Vin's People: 50 flying up Saturday from Fort Myers to Washington

June 7, 2013 

If you'd like to help send our town's remaining World War II veterans on a SouthWest Honor Flight, Don Vecoli wants to hear from you.

The U.S. Navy veteran, the founder/president of this noble donation-driven endeavor, said there are 170 more WWII veterans on the waiting list.

Fifty fly up Saturday from Fort Myers to Washington's war monuments and another flight is expected to go in September.

It costs $450 per veteran.

Interested? Call Vecoli at 941-685-9163.

Or e-email

• Circuit Judge Diana Moreland was the commencement speaker Wednesday at the Jane B. Pratt Alternative School Just for Girls.

• Speaking of commencements, Manatee Y Technological High School celebrated its inaugural graduation at the South Florida Museum and the graduates are Kelvin Arrington, Hildus Dawes, Keith Dean, Tron Edmond, Sandra Garcia, Laquinton Hart, Carneshia McCants, William Myers, Dannika Oliver, Crystal Palacios, Marquis Trice, Ashley Watson and Davon Whitfield.

Kiwanis Club of Bradenton also gave the Manatee County YMCA $10,000 for the 59th Street West YMCA SPLASH program.

• Drs. Tom and Suzanne Wilkinson have just returned from a nice long and deserved vacation in Ireland.

• Deacon Jones passing Tuesday touched a lot of people, including Pat Curran, my Lakeland College teammate in Sheboygan, Wis., many moons ago.

Pat played 10 years in the NFL and was a Los Angeles Rams rookie in 1969 when he got his introduction to the legendary defensive end in training camp.

"The first time in practice I'm playing tight end and the play was an off-tackle run," said Pat, now a Snap On Tools exec in Escondido, Calif. "My job, down block the D-end. It was Deacon. The ball got snapped and all I blocked was air. I asked Deacon, 'How did you know I was going to block you?' He answered, 'You look at me before the snap, Rookie.'

"I never looked at him again, but still had trouble trying to block him."

That went for half the NFL during Deacon's 14-year Hall of Fame career.

• Chrissy Fagan is 22. Cheers from hubby Scooter and Team Grantham: Dave, Carol, Michelle, Maddie, D.J. and Morgan and Steven, a Marine stationed in Okinawa.

• Dr. Daniel E. Friedman of the Bradenton Cardiology Center has been honored as a distinguished Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society.

It recognizes health care providers for their advanced training, certification and specialization in the field of cardiac arrhythmia research and treatment.

• Francesca Ricciardo, Manatee Sugar 'Cane JV coach and State College of Florida student, is 19 today. Cheers from Robert and Pasquina.

The birthday girl and her mom will be off soon on vacation to Italy.

What, not Pop?

"Somebody's got to stay here and make money," he said jokingly.

Vin's People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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