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East County Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 4 years ago

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Couple celebrates 60th anniversary; McNeal students practice kindness with project; and Manatee County offers videos about county commissioners.
by: Amanda Sebastiano Staff Writer

+ Sixty years of wedded bliss

East County engineer Rick Schappacher helped his parents celebrate 60 years of marriage in style.

Schappacher and his seven siblings helped throw a 50s-themed party for their parents, Roy and Jean Schappacher.

Siblings traveled from Ohio and Alabama to attend the recent gathering.

"My parents were completely surprised," Schappacher said. "They didn't have a clue."

 

+ Kids care

Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary School is learning how to "pay it forward."

Principal Cheryl McGrew suggested everyone read "Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deeds,” a book that teaches kids the idea of repaying kindness with kindness.

Ashlie Fulmer, a fourth-grade teacher, had the idea to start a caring quilt. She wanted students to "use their words" to better understand the concept.

The quilt has been up for a week, and students and teachers are adding notes to it that acknowledge nice things others have done for them.

The teachers have a “Sunshine Committee” that works to improve school culture and morale. So teachers started saying nice things about each other and performing random acts of kindness, such as leaving thank you notes, after the whole school read the book.

"This is a nice way to share kindness without spending money at all," Fulmer said. "Spreading kindness is just as important as spreading goods."

+ Meet your commissioners

Have you met District 5 Commissioner Vanessa Baugh?

If you haven't, Manatee County's Facebook page can now introduce you to the official in just three minutes.

This year, Manatee County has started a series of community outreach videos that compile old family photos and interviews with commissioners about their past and what inspired them to get into politics. The compilations are later posted to Facebook in conjunction with the commissioner's birthday.

Baugh celebrated her birthday Oct. 9, and the video helped introduce her to the county's followers.

"This is a good way for people to get to know their commissioners better," said Nicholas Azzara, county spokesperson. "Sometimes all people know is what they read, whereas these videos show a personal side; they see pics of family and friends over the years. This is good insight as to who our commissioners really are."

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