Braden River Soccer Club Hosts Golazo Gala Fundraiser

BRADENTON, FL – October 14, 2021 – Braden River Soccer Club is hosting the Golazo Gala, a fundraising event on December 3rd, 2021 at 6:30 pm at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Lakewood Ranch. Named after the slang term for an amazing, stunning goal in soccer, the gala will feature a silent auction, a DJ, and photo booth. Attendees should dress to impress (semi-formal) and come have a wonderful, exhilarating evening to help raise funds for the club.

The cost of admission is $99 and all proceeds from the event will go toward adding more programming, replacing equipment, and continuing to hire quality staff, as well as field maintenance and the daily running of the club. The event is open to the public, but all attendees must be 21 years or older to attend. The club is also taking donations for silent auction items from anyone interested in donating. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets or donate to the auction, visit https://bradenriversoccer.org/event/golazo-gala/

BRSC President Terry Moriarty said, “I am very excited about our inaugural Golazo Gala. This is our first ever adults only fundraising event that should be a lot of fun for everyone who attends. As soccer parents and club administrators, we do not often get a chance to dress up and spend a few hours socializing together without our children. I am looking forward to a great night and helping the club raise funds to continue with its mission of providing quality programs for the children and young adults of our community.”

Gold Coast Eagle Distributing will provide beer and wine, while a catered dinner will also be provided during the event. The silent auction will feature items such as sports tickets, sports memorabilia, and numerous themed gifts baskets such as wine, lottery tickets, golf and more.


Braden River Soccer Club (BRSC) is a 501c (3) non-profit youth soccer organization serving nearly 1,500 boys and girls in Manatee & Sarasota Counties. Located in beautiful Lakewood Ranch/Bradenton, Florida. Our club continues to provide professional training staff with top soccer licensing committed to training, nurturing, and developing young talented children in our community.

Manatee County 1-Mill Referendum For Education Debate

BRADENTON, FLORIDA, October 13, 2021 – Manatee Tiger Bay Club will host the 1- Mill Referendum for Education Renewal debate on October 21st at 11:30 AM. The debate will take place at Pier 22 in Bradenton, Florida.

Panelist included in the October 21st Debate include Garin C. Hoover, Superintendent for Manatee County Schools Cynthia Saunders, and Ernie Withers Co-Chair Forward Manatee. Speakers details attached to release.

The 1-mill Referendum was last approved in 2018 during a special election and set to expire on June 30, 2022.

Request to attend the debate by emailing Tonya Updegraff, Manatee Tiger Bay Club at admin@manateetigerbayclub.org.

About Manatee Tiger Bay Club

Manatee Tiger Bay Club, Inc., established in 2009, is a non-partisan organization formed to present exciting, stimulating, and thought-provoking programs with topics ranging from political, social, local, state to national issues. We are a club geared to serve local businesses and community members. New members and guests are welcome. Speakers are politicians, elected officials, community leaders, public affairs experts, and citizens deeply involved in the topic at hand. Presentations are followed by a Q&A from our members.

We meet on Thursdays of each month at Pier 22 Ballroom, downtown Bradenton on the Manatee River. Doors open at 11:15 am for a social time among members and guests. Tiger Bay’s president will announce the start of the program at noon.  Lunch will then be served to attendees. The program will end at 1 p.m.

Anna Marie Island Privateers Black-Tie Gala 2021

Are you ready for the Black-Tie Gala?? Get your tickets and put on your best dressed for an amazing night of celebration. Proceeds benefit our scholarship programs for local high school students to pursue further education.Tickets are $150, buy one get one FREE!!!Here is a sneak peek at one of the auction items!!!Dyna-Glo 5 burner LP Gas Grill with Side Burner & SearPLUSComes with grilling utensils and a gift certificate to the Chop Shop along with a basket of spices & rubs!!!Tickets can be purchased online: amiprivateers.org/event-4113819Table specials available!!!

Do you have the best Halloween dressed pet in Manatee County?

Discover Bradenton Hosts Fundraiser for FOMCAS

Discover Bradenton is searching for the Best Dressed Pet in Manatee County!

From October 4th through November 1st, local residents are invited to dress up their furry (or scaly) friends, take a photo, and upload it to the contest page (https://discoverbradenton.com/photo-contest/). Discover Bradenton will donate $1.00 per submission to Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FOMCAS). There is also a link on the contest page for visitors to make additional donations if they’re so inclined.

Page visitors can use the same link to view a gallery of all entrants and cast their votes. At the end of the contest period, (midnight on Nov. 1st) the owner of the photo with the most votes will win a $100 Mattison’s gift card generously donated by Chef Paul Mattison! One lucky random winner will also receive $25 cash.

Viewers can cast as many votes as they want one time per day, so they’ll want to check back often to get a look at the newest entries and vote for their favorites. There’s no cost to enter the contest and it supports a great cause. We hope many members of the community decide to join in on the fun! 

City officials celebrate Marauders championship

City Council members and Mayor Gene Brown attended a celebration of the Bradenton Marauders’ achievement of their Southeast League Championship. City Council member Marianne Barnebey was unable to attend, but Marty the Marauder knows she was there at LECOM Park in spirit.

Port Manatee career fair set for Oct. 14 at Bradenton Area Convention Center

Those seeking well-paying jobs with industry partners of Port Manatee are to be given an opportunity to operate a heavy equipment simulator and participate in on-site interviews at an Oct. 14 career event.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee and many of its industry partners are looking to fill more than 100 well-paying positions through a free, hands-on career fair to be held Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto.

The first-time collaborative event, being held in conjunction with CareerSource Suncoast, with support of Manatee Technical College, is to feature on-site interviews, as well as the opportunity to literally be “put in the seat” with a heavy equipment simulator demonstrating what it feels like to operate a broad spectrum of machinery, from yard tractors to the cranes used to lift cargo on and off oceangoing vessels.

“As Port Manatee and companies with operations at and near the seaport continue unprecedented growth, we are joining together in offering opportunities for rewarding careers in a wide range of jobs essential to keeping the supply chain flowing swiftly and efficiently through Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global commerce,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.  

From welders and mechanics to clerks and production technicians, from truck drivers to crane and forklift operators, Port Manatee industry partners are looking to fill positions paying as much as $32 an hour while providing extensive benefits. Applicants with all levels of experience, including trainees, are being sought.

Companies slated to take part in the career fair include terminal operators Carver Maritime Manatee, Federal Marine Terminals Inc., Kinder Morgan Port Manatee and Logistec USA Inc.; Air Products and Chemicals Inc., which fabricates massive liquefied natural gas heat exchangers at its plant across U.S. 41 from the seaport; building materials leader Ash Grove Cement Co.; Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., which imports fruits through its on-port distribution center; and Port Manatee-based containerized cargo carrier World Direct Shipping, provider of the fastest short-sea link between Mexico and the U.S. Southeast. Also, Port Manatee is looking to augment the seaport’s security contingent.

The event is set for Thursday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. Pre-registration – at https://careersourcesuncoast.com/port-manatee-career-fair/ – is encouraged but not required.

“Port Manatee and our private industry stakeholders look forward to conveniently offering scores of career opportunities all in one place on one day,” said Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “For anyone interested in highly rewarding work, this is a must-participate event that could well be the first step in pursuing a bright future.”

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

Congrats to BPD for achieving re-accreditation

Bradenton Police achieved re-accreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, having complied with approximately 260 standards. Accreditation recognizes law enforcement professional excellence and certifies that the Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services comply with CFA standards.

Drug Free Manatee celebrates 20 years

This year Drug Free Manatee celebrates 20 years of helping to build healthy, resilient communities in Manatee County with an immersive Red Ribbon Experience, like no other they have hosted. From its humble beginnings in a small room in the Manatee Glens building with a budget of $6.35, the group that was then called The Community Evaluation Committee, began this amazing 20-year journey to become the Manatee Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, and then Drug Free Manatee. Those original partnerships with groups such as Centerstone, Boys and Girls Club, Just for Girls and local schools and law enforcement has continued to grow to a thriving coalition of more than 150 members. Drug Free Manatee led the charge with the Opioid Task Force to shut down the “pill mills” that made Manatee County the Opioid Capital of Florida and recognize the plight of addicted pregnant women and drug endangered children with the introduction of the Handle with Care model of trauma responsive care through collaboration between law enforcement and the school district. Drug Free Manatee is now coordinating Handle with Care Florida, mentoring counties across the state to adopt the model. Over the past year DFM has also tackled the ever-growing vaping and vaping of marijuana in our schools by forming the Vaping Protocol Task force which has changed the citation system in schools to open education to youth and parents in the place of prosecution and provided vaping testing kits so that the schools can have valid data as to the extent of the problem and target prevention and intervention.

There is much to celebrate and explore going into this year’s Red Ribbon week. “Red Ribbon week seemed a great time to reconnect with the community on issues of substance abuse and addiction, because the events of the past year have left many vulnerable and isolated,” states Dr. Linda Thompson, CEO and Executive Director of Drug Free Manatee.

Red Ribbon Week is a national, annual event to bring awareness to the impact of substance abuse. It is in honor of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985.  In honor of Kiki’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin.  Parents then began to form coalitions using Camarena as their model while embracing his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the Red Ribbon. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

In past years, Drug Free Manatee has held the Red Ribbon Champions of Prevention breakfast during Red Ribbon week. “This year is our 20th Anniversary, and a perfect time to celebrate the accomplishments of the past, demonstrate for the community the strength of our current initiatives, and share our vision for the future of prevention in Manatee County,” states Dr. Thompson. The coalition has created an immersive, experiential event that is a departure from the sit-down breakfast of the past. “We want our attendees to be moved by the art exhibit, the video presentation, and the demonstrations of the initiatives. We want them to leave and be motivated to be a part of the coalition, and an active participant in prevention activities.”

Red Ribbon Week kicks off this year with a Red Ribbon Take Over Event starting October 1. The community is being asked to put red ribbons out where we all can see the support for substance abuse awareness. We are having an Instagram contest for those who show their support and post a photo of their red ribbon display with the comment, “Join us in the fight against substance abuse” and tag @drugfreemantee to enter the contest for Amazon gift cards. 

At area high schools, the Youth in Action teams have organized Red Ribbon awareness campaigns. The public is encouraged to check in with local school to see what events they have planned. 

On Wednesday, October 27 at 6:30pm, DFM will host a Candlelight Vigil at the Riverwalk Pavilion in Bradenton, officiated by Bradenton Mayor Gene Brown, to honor those lost to addiction and overdoses. It is a free event, open to the public to show support for families in the community. There will be music, testimonials, and opportunity for families to contribute a message to the Red Ribbon Wall that will be an exhibit at the Thursday night event.

On Thursday, October 28, from 5:30-8 pm, we will hold our Red Ribbon Experience, sponsored by LECOM and Centerstone at the Manatee River Garden Club. This is unlike any Red Ribbon event DFM has sponsored in the past, featuring indoor and outdoor exhibits. It is an experiential journey through the past, present and future of substance abuse prevention in Manatee County in celebration of 20 years of coalition work. They will celebrate the partnerships that support the mission through video and live demonstrations of the power of prevention. There will be an art show that conceptualizes the journey of addiction, trauma, healing, and recovery curated by The Village of the Arts. There will be a video that immortalizes the accomplishments of Drug Free Manatee and its partners over 20 years. There will be music, great food (sponsored by Carrabbas Italian Grill) and non-alcoholic drinks (in respect of those in recovery) for guests. The event will feature live demonstrations of prevention strategies that are supported by Drug Free Manatee, including the Hidden in Plain Site Trailer, operated by the Manatee County Sherrif’s Office, where visitors can gain awareness of youth behavior through a tour of a teen’s bedroom and Parents Who Host, to reduce underage drinking. Youth in Action Teams and Healthy Teens Coalition will have exhibits on peer-to-peer education. Guests will be able to learn about efforts to reduce opioid deaths, view the impact of the Vaping Task Force in changing vaping behavior in schools, and learn how Manatee County became the first county in the state to adopt Handle with Care in its schools, which led to Drug Free Manatee receiving a grant to mentor all counties in Florida to adopt the model. There will also be a silent auction to support the mission. 

Drug Free Manatee will also be honoring 2021 Champions of Prevention and the Sectors that they represent during the October event at 6:30pm:

Joel Perez, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Overall Champion of the Year

Manatee County Neighborhood Services, Human Services Division, Children’s Services-Government

George Schrier, Manatee Public School District-Education

Melissa Bailey, State College of Florida-CF-Education

Stanley Schaeffer, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Law Enforcement

Derek Pollock, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Law Enforcement

Tamilynn Zanon, Youth Serving

Gabrielle Arzola, Bay News 9-Media

Victoria Reinhartz, Mobile Integrated Health Consultants and LECOM-Healthcare

Donna Shea, First Steps of Sarasota-Recovery

Andrew Schroeder, Adobe Graffiti Lounge in Village of the Arts-Business

Michelle Slawiniski, Florida Dept of Health-Public Health

Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue #3-First Responder

This year’s Red Ribbon Week is to highlight the prevention efforts in the community and bring awareness of the need to continue to address the threats to our youth and the suffering of those who are coping with addiction and the effects of trauma. It is about the power of a community to band together to reduce the impact of substance abuse in Manatee County. Please join the coalition to explore how you can be a part of the solution and support Drug Free Manatee and its community partners in this mission. Tickets are only $20 per person which includes admission and all food and beverage and can be purchased at the coalition website drugfreemanatee.org/redribbon or at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/20th-anniversay-red-ribbon-experience-sponsored-by-lecom-and-centerstone-tickets-167487673139

Master Gardener Plant Fair 2021

Saturday, October 2, 2021, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County held its semi-annual Master Gardener Plant Fair at the Barbara Davis Educational Gardens. The event featured a variety of plant species grown by Master Gardener Volunteers including shrubs, trees, ground cover, natives, houseplants, edibles, and more. 

The Plant Fair was able to raise money for the Master Gardener Program which provides educational opportunities for Manatee County residents. Master Gardener Volunteers offer research-based information to local homeowners about their respective lawn and garden. During the fair, Master Gardener Volunteers were available to answer questions and provide details on the plants they grew for customers!

Alyssa Vinson, Master Gardener Program Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County, states “This year’s fall plant sale reached over 355 local plant enthusiasts and raised over $6,000 which will be used to build a new outdoor teaching space in the Barbara Davis Educational Gardens. These plant sales are a unique opportunity for our volunteers to engage one on one with the public and provide valuable plant health and sustainable landscape recommendations.”

To keep up to date with UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County and all of our events, follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing manatee@ifas.ufl.edu.

Photo: Charlotte Reed, Residents shop for plants at the Master Gardener Plant Fair

Manatee County Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

MANATEE COUNTY, FL  – Manatee County Government Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity (REO)’s #ManateeMomentum campaign won a Bronze Rank honors for Innovation in Economic Development Week from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  The award was presented this week at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.

“The Economic Development team worked hard on #ManateeMomentum to recognize and promote our business community during Economic Development Week,” said Geri Lopez, Director of the REO Department. “With both face-to-face and virtual engagement, the team shared ways that emergency grants during the pandemic helped keep businesses running and highlighted economic development achievements. The team also made important connections with business owners and employees in our Southwest District. This IEDC recognition shows how diligently the team works for our business community.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.

The #ManateeMomentum was held during Economic Development Week, May 9 – 15, and designed to showcase the economic development work of the REO Department. REO partnered with the County’s Information Outreach Division on the project that included a social media campaign, a digital “treasure hunt” of business landmarks (“Spot the Shop”), a poster exhibit at the County Administration Building and local partner locations, an interactive display for County employees, and a Proclamation by the Board of County Commissioners. The week culminated in a pop-up outreach event at the Oneco Market.

“Geri and her team are top-notch,” said County Commissioner Misty Servia. “Their operation has landed phenomenal new industries in Manatee County and created initiatives to support business expansion too. Their work helps to make Manatee County the strong community that we all love.”

The campaign had both digital impacts via social media and physical impacts at a pop-up outreach event. The campaign had an overall reach of 33,003 impressions: 4,277 from LinkedIn, 20,967 from Facebook, and 7,759 from Instagram. A blog post had 92 views and the press release was opened 1,255 times. An Economic Development Week survey received 299 responses. At REO’s outreach event, County staff visited 43 vendors, engaged 23 walk-up patrons and visited 17 storefronts outside the Oneco Market. Every market vendor and storefront received a bag with information on resources available from both the County and our partners.

The project addressed job creation and retention by showcasing the work county staff did in distributing CARES Act funding to local businesses. Marketing materials included the total dollar amount and the number of businesses served by the grant program in addition to testimonials from businesses that received funding. The outreach event held at Oneco Market was an effort to improve overall quality of life by bringing information about programs that not only can help business but also help workers (e.g. childcare resources). Additionally, the event featured the launch of a special credit union product for individuals within a targeted redevelopment area.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara, President, and CEO Tom Kucharski. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter @ManateeGov.