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Bittersweet honors for departing Wares Creek family

It was a bittersweet honor when Bradenton City Council recognized the Hooper family for Outstanding Community Service and awarded them a key to the city last Wednesday.

Ben, Cynthia and children Kamryn and Nathan are moving to Salisbury, N.C. over the Christmas holidays.

Cynthia was president of the Bradenton Woman’s Club and led the Wares Creek neighborhood association, keeping a vigilant eye on crime.

Ben had a flooring business that was hurt by the economy.

They’re moving to a historic 1886 Victorian home that needs work, but historical preservation is what they’re passionate about.

“It needs everything our house here needed when we bought it … and we’re all super excited to start our next adventure,” Cynthia said.

As for what the kids will miss most besides friends and classmates?

“The Shake Pit,” she said.

n LRHS Marching Mustang percussionist Jonathan Richmond is 17. So is mellophonist Alina Krill. And clarinetist Victoria Morisi is 14.

n Kudos to St. Stephen’s School junior Jamie Sokos, recipient of a Leadership Award at the Falcons’ Fall Sports Awards Night. She is the varsity cheerleading captain, junior class vice-president, Latin Club vice-president, design editor of the school newspaper and member of Junior Leadership Manatee.

Jamie has also been in the Greek Hellenic Dance program at Saint Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church for 13 years and is a member of the church’s Greek Orthodox Youth Association. She also teaches Sunday school.

She is also the corresponding secretary for Mam’Selles.

Her proud parents are Gus and Lisa.

n Girls Scout Gillian Palino is working toward a Silver Award and could use an assist for her community service project — helping local animal shelters.

“Due to the economic times, people are unable to care for their pets and are turning them in to the local shelters,” said the Sugg Middle seventh-grader. “When donating food for the holidays, people might remember a can or box of food for the animals. I am also taking donations for the area shelters.”

Old blankets, towels, pet dishes and pet toys will work.

Gillian can be reached at:

Vin’s People, runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Have a column item? A photo you want to share? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number for verification.