News Columns & Blogs

‘They’re living the dream for all of us’

How many of us wished we had done something like this when we were that age?

Palmetto pals Jesse Albritton, Ian Joiner, Josh Ross, Eric Stinson and Ryan Williams are off down under traveling around beautiful New Zealand with Australia next on their no-limit vacation.

The lads, ages 21 to 24, left Jan. 26 with one-way tickets and no plans to return until the money runs out.

Although we understand they’ve earned some quick cash by temporarily joining an apple-orchard picking crew.

“Oh, man, they are living the dream for all of us,” joked Ryan’s dad, Ray Williams. “They’ve talked about doing this for quite some time and basically put their lives on hold.”

Their adventures can be followed at:

n The pre-tryout meeting for Lakewood Ranch High cheerleading is March 17, 5:30 p.m. in the media center.

Call Melissa Koehlinger at 727-6100, ext. 2126 for details.

n Speaking of LRHS, Marching Mustang color guard Alexandria Beasley is 17. And guard Chelsi Trout is “Sweet 16.”

n The Hampton Bay Cigar Club, which meets every first Thursday at Cork’s Cigar Bar on Old Main Street in Bradenton, just raised $275 and donated cigars and provisions through Manatee Operations for Troop Support for our county’s troops serving overseas.


n The Palmetto Woman’s Club, 910 Sixth St. W, hosts its annual Chicken & Yellow Rice Luncheon and various Palmetto High reunions on Palmetto Heritage Day, March 14 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Call Ann Marshall at 722-8940 for details.

n Cheers to Chandler Victoria McClung, 16, the Mini-National Princess 2009, from parents Dennis and Lisa, siblings Kimberly, Matthew, Nerissa and Flannery, and aunt Beth Whitby.

A baton twirler for 10 years with Bradenton Twirling Academy, the MHS sophomore won her title at the Drum Majorettes of American nationals in Charleston, Tenn.

Chandler's instructor is Karen Digman Wolfe.

n Don’t miss “Just Kids, Just Music,” at Braden River High School, 6546 State Road 70, Sunday at 2 p.m.

Among the performers will be musicians from Bayshore High, Manatee High, Pineview School, Riverview High, Sarasota High and Southeast High.

Tickets are free.

Call 921-3488 for more information.

Vin’s People, by local columnist Vin Mannix, runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Have a column item? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055.