Blood drive remembers 9/11
+ Knights to remember
East County just gained six new Fourth-Degree Knights.
Knights of Columbus Council No. 13341, of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Lakewood Ranch, welcomed select members into the ranks a few weeks ago in Tampa.
The Fourth Degree is the highest rank obtained by a Knights of Columbus member.
And, after becoming a Fourth-Degree Knight, members join the San Damiano Assembly No. 3192. Membership includes participation in a range of local activities, such as Celebrate Mass on Veterans Day at Sarasota National Cemetery and the Presidential-Military Ball at Tara Country Club.
+ Got blood?
To memorialize the lives lost Sept. 11, 2001, Manatee Technical College brought new life to an ongoing blood drive campaign.
In honor of the day, the school hosted the 9/11 Commemorative Blood Drive Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 at the school's main campus on State Road 70.
The event exceeded organizers' expectations. They hoped for 75 donors and instead received 90.
Medical Administrative student at MTC Alyssa Holst aims to give blood every year on Sept. 11, which is also her birthday.
"It's just a great thing to do," Holst said.
+ Grandparent goodness
The Kiddie Academy of Lakewood Ranch chose a different way to spend Sept. 11.
The East County school hosted its seventh annual Goodies with Grandparents breakfast. Fifty grandparents enjoyed a quick meal of donuts and muffins and social time with their younger family members.
Children gave black and white photos of themselves dressed in old western clothes to their grandparents. They also drew pictures of their grandparents and gifted those drawings, too.
"A lot of our students' grandparents don't even live in this area, so I thought it was really nice they took time out of their morning to spend time with their grandchildren," Kiddie Academy Director Tina Pousso said. "The children appreciated that; it was nice to see them spend time together."
+ Remembering Sept. 11
An engineer who has logged more than 10 years with local fire departments, Jefferson Bagley has insight on the demands of a firefighter.
Bagley offered his perspective on those demands during a special ceremony to honor and remember the events on and following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
State College of Florida's Lakewood Ranch campus Sept. 11 held its first memorial event, which featured a range of speakers and guests, such as Delane Solana, a former Marine.
Cami McLean, a member of the school's choir, sang a soprano rendition of "Amazing Grace," after traditional prayer, a moment of silence and lowering of the flag to half-staff.
The school's campuses in Venice and west Bradenton also hosted similar events to memorialize the day.
+ Dog gone cute
Does your furry canine companion have star quality? Is he or she model material?
Plexidor, a manufacturer of doors accessible for pets, wants to see your dog and be the judge. Through Dec. 15, the company is offering a photo contest that pays plenty of kibble.
The first-place winner will receive 1,000 pounds of the winner's favorite brand of dog food, or the individual and their dog can choose to donate the food to a local shelter of their choice.
Top dogs also receive a free PlexiDor pet door.
Second-place winner receives a pet door with installation and a $25 Visa gift card, and third-place winners will enjoy new toys and treats.
Visit plexidors.com for contest information.