Thursday, December 26, 2013

LECOM to host career awareness program for high schoolers

LAKEWOOD RANCH — High school students can learn how to become a physician, pharmacist or dentist at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Health Professions Career Awareness program at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 at LECOM’s School of Dental Medicine, 4800 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Representatives from LECOM’s College of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and School of Dental Medicine will be on hand to give presentations and answer any questions students and parents may have. There will also be a panel of students representing all of LECOM’s programs to answer questions and provide valuable information.

For more information and to register for the event, email Dr. Kersten Schroeder at or call 941-782-5963.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Free ice skating lessons in Ellenton in January

Does all that snow and ice they're getting just about everywhere but Florida right now have you in the mood to try ice skating?

If so, you may want to check out Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex's ice skating open house on Saturday, Jan. 11. It's your opportunity to take a free trial class for new participants to try out skating.

There's an 11:30 a.m. adult class that day, followed by a 12:15 p.m. youth class.

Reserve your spot or get more information by contacting Shannon at

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Work of young artists from Braden River Elementary School showcased at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

Nicholas Freeman, Braden River fifth grader. Provided photo
Seven students from Braden River Elementary School have been recognized for their artistic ability. Their art work will be displayed at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

They are among 50 students from across Manatee and Sarasota counties whose entries were selected.

The Braden River students include Lilly Pramuka, Hailey Dragon, Shiv Patel, Allie Teegarden, Maya Wellard, Nicholas Freeman, and Jacqueline Diaz-Bruno.

The artwork will be custom framed and displayed at the airport for one year, reports Kathy Keeber.

AHsyley Dragon, a Braden River fourth grader. Provided photo

Lilly Pramuka, Braden River third grader, placed third overall in the airport art contest. provided photo

Friday, December 13, 2013

Horseshoe Cove revs up for Christmas Golf Cart Parade

Dick Verzone, dressed as Santa Claus, entertains the crowds at the 14th annual Horseshoe Cove Christmas Cart Parade in 2012 in Bradenton. Driving the cart disguised as a sleigh is Bill Crocker. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

EAST MANATEE — The residents of Horseshoe Cove are prepping for their 15th annual Christmas Golf Cart Parade.

Fifty carts, each with its own holiday theme, will leave the RV park at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, and head down Caruso Road to State Road 70, visiting Westwinds and Windmill Manor mobile home parks along the way.

The public is invited to set up chairs along the route on Caruso Road and can expect candy for children and doggie treats for their pets. The parade also features music, a 15-foot-tall twinkling Christmas tree and four bouncing reindeer pulling Santa Claus in his sled.

About 250 senior residents are helping prepare for the parade and will be doing a trial run Dec. 18 and making a visit to their neighbors at Pleasant Lakes Park on Dec. 20.

For more information, call 941-751-3450.

Sarasota Manatee Bicyle Club donates to Toys for Tots

Headed to deserving children. Provided photo

Sarasota Manatee Bike Club donated 10 new bicycles to Toys for Tots on Friday, reports Doug Reiff.

"This is another great example of our club giving back to our communities in Sarasota-Manatee counties," Reiff said.

For previous coverage of the club, visit these links:

Bicycle club members with bikes they are donating to Toys for Tots. Provided photo

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild entertains Palm-Aire art group with 'Fractured Fairy Tales'

Event organizer Helen Martin, center, with the Asolo Theatre Guild Play Readers
Photo by Marilyn Nordby
The Play Readers of the Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild were in fine form as they recently entertained members of  the Art Association of Palm-Aire with “Fractured Fairy Tales” during their opening luncheon. 

Thessocial-commentary versions of Grimm’s tales kept the audience laughing  with questions such as:

What if Chicken Little was less concerned with the sky falling than with who to sue? 

What if the Big Bad Wolf was a nasty businessman trying to put three honest competitors out of business?

And what if Red Riding Hood was a resourceful animal lover who didn’t need the Woodsman to save her and Grandma from the wolf?  

Member-guests Susan Hubley, Mary Sarro and Nan Miller.
Photo by Marilyn Nordby

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance helps Meals on Wheels

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance collected $1,265 in cash and Publix gift cards and 936 pounds of canned and dried food to benefit Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee at its recent Holiday Social.

Robin Parsons, the group's business development director, said in a statement she is "proud that LWRBA could support and obtain these donations for an organization so dedicated such as Meals on Wheels PLUS. We are happy to be involved with such a generous group of business owners and able to help Meals on Wheels.”

Go here to see a Click! photo gallery from the Dec. 4 event.

For more information about LWRBA and membership, call (941) 757-1664.

Karen Cadou, Pam Lutz, Darren Inverso, and Annette Gueli of Pro-Motion Notions at the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and Young Leaders Alliance annual holiday social Dec. 4 at Courtyard Marriott in University Park. Carina Lora/Special to the Herald

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

River Club Bunco Group helps Sarasota's Community Haven

The ladies' Bunco Group at The River Club in East Manatee has made a $625 donation to Sarasota-based Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc.

The ladies raised money at their recent holiday meeting and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Community Haven. The organization held a ribbon cutting in September for its private school, which serves disabled students in kindergarten and grades nine through 12 at its 32-acre campus.

The donation will help Community Haven "continue to provide programs and services that enhance the education, growth and development of individuals with disabilities in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties and Environs," according to a news release.

From left, Janet Schraer, River Club Bunco Group; Marla Doss, president and CEO of Community Haven; and Linda Deucker, River Club Bunco Group.

Nik Wallenda tests skills at Treeumph! Adventure Course in East Manatee

Daredevil Nik Wallenda, second from right, brought his family and friends to Treeumph! Adventure Course in East Manatee earlier this month.

EAST MANATEE — It’s not uncommon to hear people yelling out “I’m Nik Wallenda!” and pretending to be the famed high-wire artist when they’re playing around 60 feet up in the air at Treeumph! Adventure Course.

But earlier this month, Wallenda himself was there and got to experience the zip lines, swinging logs, wobbly bridges and more excitement among the trees at this East Manatee business.

Wallenda, a Bradenton resident, said he had heard about Treeumph and decided to bring his wife, three kids and four friends there over Thanksgiving weekend to experience the fun firsthand.

“We had a great time, and I will definitely return in the near future,” Wallenda said via email. “Some of the elements there are physically challenging so it was a fun workout, and our entire group just really had a great time.”

Co-owner Kathy Corr, who opened Treeumph in 2012 with husband Aaron on State Road 70 East, said several of her employees were joking with Wallenda and trying to race him on the courses.

“I definitely had a number of our guys say, ‘That dude’s got great balance,’ “ Kathy Corr said.

So how did the experience compare with Wallenda’s famed feats, such as his death-defying walks at the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or even over U.S. 41 in Sarasota?

“As far as connections with my profession, I think the balance necessary for wire walking helps me on some of the elements, perhaps letting me move through quicker,” he said. “Our entire group was able to go through the course but in some instances, it may have taken someone longer to mentally prepare for a particular element. My familiarity with heights probably helps with that mental aspect.”

Wallenda said he’s busy working on his next TV special with his partners at Discovery Channel, whose live showing of Wallenda’s Grand Canyon walk drew 13 million viewers in June.

“We are planning for 2014, and hope to be releasing some specifics toward the beginning of the year,” he said.

As for the Corrs, they were thrilled to host the famous daredevil.

“He went away recommending the place,” Aaron Corr said. “I was very pleased. All I know is he had a great time.”

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Braden River Middle to host 15th Empty Bowls Luncheon

The National Junior Honor Society Chapter at Braden River Middle School will host its 15th Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the school.

 The luncheon's aim is to "help fight hunger and demonstrate the strong spirit of community in Manatee County," according to a news release. The suggested donation is $10, with proceeds going to the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Bradenton.

 NJHS students have been busy making clay bowls (shaping, firing, glazing and decorating), which will serve as reminders of those who go hungry in the community every day. Publix and Crispers have again donated the soup and the bread for Wednesday's luncheon.

 For more information, contact teacher and NJHS adviser Lisa Brewer-Norton at 941-751-7080.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Myakka Christmas parade offers holiday spirit with country flavor

Horses and riders are always a highlight of the Myakka Christmas parade.
Herald file photo
 MYAKKA CITY — The lineup for the annual Myakka City Christmas parade, set to begin 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on Wauchula Road at the Myakka City Elementary School,  includes decorated horses and riders, big trucks, and 40 floats.

The parade winds through side streets and ends near Myakka Fire Station 1 at 10215 Wauchula Road.

Roger and Sylvia Mayfield have been selected as parade king and queen by the Myakka seniors program.

Marching bands in the parade include Lakewood Ranch High School and Community Christian School.

Forty floats are planned for the Myakka Christmas parade on Dec. 7.
Herald file photo
Look for a big truck or two in the Myakka Christmas parade.
Herald file photo
Immediately after the parade, a Christmas festival will be held on the grounds of Myakka Community Center, complete with crafts, food, and games, ending at 3 p.m.

Live entertainment will be provided by singer Alex Dakin Banger, and by Stacey’s Cheer Jam.

Three bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, and a mechanical bull are planned for children.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lakewood Ranch Rotary accepting grant applications

The Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club’s Ways and Means Committee is accepting grant applications by local nonprofits that wish to be considered for some of the net proceeds from last month’s Suncoast Food and Wine Fest.

Twenty-two local and international charities benefited from last year’s Wine Fest, a member-driven fundraiser that draws thousands of visitors to the Sarasota Polo Grounds.

Nonprofits wishing to submit a grant for consideration may get more information or an application online at or by phone at 941-358-2068.  To be considered, an organization must be a 501(c)3.

Applications will be accepted until Jan. 10.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Shoebox Could Make a Senior's Day

You can make a Manatee County senior's holiday a little brighter this year by participating in the Holiday Shoebox Drive Reception this Sunday, Dec. 8, from 4-6 p.m. at The Ranch Grill, put on by Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.
Admission is free to the event with a $20 donation or by bringing a wrapped shoebox filled with goodies for seniors who may be homebound and alone this holiday season and may not have any gifts to open. Meals on Wheels PLUS has been collecting and distributing the holiday shoeboxes for more than three decades.
At the event, attendees will have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for prizes ranging from Disney tickets to restaurant gift certificates. Complimentary appetizers will be provided by The Ranch Grill, 14475 State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch.
“It is truly meaningful to watch a senior client’s eyes light up as they receive their shoebox. They are sincerely grateful, and it makes the spirit of giving come to life,” said Maribeth Phillips, CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, in a news release.
Gift ideas include lotions, hand soap, shampoo, toothpaste, lotions, slippers, pens, stationery, and other nonperishable necessities.
To volunteer or donate, call 941-749-0100.