill Mills, Polly Curran, Barbara Mills, Linda Jones, Pam Yulke, Maureen Hager, Anne Pickford, Emily Vosnos, Carolyn Quick, Kay Winsauer, Mary Lou Morton, Adrienne Wagner, Kathy Bondur, Lorraine & Lou MacDonald.
Back: Captain Randall and Marine Science Educator – Judd McKean.

Finally, members of the club's garden group enjoyed an eco-cruise on Sarasota Bay aboard the Carefree Learner, a Sarasota High School marine environmental caramaran.

The catamaran, built by students, teachers and parents, is a water platform for learning.

With marine science educator Judd McKean, 17 club members and guests learned about sealife in the bay.