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VIN MANNIX column | Give critters needed assist this weekend

The 10th Annual Blood Drive to Benefit Wildlife Inc. is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 248 South Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.

For 23 years, Gail and Ed Straight’s nonprofit, volunteer organization has been treating and releasing thousands of critters annually. It runs solely on donations and private funding and will receive $100 for every blood donor this weekend.

Call Nancy Christian at (863) 660-7941, or Wildlife Inc. at 778-6324.

n Faye Blackstone is 93.

n Want a copy of “Through The Tunnel”? To order METV’s award-winning documentary on Lincoln High Memorial High football under coach Eddie Shannon at the onset of integration in Manatee County, call 751-6550, ext. 2191.

n Beverly and Raymond Varnadore are wed 50 years.

n Judy Palino brags on daughter Gillian, winner of Sugg Middle’s eighth grade outstanding female award, the president’s award for academics and five other awards. She’ll attend Southeast.

n Sunshine Academy fifth-grader Ann Harrison graduates today with perfect attendance since preschool. Big ups from parents Lisa and Tim.

n Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant is 39. Again.

n Tequila Beach Sports Grille, 7423 Manatee Ave. W., will hold its second annual benefit 5 p.m. Sunday for Gage Walker, the young son of Courtney (CC) Walker, a popular waitress who was shot to death 14 months ago at her apartment by her boyfriend, police said.

The fundraiser includes food, beverages and live entertainment, with proceeds going toward The Gage Walker College Fund. For details, call Fiona Farrell at 794-1400.

n Blackburn first-grader Jatorrin Mathis is 7 Saturday. Cheers from grands Mary and Gregory Randall, big sister Nijah, aunts Cara, Shawn and Makayla, and cousins Kadian and Andrew.

n Shake Pit’s Chrissy Grantham is 19.

n Southeast and UF alum Stacey Hudon graduated from Stetson Law School. Proud parents are Spencer and Sharon Hudon.

n Check out Family Fun Night, a Fund Education Now Manatee fundraiser, at 5:30 p.m. today at Buffalo Creek Stables, 7515 Fish Farm Road, Palmetto. Call 776-5758 for details. Or visit www.FundEducation

Vin’s People is by local columnist Vin Mannix. Have an item or photo? Call Vin Mannix at 745-7055 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number.