Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3 Lakewood Ranch High musicians to perform at Sarasota Music Club luncheon

Three Lakewood Ranch High School musicians will perform at the Sarasota Music Club's 2014 scholarship awards luncheon May 3 at Michael’s on East.

The 2014 scholarship winners, all graduating high school music students who reside in Sarasota or Manatee counties, will offer a full and varied music program at the luncheon. The club will award $19,000 in scholarships.

Performing from Lakewood Ranch will be Logan Knutson, principal cellist in the Sarasota Youth Philharmonic; Ryan Brown, baritone saxophone; and Nick McConnaughey, playing the marimba.

The public is invited to attend the luncheon, which begins at noon and costs $26. For an invitation, call 941-365-0376. Reservations are required by April 28.

For more information on The Sarasota Music Club, contact Susan Hicks at 941-925-3602.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mill Creek residents help stock Food Bank of Manatee

The residents of Mill Creek Phase VII in East Manatee collected 536 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Manatee at their annual food drive on April 12.

Organizer Leah Pope says the amount of food donated this year was twice the amount collected last year.

For more information on donating to the local food bank, visit

Friday, April 18, 2014

Palm-Aire residents catch a little Bradenton culture at DaVinci and Village of the Arts

 Judy Radasch, Donna Vasko and Jeannine Lyons with Baobab Gallery owner Gordon Turner. provided photo

Sue Brooks of Palm-Aire tells us that members of the Art Association recently took in a few Bradenton cultural attractions.

Here's Sue's account:

Recently, 32 Art Association of Palm-Aire members and guests took a docent-led tour through the Da Vinci Machines Exhibit at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium. They learned of Da Vinci’s life, and how he became a mechanical wizard in the fields of war machines, flight, hydraulics and architectural innovations. Many of his inventions are the basis for modern day aviation, nautical, mechanical and hydraulic machines. Some of the models can be operated to gain a first- hand appreciation of how they worked.

Reproductions of his most famous paintings line the walls, reminding all that he was a master painter too.
There was a lot I didn’t know about Da Vinci.....I thought he was just a painter. So the fact that he invented
so many things was surprising to me.

 One invention, an octagonal mirrored stall that his models could stand in, enabled him to see all sides of them, without having them move. Another interesting fact was that he got involved with anatomy...he started doing autopsies to study the structure of the human body, which subsequently got him exiled from Italy as it was against the teachings of the Catholic church.

Da Vinci was left handed and learned how to write words backwards, starting on the right side of the paper so that he didn’t smudge the ink. He was a self-taught person; he wasn’t allowed to attend school since he was an illegitimate child, his father having had an affair with a local peasant. However, by the time he was 14 his father recognized his art ability and made arrangements for him to study under renowned Florentine painter Verrocchio.

Known today mainly as a painter and sculptor, Da Vinci was also an architect, musician, mathematician,
engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer – the epitome of the Renaissance

The Exhibition is one of three currently on display in the world, and the only one in the US. The very informative docent traveling with the Exhibit made the tour most enjoyable. It will be in Bradenton through
May 18, 2014, and is an interesting place to take guests. You can contact the Exhibit at 941-209-1236 for daily scheduled docent tours.

Following lunch, the group traveled to the Village of the Arts in Bradenton, and was guided through the area
by Gordon Turner, one of the local artists. The area is primarily open on Friday and Saturday, but several shops opened specially for our group.

Gordon Turner’s Baobab Tree Gallery has some nice metal pieces (fish, birds, wildlife), jewelry, and watercolor paintings. The Divine Excess Folk Art contained many different folk art pieces as well as eclectic outdoor art … the gallery’s back yard was interesting. The Village Mystic carries jewelry and wall hangings. Joan Peters Gallery has paintings in a variety of media. The Dancing Crane Gallery has paintings and small art objects.

Village of the Arts is 4 blocks south of Manatee Avenue, between 9th St. W and 14th St. W, with a primary focus on 12th St. W. The website is . For more information, call 941-747-8056.

 Jackie Hendrix, Sara Masciopinto, and Pat Merchant at DaVinci. photo provided

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Disney's 'Frozen' is free 'Moonlight Movie' in Lakewood Ranch

Frozen Trailer on Disney Video

You may have heard of the film scheduled for the upcoming "Moonlight Movie" at Greenbrook Adventure Park in Lakewood Ranch.

Disney's smash hit "Frozen" will be played on the giant, two-story inflatable screen set up on the baseball field Saturday, April 26.

The free movie will start at sundown, and residents are invited to bring their chairs and blankets and claim their spots in front of the big screen. Families can also come early to enjoy the playground, tailgate or purchase barbecue sandwiches, snacks, popcorn and beverages.

The PG-rated "Frozen," which features Idina Menzel's hit song "Let It Go," runs for an hour and 48 minutes.

In case of inclement weather, the movie will be rescheduled for May 10. You can call Lakewood Ranch Community Activities the day of the movie at 941-757-1530 or check their website for up-to-the-minute updates.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LWR Community Fund seeks humanitarian award nominees

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund is accepting nominations for the 10th Annual C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award, which will be presented at a reception on Friday, Oct. 17.

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

Past recipients include Clarke, Don O’Leary, Pat Neal, Lorraine and Dick Vitale, Darrell Turner, Stuart J. Roth, Bob and Billie Delaney, Lou and Ann Marinaccio, and most recently, Col. John W. Saputo, USMCR.

Nomination forms are available and may be downloaded from the community fund website, Nominations should be mailed to the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, c/o Manatee Community Foundation, 3103 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205.  All nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11.

For more information, contact Marilyn Howard at

John Saputo, left, received the 9th Annual C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award in October 2013 at Lakewood Ranch. Making the presentation was Dick Wharton. JAMES A. JONES JR./Bradenton Herald

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District holds Farm Tour in Manatee

The Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District recently held its annual Farm Tour, designed to increase awareness of agricultural operations in Manatee County. 

Stops included the Manatee County Agricultural Museum in the Palmetto Historical Park; Hearne Produce in Parrish; Duette Fire Station, where lunch was provided courtesy of The Mosaic Company; a Mosaic reclamation area; and O'Brien Family Farms in East Manatee.

Here are some photos of the tour, provided by Soil Conservation Supervisor Gail Somodi:

A pygmy rattlesnake spotted by a tour participant at the Mosaic reclamation area.

Diane Ingram, Manatee County Agricultural Museum Supervisor, provides an overview to the group.

Cabbage comes in to the packinghouse from the field at Hearne Produce in Parrish.

The Hearne Produce packinghouse.

Kevin Taylor, Hearne Produce farm manager, provides an overview of cabbage production.

A tour through Hearne Produce's cabbage farm.

Lunch was provided by The Mosaic Company at Duette Fire Station.

A guided tour was given at O'Brien Family Farms in East Manatee.