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Manatee River Garden Club flowers at state conference in Boca Raton

A green thumbs up to the Manatee River Garden Club, which received numerous honors at April's Florida Federation of Garden Clubs 89th annual convention in Boca Raton.

Among the club's top individual state award recipients: Carol Friedman for tri-color design; Parke Finold, Floralia II designer's choice design; and Janice Hamlin, collector's showcase design. Lori Richie won the Florida Flower Arrangement Calendar Crystal Award for her table arrangement at the 2014 convention.

The club, whose publicity director is Judy Boehm, received the Mary S. Compton publicity award. Its newsletter, edited by Susan Beshore, was also recognized. The club also received the National Garden Week award for best promotion, chaired by Hamlin. It also received three awards for its Goin' to the Dogs standard flower show, chaired by Sharron Jones and Finold. It combined love for dogs and beauty of plants at a Paws in the Park event in November at Lewis Park.

The club also received a Deep South regional top award for its flower-show schedule.

Patricia Hannon is 80 years young and she and Skip will celebrate 59 years of wedded bliss May 19.

Zack Wilkinson graduated last Monday from Embry Riddle University with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science. He'll spend his summer as a flight instructor for Textron Aviation in Wichita, Kan. His proud family are parents and physicians Tom and Suzanne, brothers, Josh and Tim, and his wife, Casey, and sister, Jenny, and her husband, Matt Benson.

Big ups to Rachelle Madrigal, newly promoted general manager for the Bradenton Marauders.

The ageless Al Konetzni is 100 years young May 19. An "Idea Man" with Walt Disney for 30 years, Konetzni is best known for designing the Disney School Bus Lunchbox. It sold more than 9 million units and is in the Smithsonian Museums. Konetzni is in Disney Legend Class of 1999 along with icons Annette Funicello, Fred MacMurray, Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams.

Mike Novak was recently inducted into Crestline (Ohio) High School Hall of Fame. He was a four-sport letterman for the Bulldogs in track, golf, basketball and football.

Radio personality, FM 107.9 WSRZ's Chris

tina Crane and 4-year-old son, Finn, will throw out the first pitch for the White Sox-Rays game June 13. Along with longtime Morning Crew co-host David Jones, Christina spearheaded a T-shirt drive, "What The Whaat?!" -- Finn's catchphrase -- that raised $15,000 for Autism Speaks. Finn is autistic, but has a champion in his mom ... especially on the pitcher's mound ... Christina can bring it!

Duffy's Tavern heiress Maddi Davenport is 11 and mom, Peggi, is 39. Again. Bruce, feel old? Naaah.

Led by captains Kamry Chandler, Hayley Safko and Annie Winston, and co-captains Terri Chism and Jackie Stocksdale, Palmetto High's new varsity Dazzlers dance team are Nykole Arieon, Erykah Bazan, Jennifer Elwell, Jordan Elwell, Teresa Gilkey, Alexis Griffen, Mia Holley, Marissa Hudson, Sandra Jackson, Nia Johnson, Megan Mitchell, Kaylah Moya, Daisy Ramirez, Jazmin Styles and Dayzee Trevino.

Small world? Reconnected with Henry Herdt, an old Lakeland College teammate from 1967 in Sheboygan, Wis. He and his wife, Linda, live in York, Maine. His in-laws, Jack and Marcia Haigh, live at Mount Vernon on Cortez Road.

B'town's Mike Ohlman was hitting. 280 through 21 games catching for the Springfield Cardinals in the Double-A Texas League

The indefatigable Ed Mulock recently observed a significant milestone: It was the 20th anniversary of the B'town barrister receiving a heart transplant. The organ belonged to a 20-year-old, which gave Eddie a distinctive outlook on the personal landmark: "It makes me 40 years old."

Vin's People, which appears Fridays, welcomes reader contributions. Email: or call 941-757-9563.