+ Nathan Benderson Park to host rowing championships?
It’s not yet official, but Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park very well may be the future venue for the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
Officials from the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association learned Monday a council from the International Federation of Rowing Associations, called FISA, is recommending to hold the event at the park, located just south of University Parkway, off Cattlemen Road. FISA’s 136-member congress is slated to make an official decision on the venue in September.
The other site being considered to host the competition is in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
“It took a lot of people — a huge partnership — to make it happen,” said Paul Blackketter, CEO for Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center, which oversees rowing activities at the park. “We could not do it without Sarasota and Manatee counties and the state of Florida.”
Blackketter said getting the recommendation “was tough,” but the hard work of preparing to host the event will begin if the congress approves the recommendation this fall.
The two-week event is estimated to draw about 42,000 visitors from 62 countries.
+ Goodwill launches donation drive for local food banks
Goodwill Manasota is seeking non-perishable food items for its summer food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Manatee and All Faiths Food Bank.
The public can donate food to any Goodwill location in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties through Aug. 10.
“Donations to food banks typically slow down in the summer months, despite the increased need tied to school vacation,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “These two local food companies are committed to our neighbors, and we will do whatever we can to help support them. Together, we can make a difference to reduce hunger in our community.”
The Food Bank of Manatee, a service of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, and All Faiths Food Bank, in Sarasota, currently serve about 150,000 people each week.
“We are so fortunate to have great partners, like Goodwill Manasota, who continue to find ways to assist the Manatee and Sarasota communities in our mission to prevent hunger,” said Maribeth Phillips, CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Many families and children are counting on us to help them get through the summer, and we cannot let them down.”
Visit www.ExperienceGoodwill.org for a list of locations to donate.
Meetings & agendas
Manatee County School Board Meeting — 5:45 p.m. Aug. 12, at 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Meeting — 9 a.m. Aug. 13, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
Manatee County Planning Commission Meeting — 9 a.m. Aug. 15, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
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17 Maundy Thursday Service
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
18 Good Friday Service
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
19 Good Friday Service
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
19 Easter Vigil
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
PHOTO GALLERY: Class 7A-District 10 Semifinal Softball- Lakewood Ranch vs. Sarasota
The No. 2 seed Lakewood Ranch High softball team defeated No. 3 seed Sarasota 9-1 in the Class 7A-District 10 semifinals April 15. Freshman Logan Newton allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out four in five innings of work to earn the win on the mound. Junior Amanda Rak pitched the final two innings in relief, striking out five, to earn the save. Jackie Schoff went 1-for-1 with a double, three walks, a stolen base, a RBI and three runs scored to lead the way for Lakewood at the plate. Maddie Biggs went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored. Kaylee Misiti went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. SaraBeth Wengerd went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to lead the way for Sarasota at the plate. Clarissa Lynch pitched 1/3 of an inning before turning the ball over to Brittany Bendel. Lakewood Ranch will travel to rival Braden River for the district championship April 17.
The Good News: Terry Stottlemyer and Madeline Brogan
The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization provides assistance for struggling mothers through community donations.
PHOTO GALLERY: Breakfast of Champions
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance hosted a morning of bacon, eggs, orange juice and an optimistic message April 16. Attendees of Breakfast of Champions, an event sponsored by The Observer Group, enjoyed a presentation by guest speaker Justin Su'a, IMG Academy’s mental conditioning coach. Su’a focused on themes of having a positive attitude and "flexing optimistic muscles," while leading group activities and playing audio clips of his favorite inspirational speakers, at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club.