Manatee Unitarian offers free weddings for all July 12
BRADENTON -- Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will conduct free weddings starting at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, July 12.
"For more than 30 years, Unitarian Universalists have been celebrating, honoring, performing, and recognizing same-sex marriages around the country," said a press release from office administrator Maggie Bayliss. "It seems only fitting that we cap these three decades of solidarity with an event that speaks to our principles, offers public witness to our values, and celebrates the groundbreaking moment: a marriage in every state over 48 hours on July 11 and July 12."
Straight couples who would like to marry or renew their vows are welcome.
Information: uua.org/lgbtq/marriage/justmarriage) or call 941-746-0067 to reserve your time.
USF students launch drive to help local homeless
SARASOTA -- Dewaine Edwards, 33, said he never meant to launch a collection drive for Resurrection House Inc., yet the USF Sarasota-Manatee senior quickly seized on the idea.
Edwards is aiming to collect clothing, toiletries, glasses, non-perishable food, feminine products, sunscreen, sneakers and even bicycles for the Sarasota nonprofit to help the homeless. He recently set up a collection box outside Student Services.
Items will be stored at the Student Government offices or student lounge until transportation to Resurrection House in downtown Sarasota can be arranged weekly.
The collection was initially penciled in to run until July 17, but has been extended through the fall semester.
About 200 homeless come to the shelter daily for showers, clothing, laundry, counseling and nonperishable food, volunteer manager Becky Taylor said. The idea is to help them become self-sufficient. If they land a job, they're given bicycles to help get to work. The program was started in 1989.
SCF athletes honored for academic achievements
BRADENTON -- State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, student-athletes and athletic teams were recognized by the National Junior College Athletic AssociationFOR academic achievements in 2014-2015.
Five students were named NJCAA Athletes of Distinction based on grade point averages of 3.8 or higher. Leah Lieb, volleyball, earned the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence for her 4.0 GPA.
Superior Academic Achievement Award winners: Melinda Geisel, softball, 3.91; Susanna Peonia, volleyball, 3.8; Miranda Talbert, tennis, 3.9; and Jennifer Trotter, softball, 3.85.
Four SCF athletic teams received honorable mentions as Academic Teams of the year for their cumulative GPAs: Softball, 3.27; Volleyball, 3.27; Baseball, 3.21; and Tennis, 3.13.
Sarasota to welcome six new officers Thursday
SARASOTA -- Police Chief Bernadette DiPino will hold a swearing-in ceremony for six Sarasota police officers at 2 p.m. in the second-floor Community Room of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane.
Officers include: Kayla Anderson, Amber DeFrancisco, Angie Grindstaff, Daniel Furner, Bryan Lundstrum and Larry McQueen.
-- Herald staff reports