A lot of folks are pulling for Eric Leigh as he recovers from serious facial surgery.
Among them are Jason Lozeau and Brandon Gotha, who swam across the Manatee River last Saturday morning, departing from the shore by Bruce and Kim Bottorff’s home in Riviera Dunes, to reach the Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar.
The daring duo’s 45-minute trip was part of a fundraiser that collected $19,000 to help defray Eric’s medical expenses.
Last August, the 28-year-old was injured in a four-wheeling accident, necessitating reconstructive surgery for 17 facial fractures, including major breaks to his chin, cheek bones and jaw.
Surgeons had to insert 22 plates in his face.
Besides that ordeal, Eric has been trying to relocate his wife and two children from Costa Rica to the United States.
Communicating via Skype while her husband recovers, his wife, Alba, told him, “I don’t care what your face looks like, I love you anyway!”
n Say it ain’t so! Robinson Preserve volunteer Tom Roback has hit the Big 7-0!
n Good line from Bill Lance.
“Has Manatee High received its invitation to join the Big East yet?” joked the assistant director at Nova Southeastern University’s Tampa Student Educational Center.
n Penny Cooper is 39. Again.
n Speaking of Manatee High, props to Hershel Caywood, a three-year starter at linebacker, who won Mr. Sugar ’Cane and Sugar ’Cane Choice Award at Saturday night’s fundraiser at the new Davis Building Performing Arts Theater.
He and 10 senior candidates raised $5,000.
n Darlene Stewart, the belle of North Baltimore, Ohio, and husband Jack’s bride for 57 years, is 75.
n Jamie Walstad is working up the program for Manatee High’s Dec. 3 Centennial Celebration.
She’s looking for photos, stories, information on notable graduates and the names of families with a long history at the school.
Call 941-920-0935 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 16.
Visit www.themanateehighschool.org for event information.
n Anna Maria Island’s Paul Quinn did the Ford Ironman Triathlon -- 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2 mile marathon -- in 13:41:57.
n MHS senior Heather Parker is 18. Cheers from parents Brenda and Dave and sister Tabitha.
n Sat behind Bright House Sports Network’s Drew Fellios and Mark Royals during the third quarter of Palmetto’s chilly Class 5A-District 10 title victory over Southeast and found them informative and entertaining.
Like when Royals, an NFL punter for 15 years, talked about kicking the ball into the stands rather than give Peter Warrick a chance to run one back on him when the former Seminoles star and current Southeast assistant coach was with Cincinnati.
n What a week for Mike and Evelyn Bryant. They finished the New York City Marathon last Sunday, and today is his 57th birthday and their 22nd anniversary.
Cheers from Susan and Kalena.
Vin’s People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055.