Multicultural Festival opens today at MTI

May 3, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The 13th annual Multicultural Festival celebrating Cinco de Mayo will be held 5:30-9 p.m. today at Manatee Technical Institute's new main campus, 6305 State Road 70 East in Bradenton.

The festival, also sponsored by the Farmworker Education and Services Program and the Latino community, offers a unique experience to showcase Latino culture, gives the public the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the new MTI main campus and learn more about career opportunities.

The festival celebrates cultural diversity on the 48th anniversary of the Farmworker Education Program in Manatee County and raises money for the Farmworker Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships and school tuition for students.

The event is free. Entertainment includes live music and folkloric dancers, a fashion show and vendors providing ethnic food. Call the Farmworker Education Program at 941-751-7947 or 941-751-7900, ext. 1048.

Casino Night to raise funds for ALS research

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A fundraiser is planned 6:30-11:30 p.m. May 10 to benefit research to eradicate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The evening will raise money for A Life Story Foundation, founded by Bradenton resident and Southeast High School graduate Kevin Swan, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at age 30.

The night will feature food catered by Pier 22 restaurant, live entertainment by Serenade of Souls, and casino games. Guests will be able to trade in "winnings" for prizes.

Tickets are $100 and may be purchased at Information: 813-277-8387.

Zumba fundraiser hopesto break world record

PALMETTO -- Organizers are hoping for 6,000 fitness buffs to turn out May 18 in Palmetto to break a Guinness World Record for the largest Zumba exercise class.

Shapes Fitness for Women and Crunch Fitness are leading the Crunch Kidz Homelessness Zumbathon from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Place, Palmetto, to raise money and awareness for Turning Points, formerly known as the Community Coalition for Homelessness, in Manatee County.

Turning Points operates in the Bill Galvano One Stop Center, providing free medical and dental services, as well and job and housing assistance to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in Manatee County.

Register for the Zumba class at

Marketing workshop setMay 9 at Polo Grill

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Three business groups are teaming up to offer a half-day marketing workshop and luncheon May 8 at the Polo Grill on Lakewood Ranch's Main Street.

Attendees can choose between three morning breakout sessions covering topics including e-mail marketing, website redesign, budgets, using video and social media.

After lunch, Linda Larsen, a motivational speaker from Sarasota, will give a keynote address, "Staying Right Side Up When Everything is Upside Down: Achieving Excellence in Challenging Times."

Other sponsoring or-ganizations are the Greater Sarasota Chamber ofCommerce or the Florida Public Relations Association.

Cost for the program is$55 for members of theLakewood Ranch Business Alliance. Cost for lunch only is $25. Nonmembers add $10.

To register, go to Information: 941-757-1664.

East Manatee Republicans meet for lunch May 9

MANATEE -- The East Manatee Republican Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. May 9 at the Peridia Golf and Country Club, 4950 Peridia Blvd., Bradenton.

The guest speaker will be Mary Cantrell, executive director of Manatee Technical Institute.

Cost of the lunch is $15. Reservations: Diane at 941-739-3813 or email

-- Herald staff reports

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