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Wakeland hits leadoff for anthem singers

Wakeland Elementary’s student chorus will perform our national anthem Wednesday when the Pittsburgh Pirates open their Grapefruit schedule against the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field at 1:05 p.m.

McKechnie’s other national anthem singers will be:

Melanie Massell, Feb. 27.

Manatee Players, March 1.

Jessica Tilicky, March 2.

Rowlett Boys Choir, March 3.

Gina Valentino, March 4.

Barry Yoder, March 6.

Steve Ramsey, March 8.

Judy Ellis, March 9.

Debbie Grabb, March 12.

Nicole Wishon, March 14.

Mary Akemon, March 16.

Sarah Soscia, March 18.

Holly and Trina Rizzo, March 22.

Crosley Estates, March 23.

Maria Wirries, March 27.

Jessica Buccigrossi, March 28.

Ashley Bassett, March 30.

Courtney Fults, April 1.

Jennifer Jordan, April 2.

Stephanie Powel, April 3.

n King Middle 7th-grader Jacob Sprague, just selected for the National Junior Honor Society, is 13. Cheers from Kim, Dennis and Jordan.

n A salute to Jo Payne and Graham Bergquist, Frist Humanitarian Award recipients as Employee and Volunteer of the Year, respectively, at Blake Medical Center.

Payne is a lab systems coordinator, while Bergquist volunteers in the open heart unit and pharmacy.

Cheers from Payne’s parents Joanne and Rock, and Bergquist’s wife Donna and family Leanne, Tom, and Shannon O’Brien.

n Rona Livingston hasn’t seen grandson Michael Ohlman play a lot, but she did last Friday night and the Lakewood Ranch High catcher put on a show for grandma under the lights at McKechnie during the Jody Friedman Classic.

Ohlman singled, doubled and tripled, threw out two baserunners and scored the game winner on a passed ball as the Mustangs rallied from a 5-0 first-inning deficit to beat Manatee 6-5 in nine innings.

n Vicky Albright-McNally has another custom designed gift basket published in February’s Rave Review, a gift industry magazine.

“I used to do them just for family and friends,” she said. “Then I got out of the rat race to do something I enjoy for a living — and make people smile.”

Like husband Chet.

n LRHS trumpeter Jack Bailey is 15.

n The Junior League of Manatee County seeks girls 7 through 12 who wear a size 10 to model for the American Girl Fashion Show March 26 in Lakewood Ranch.

The casting call is Saturday, 10 a.m. at the Junior League, 520 27th St. W., Bradenton.

Visit for details.

Vin’s People, by local columnist Vin Mannix, runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Have a column item? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write to P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail