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Bradenton Missionaries return home from Nigeria safely

I was delighted to read Bradenton Herald reporter Richard Dymond's profile of Ed Dick, who was honored last week with the Sen. Edgar H. Price Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award by the Manatee County Rural Health Services Foundation.

Ed is a rich source of tidbits for this column, and when I speak with him over the phone, HE brightens up my day.

The latest item from Ed is an update on fellow Bradenton Christian Reform Church members Len and Jan Gabrielse.

In last week's column it was reported Len and Jan were in west-central Nigeria working in a mission hospital. Now we can report they returned home safely Saturday after being there four weeks.

"Since 1995, we've been going there for three to four weeks to help the students," Len said in a phone call Wednesday.

Len and Jan spent eight years in Nigeria from 1968-76 as part of a medical mission.

"We participated in building a mission hospital," he said. "I helped initiate a training school for medical-laboratory sciences."

The school began with 10 students, and there are now 400, Len said.

With the Ebola virus on everyone's mind, Len said there were no cases of the deadly disease reported in Nigeria the past month.

The government is concerned and is taking precautions, he said.

"The group we were with had a conference and they took our temperatures every day," the 74-year-old said.

"The Lord gave me the strength," he said. "I was there for four weeks and stayed healthy,"

The only bad incident he had was being stung by a scorpion the night before he left Nigeria.

Although he was in intense pain for more than 18 hours, there are no lasting effects, Len said.

Charles and Mary Coleman celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary Friday.

They were married in 1942 in Ypsilanti, Mich., and have five children -- Sally, John, Nancy, Shirley and Peggy, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Charles and Mary will celebrate with a private dinner at home.

Jayne DiGiovanni-Carter wants to let everyone know "Tony D" DiGiovanni reached a milestone Sept. 26: THE BIG 6-0.

Jayne also is promoting the Seventh Annual Excelsior Education & Training Foundation's "Drive to Success" golf tournament on Saturday at the Terra Ceia Golf & Country Club.

One of the top prizes is a brand new Ford for acing hole No. 8. You have two days to prac


Proceeds go to the foundation, which helps disabled individuals to overcome challenges in everyday life.

If you wish to play or donate, contact Jayne at 941-720-2907.

This is the season for benefit golf tournaments and co-chairwoman Faye Dubensky and Melanie Toth put together a great one for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Third Annual Sugar Shootout Golf Tournament will be held Nov. 7 at the University Park Country Club.

Whoever gets the first hole-in-one will drive away in a 2014 Porsche Boxster. You have a few weeks to practice for this one.

Proceeds go to the foundation, which funds diabetes research.

For more information call 941-747-5095.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Steven Noll will give a presentation from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E.

Noll, a master lecturer in the history department of the University of Florida, will speak on "The Spanish Legacy of Florida."

Limited seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, call 941-741-4076 or visit

Carl Mario Nudi, who retired from the Herald in August 2010 after 44 years in the business, is back with "Nudi's Neighbors" every Friday. Reach him at