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East County Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 4 years ago



+ 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 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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