Vin's People: Vote early, vote often for B'town as 'Friendliest City'

July 5, 2013 

Believe Bradenton is the "Friendly City"?

Then let the rest of the nation in on our little secret by voting for B'town as the Friendliest Small Town in America in Rand McNally's "Best of the Road 2013" contest.

The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to get out the vote and here's how:

1.) Visit

2.) Create an account with your name and email address.

3.) Select a username and a password.

4.) Search for Bradenton and vote in the "Friendliest" category -- early and often.

Voters are also encouraged to upload reviews, photos and Twitter Vine videos to help Bradenton win the national contest that ends Sept. 3.

• That's 68 years of wedded bliss for Gene and Suzanne Henry.

• Michael Ohlman is on fire. The Lakewood Ranch High School alum was Carolina League Player of the Week two weeks in a row. He's a catcher/DH with the Frederick Keys, Baltimore's high Class A ballclub in Frederick, Md.

Since coming off the disabled list May 23, Mike has had a hot June batting .356 with 15 extra-base hits, including five home runs -- one a three-run walkoff -- and 17 RBIs.

He missed six weeks with a shoulder injury on April 15, but in the 35 games since he returned to the lineup he leads the league in triples (4), on-base percentage (.456) and slugging percentage (.645) and he's second in batting average, walks (23) and extra-base hits.

• The 2013 Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee executive board includes chairperson Terry Wells, First America Bank; vice-chairperson Will Robinson, Blalock Walters; treasurer and retired educator Lynette Edwards; secretary Summer Smith, Bay News 9; and member-at-large Michelle Detweiler, Detweiler's Propane Gas Service.

Two new board members are community volunteer Kathy Martella and Jimmy Stewart, Lakewood Ranch Communities. They join active board members Vanessa Baugh, Manatee County Commission and Vanessa Fine Jewelry; Vernon DeSear, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Mary Forristall, Forristall Enterprises; and Al Roach, 20 Minutes to Fitness.

• Good luck to Jeff Schneiderman, retired after 26 years with the Manatee County School District, where he was an exceptional student education coordinator. His career in education spanned 37 years in three states, including New Jersey and Kentucky.

Jeff earned his Ph.D. in speech-language pathology from Florida State University and is a nationally certified speech-language pathologist.

• Manatee High School Class of 2003's 10th Reunion is 6-10 p.m., July 20 at Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Pre-registration is required.

Visit the MHS alumni Facebook page for details. Or email

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

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