Vin's People: Manatee Sugar 'Canes high kicking back to nationals

January 24, 2014 

Super Bowl weekend beckons for Manatee High's Sugar 'Canes.

The talented dance team is headed back to Orlando for the Universal Dance Association nationals, Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Perennial contenders in the competitive high kick category, the Sugar 'Canes will be shooting for another top 10 finish.

Who says they can't win the whole thing?

You go, girls!

Led by captain Holly Braxton, senior officer Sarah Smith, junior officer JulieAnn Galati and sophomore officer Rachel Rothfeld, the Sugar 'Canes national team includes Caroline Dunn, Camilla Fiumara, Marley Gordon, Amanda Grooms, Alyssa Kopinsky, Monica Mardones, Sarah Melancon, Maddie Moore, Alivia Murdoch, Marissa Pace, Sabrina Partridge, Kylie Plichta, Carley Schmitt and Lucie Walsh.

The director is Amber Platowski and Francesca Ricciardo is the junior varsity coach.

• By the way, the sixth annual, "Yes, We Can DANCE," the rousing showcase for Manatee County's scholastic dance teams, is 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., March 15 at Samuel R. Neel Performing Arts Center, State College of Florida, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton.

For details, call 941-792-8274. Or email

• Oh, no! Say it ain't so! Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston is about to hit the Big 7-0!

The milestone lands on Hizzoner Jan. 29.

• Dan Miller, our new 2014 Manatee County Distinguished Citi

zen, teaches in the Lifelong Learning program every Thursday morning before up to 30 seniors at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

The title of his eight-week course: Dysfunctional Congress.

"There is no shortage of discussion on this topic," the former congressman joked.

• That's 31 years of wedded bliss for Dave and Gina Tuttle.

• Congrats to the Manatee County Fair's Culinary Food winners:

Adult Best of Show -- Andrea Spring's Honey Wheat Rolls with Orange Blossom Honey Butter.

Youth Best of Show -- Hallie Nelson's Oreo Ice Cream Dessert.

The Culinary Committee's Susan Keen Award -- Kristen Wilson's Sugar Flowers.

• A bow to the Bashaw and Braden River elementary students who performed in the All-State Elementary Chorus annual concert at the Tampa Convention Center during the Florida Music Educators Association Conference.

Nicholas Alvarez, Samantha D'Autorio and Joshua Rudolph represented Bashaw. Natalie Hood, Jaysa Molina and Madisyn Wandall represented Braden River.

It's the seventh straight year Bashaw music teacher Barbara Sullivan and Braden River colleague David Katz have had students in this select chorus of elementary schools students statewide.

• Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24 and Legion Riders host the inaugural Bill Field Poker Run on Saturday to honor the late post commander, who was killed in an auto accident a year ago.

Registration is 9-11 a.m. at Post 24, 2000 75th St. W., Bradenton.

There will be an afternoon party, auction and raffles with proceeds going toward Post 24's Veterans Relief Fund.

Call 941-794-3489.

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

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