Manatee Bridging the Gap Inc. has spent the past few years playing its part in strengthening relationships between law enforcement and children around Manatee County.
At 8 a.m. Thursday, the grassroots organization will hold its second Bridging the Gap Youth Fishing Tournament on the Palmetto side of the Green Bridge.
The event, which debuted last July, pairs county children with members of the area’s law enforcement agencies on the bridge for a morning of fishing. The hope is for law enforcement to build a relationship with the children whose communities they serve.
55Approximate number of children who participated in the inaugural Manatee Bridging the Gap Youth Fishing Tournament.
The inaugural tournament was planned before a rash of police killings beginning with Philando Castile and Alton Sterling made national headlines, and even longer before the killing of officers in Dallas and Louisiana last summer. More than a year removed from those events, bringing youth and officers together are more important than ever.
“They get to have an experience with law enforcement that’s positive for them, and have some fun fishing while they’re at it,” Bradenton police Officer Emily Parsons said at last year’s tournament. “But also it’s positive for all of us participating as law enforcement officers because we do experience a lot of negativity on the road on a daily basis.”
IndyCar driver makes local appearance
The 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, will appear at Marina Jack from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday as part of a Mercury Edge event. Hunter-Reay, who owns a Yellowfin powered by 4-350hp Mercury outboard engine, is a resident of Fort Lauderdale. The 36-year-old has won 14 times on the IndyCar Series and run in more than 150 races over 10 seasons since his debut at Mid-Ohio in 2007. He also took part in 43 Champ Car Series races from 2003-05. His debut race in that series was the 2003 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Saint Stephen’s pairs with Coastal Orthopedics
Saint Stephen’s announced last week an agreement with Coastal Orthopedics’ Dr. Arthur Valadie to serve as the official sports medicine provider to the athletic program.
“We are happy for the opportunity to partner with Coastal Orthopedics’ Dr. Valadie to utilize his unique qualifications and experience to effectively support the needs of our student athletes,” said Scott Sauerbeck, the Falcons’ head baseball coach and director of athletic development. “Our ultimate goal is player safety and to provide the medical resources to help these rising stars perform at a high level.”
Coastal Orthopedics already works with a number of other high schools in the area, including Manatee, Braden River, Palmetto, Southeast, Bayshore, Bradenton Christian and Cardinal Mooney. Valadie has also personally worked with the Pirates, IMG Academy and the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, the junior college in Manatee County.