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UF med grad dad’s T-shirt was ‘priceless’

When Matthew Gray graduated from UF medical school, it was a big moment for parents Ron and Debbie and sister Ashley.

Then the future opthalmologist got a laugh from his ol’ man when he gave him a T-shirt.

The back reads:

“$12,000 a semester.

“$800 books.

“$600 supplies.

“24/7 free medical advice.


Pop joked, “Think I’ll frame it.”

A 1999 Cardinal Mooney alum and UCF graduate, Matt will do four years of residency at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

n Oh, no! Nurse Kim Mullins, who’s probably given allergy shots to half of Bradenton, hit the Big 5-0!

Husband Bert, children Andy, Katie and Gail, exchange student Andrea, and sister Laura Larson are amused.

n Zelda Mercado’s soaring rendition of the national anthem before Tuesday’s Amer-I-Can graduation ceremonies at BRHS drew raves from Jim Brown, who surely heard his share standing on NFL sidelines.

n Mr. METV, Charles Clapsaddle, is 39. Again.

n MHS junior Diana Nelson received the General Norman H. Schwarzkopf Leadership Award from the Florida West Coast West Point Society.

She is one of five juniors among nominees from 60 area schools to win it.

Parents Mark and Margie and sister Julie are proud.

n Carl Laubach is 96 years young.

n Palmetto High’s new JV cheerleaders are Oriana Alexander, Crysta Avery, Melanie Cataffo, Chelsea Evans, Kasane Garvin, Elena Goff, Brittany Guidry, Shea Hartford, Deneasha Hill, Taylor Johnson, Mattea Kirlangitis, Jayla Lovette, Tiana Lyle, Amanda Robertson, Hannah Rowland, Ellie Sharp, Lindsay Twenty, Shannon Vickers, Sirrkia Webster, Victoria Whidden and Emily Whisenant.

n MHS Hurricane stat girl Tessa Dykes is “Sweet 16.”

Cheers from Emmett and Debbie, Katie and Wes Hamm, Carin and Danny Hall, Daniel, Josey and Robert, Hugh and Louise Dykes, Diane and Bruce Deese, Don and Flo Cooper and Doris Cooper.

n Speaking of MHS, Sugar ‘Cane Heather Ripley is 17.

n Manatee Gator Club $1,000 scholarship recipients for 2009 are: Juntao Zhu and Andrew Baten, LRHS; Sean Fahy and Joshua Letts, MHS; Doratha Byrd and Madison Easterling, PHS; and Brandon Ross, Southeast.

n That’s 25 years of wedded bliss Monday for Sandi and Jim Layfield.

Cheers from their son Cory and their parents Bill and Shirley Carter and Ernie and Doris Layfield.

n The Junior League of Manatee County’s new member mixer is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 520 27th St. W. For details, visit: Or call 748-0101.

n LRHS Marching Mustang percussionist Tommy Betts is 17. Fellow percussionist Ryan Ehresman is 18.

Vin’s People, by local columnist Vin Mannix, runs Tuesday, 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.