Vin's People: 'Moments in Black History' Saturday at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

February 21, 2014 

What do Jeanette Kelly, Steve Lewis, Azell Johnson, Dorothy Middleton and Eddie Shannon have in common?

A compelling story to share from 4-7 p.m. Saturday during "Moments in Black History," at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 525 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. E., Bradenton.

These Manatee County residents had profound personal experiences ranging from the civil rights movement to the Buffalo Soldiers to integration in the military and Manatee County schools.

• Terra Ceia Bay & Country Club's Daisy Cohen is 100 years young.

• A salute to Sam Valley. The Braden River High School alum, now at the University of Florida on a Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corp. scholarship, just received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 2018.

Annapolis has been his dream and, though he didn't get in when he applied last year, he reapplied and just got the good news from Rep. Vern Buchanan's office.

While at BRHS, Sam ran cross country as a sophomore and was on the Pirates weightlifting team as a junior and senior. He was also JROTC battalion commander, a member of National Honor Society, student government and graduated in the top 10 of his class.

His proud family includes dad, Steve, Manatee School District communications director, and a command sergeant major in the Army Reserve; mom, Lauren, a second-grade teacher at Williams Elementary; and older brother, Alex, a University of North Florida junior and Army ROTC cadet.

• Doug Egger is 67 years young.

• The distant peal of wedding bells can be heard at Popi's Place Too in Palmetto. Amber Walinga, one of Popi's terrific team of waitresses, is getting married April 12. Beau Peurifoy is the lucky guy.

• Our Lady Queen of Martyrs' Youth Ministry holds Polynesian Night Saturday. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6 p.m. and the live auction is at 7 p.m. at Flynn Hall, 833 Magellan Dr., Bradenton. Call 941-755-1826.

I may have to loan Pastor Joe Connolly and Fa

ther Benjamin Medeiros some Hawaiian shirts.

• Author, environmentalist and Bradenton Beach native Paul Roat passed Feb. 15. He was editor of The Islander for 17 years and wrote "Sandscript," a column devoted to improving conditions for Anna Maria Island.

Roat was also with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program in 1989, helping fundraise to get the program going. He also worked at the Siesta Key Pelican Press and wrote two volumes of "The Insider's Guide to Sarasota & Bradenton" and other guide publications. Roat was 56.

• Buffalo Creek Little League's Opening Day festivities start at 9 a.m. Saturday. Folks interested in donating auction items can email Shannon Henderson at

• Mary and Ted Tillis don't have to watch the weather on TV to know how frigid it's been in Minneapolis. They have two grandchildren there who call quite frequently to tell them they're freezing.

"It may be cold there," Grandma joked. "But they keep our phone hot."

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

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