Just as most post offices around the nation, the Palmetto post office receives its share of mail addressed to Santa this time of the year.
Over the years, the employees at the Palmetto post office would read and answer many of the "Dear Santa" letters.
"Those letters that touch our hearts, prompted the Palmetto Postal Workers to start a 'Santa Fund' eight years ago," said Bob Koch, the fund's chairman.
The first year, postal workers passed a hat to provide gifts for three needy families.
The next three years, they sold hot dogs, baked goods, snacks and soft drinks in front of the local Walmart to provide funds to help even more families.
"When we were unable to continue the sales at Walmart," said Bob the Mailman, "we started a theme-basket/gift-card raffle three years ago."
They will hold their fourth annual theme-basket/gift-card raffle from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Skyway Community Chapel Hall, 512 61st St. E, Palmetto.
"And yes, those hot dogs and other refreshments will be available," Bob said.
Everyone is invited to help out the Palmetto Postal Workers' Santa Fund.
Turning 70 is a great reason to have a party.
So Chris E. McKinney is putting the call out to all those from the Manatee High School Class of 1962 to meet from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Bradenton Country Club for dinner and dancing.
"We all are basically turning 70 this year, so, why not a party?" Chris said.
Sounds like a great idea.
When the Manatee High School girls volleyball team captured the Class 8-A state championship, one particularly proud alum was Courtney McDonald.
The former Hurricane MVP played four years at Auburn University and is now director of operations for the Florida State University women's volleyball program.
Bradenton Christian School graduate Jordan Ponto was named Great Midwest Athletic Conference defensive soccer player of the year.
A senior at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., she was also named to the All Con
ference First Team.
She is the daughter of Rick and Chris Ponto.
Manatee County resident Maj. Charles Cook loves his job at West Point, N.Y., and wants his neighbors to know it.
"I'm loving life, love where I am at, love what I am doing, Charles wrote in an email. "I am living the dream!"
He is the U.S. Military Academy reserve affairs officer in the directorate of admissions office.
"I am the first reserve affairs officer assigned to USMA since 2001," Charles said. "And this position is not something you apply for -- you are 'invited.' I am so fortunate!"
He and his family have lived in Manatee County since 2000 and are active in the community.
The public is invited to attend the Korean War Monument Dedication at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Manatee County Monument Park behind the Manatee Memorial Hospital.
Check out the web site at my-mcvc.org for more info, a map and parking.
An exhibit of 19 paintings were on display at the ArtCenter Manatee in October. The exhibit was sponsored the Art By Kids with Cancer exhibit, a project of the Young Artist Awards, and featured artwork from the pediatric oncology/hematology program at the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
During the exhibition, 12 of the paintings were sold. So John and Cory Wright stepped up and purchased the remaining seven paintings for twice the asking price, show the participating artists' their work is highly valued
All of the proceeds from the art sales goes to the the Young Artist organization, which provides assistance to families with children with cancer.
ArtCenter Manatee has donated the gallery space and all marketing and promotions for the exhibit for the past three shows.
Carl Mario Nudi, who retired from the Herald in August 2010 after 44 years in the business, is back with "Nudi's Neighbors" every Friday. Reach him at 941-708-7774 or via email at email@example.com.