News Columns & Blogs

First Church of Nazarene youths excel in Nashville

First Church of The Nazarene youths were among nearly 3,000 students vying at Trevecca Nazarene University’s Top Nazarene Talent competition in Nashville, Tenn.

They competed in a variety of athletic, talent and learning categories.

Among First Church’s all-stars were Egan Fridenberg (basketball, flag football), Parker Guthrie (flag football), Josh Letts (soccer MVP) and Jordan Ponto (girls soccer).

Christian Wayman won the instrumental brass solo category.

Ryan Tempro was third in chalk and pastel artwork.

Jordan Guthrie was third in senior youth vocal solo.

The squad also included the Bible Quiz Team, Lindsay Tempro, Cody Hart and Tyler Balcom; Zachary Stout, 3-D art; Michael Shelton, table tennis; and Jamie Steele, swimming.

Frank Butler coached flag football.

Joshua Keith, Bryan Pruitt and Kristin Strauss chaperoned.

n Trevor Christian is 27.

n Whittni Hodges just graduated cum laude from UF and law school is next.

She has been accepted at Pepperdine in California, Stetson in St. Petersburg, and is awaiting word from FSU.

Big ups from parents Ross and Sheila and sibs Spencer and Chelsea.

n Bravo! to Southeast High sCHOOLS’s drama program.

Its production of “Mirror, Mirror” earned the Asolo Theatre Guild’s “Best Production” award for the 2008-09 season and individual recognition for Reese Gallagher, Luca Erozer, Amanda Capps and Shalandra Smith.

n When Bayshore High School senior Kelly Jo Starcher is honored tonight for 13 years of perfect attendance, her sister, Jennifer, will present the scholarship award.

What’s neat is the award is named after Jennifer, also a BHS graduate, who was honored six years ago for perfect attendance.

She’s a UCF grad student.

Tracy and Mike are proud.

n Check out Macy’s Miracle Foundation fourth annual Summer Kickoff Bash fundraiser at 1 p.m. Saturday at Woody’s River Roo, 5717 18th St. E., Ellenton.

Macy’s Miracle Foundation was founded by John and Rachel Kendzior after their daughter was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis.

For details, visit; call 722-2391 or (941) 545-1207.

n St. Joseph Catholic School’s Academic Team won the inaugural Cardinal Mooney High School Cougar Challenge.

Sponsored by Lorraine Hill and Cathy Daley, the winning team included Mitchell McCormick, Alexis Barbour, Rohit Fonseca, Matthew Hueston and Danny Doyle.

They competed against schools from Manatee and Sarasota counties, including Incarnation Catholic, St. Martha Catholic, Epiphany Cathedral and Goldie Feldman Academy.

Vin’s People, by local columnist Vin Mannix, runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Have a column item? Please e-mail him at