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Date of Issue: June 30, 2005

Participants in the Anna Maria Island Community Center's basketball camp show off their medals and trophies at the conclusion of Session 1. Islander Photo: Courtesy AMICC/ Andy Jonatzke
Click on image to enlarge

Happy Fatherís Day Dad, fellow dads

With summer now being officially in full swing, including stifling heat and humidity, a nice red tide bloom in the Gulf and bay and not much happening in the youth sports world, I thought I'd take a moment to wish all of the dads who volunteer their time to coach their kids' sports teams a belated happy Father's Day. Most youth sports programs, such as those sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Community Center, wouldn't get too far without the contributions of "Dear ol' Dad."

My own father, who passed away earlier this year, wasn't one to volunteer his time, partly due to the fact that he grew up in Ireland playing sports like Gaelic football and hurling. He didn't know enough about American sports like baseball and basketball to coach, but he was always interested in how we played and whether we won or lost the game, and he attended games when he could.

My dad did, however, grow to be a fan of American football and baseball. Some of my favorite memories are of going to baseball games with my dad, first at Connie Mack and Veterans stadium in Pennsylvania and later at spring training games at McKechnie Field in Bradenton.

So thanks to all you dads out there who spend quality time with your children, whether it be at the library, a ballet recital or just taking them out to a ball game. Moments like these will forever be burned into your children's memories. I know that I'll never forget the games I attended with my dad.

Doran, Conk golf tourney winners

Tom Doran and Ed Conk teamed up to win the seventh annual Peter Demarest Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday, June 18, at Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Club in Bradenton. Doran and Conk shot an impressive 12-under par to finish two shots ahead of Ken Sinclair and Steve Allen, who finished with a score of 58 in the two-man scramble. Doug Larson and Dave Barrow came in third place with a 61, while four teams tied for fourth place at 62.

Winner of the blind-draw, four-man scramble was Doran, Conk, Pat Hagerty and Jeff Sourbeer, who combined for a 116 total. Long-drive winner was Vincent Vafiliades with a drive of over 290 yards.

Demarest, a local golf aficionado who passed away seven years ago, was a good friend to all who knew him. He was a regular at Palma Sola Golf Club and had given Grego's Almost to the Beach Tavern owner Greg Koeper a putter shortly before he passed away. Koeper then had the putter mounted for display at Palma Sola, but they declined to hang it up, so he started the tourney to remember his good friend and golfer. The putter is now on display at Grego's and the tournament is a yearly must-attend event for local golfers.

On another note, Beth LeBlanc, who finished the tourney tied for fourth with her father Bob, raised more than $400 with a 50/50 raffle to benefit the 3-Day Walk for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which will be held in October. She is joining seven other people from ReMax Properties of Sarasota for the walk and they have combined to raise almost $10,000 for this very worthy cause.

Congratulations to Beth and to all the golf participants.

Try your luck at Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em tournaments are being hosted on a weekly basis at locations throughout Florida, including the Bradenton area. Players at each location earn points in hopes of winning prizes, qualifying for monthly tournaments and the end-of-year Florida Poker Championship.

It costs nothing to play so there's no risk for a novice poker player to try his or her luck and skill in these tournaments. Each player is given $10,000 in chips to start, and as long as you have chips, you're still alive. As players drop out, players are moved to another table until there is only one game table remaining. The last person with chips is declared the winner and earns 1,100 points. Points are awarded from first to 12th place and are tallied by Treasurechest Poker, a Web hosting site.

First-place prize in the monthly tournaments wins a trip for two to Las Vegas and a stay on the strip at Treasure Island Casino. The top 12 finishers also win prizes.

Come to Grego's Tavern, located at 4332 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton. The action gets started Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Other days and locations for qualifying are Sundays at The Dog House, Tuesdays at Baron's Billiards, Wednesdays at Diamond's Sports Palace and Thursdays and Saturdays at Chaps Bar & Billiards. Times vary so visit treasurechestpoker.com for exact times and locations.

Join Her-icane golf challenge

The Manatee High School Her-icanes girls' soccer team is hosting a fundraising golf tournament at the Bradenton Country Club at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27. For only $100 per golfer, you can test your golf skills at Bradenton's most challenging layout in a four-person scramble.

All players who register before the Aug. 1 deadline will receive a goody bag, cart and greens fees, a post-tourney banquet and guaranteed fun throughout the day. Also on tap are a straightest-drive contest, two closest-to-the-pin contests, a putting contest and raffles for tons of prizes. The field is limited to the first 100 golfers, so don't delay.

The Her-icanes are also looking for sponsors for the tournament. For $800, your business can purchase the Hat Trick package, which consists of a foursome including the banquet, a tee or green sign on the course and a banner which will be displayed at all Manatee Her-icane home soccer games. A golden goal sponsorship package includes a foursome and a tee or green sign on the course for $500, or you can simply purchase a tee or green sign for the tournament for $175.

To sign up your foursome, list your four players and their phone numbers with a check written out to Manatee Girls Soccer Booster and mail it to me at 3610 York Drive, Bradenton FL 34205. For more information, call me, Her-icane Coach Cassidy, at 807-1105.

Key Royale golf news

Joyce Reith shot a 31 to win the June 14 Class A low net contest over Cindi Mansour, Lois Biel and Tootie Wagner, who each shot 34 in the weekly golf competition at Key Royale Golf Club. Class B winner was Jane Winegarden with a 34, while Mary P. Miller shot 35 to finish in second place, a shot ahead of Markie Ksiazek.

Throw-out mystery hole winner was Joyce Reith.

Cindi Masour and Tootie Wagner tied for first place June 7 with a score of 33 in women's Class A competition, with Mansour also claiming the day's longest drive. Second place in the longest drive that day went to Nancy Grimme, while Penny Williams came in second with a low net of 34.

Class B winners June 7 were Dolores Jorgensen and Rose Slomba with a net of 34, while Jane Winegarden finished a shot back at 35 to finish in second place.

Weeky horseshoe winners

Ron Pepka and George Landraitis were the June 18 winners of the Anna Maria horseshoe games. Pepka also claimed the top spot in the June 15 games with partner Tom Rhodes of Cortez.

Bill Bartlett of Holmes Beach and George McKay of Anna Maria captured the June 11 horseshoe competition at the Anna Maria City Hall Park. Second place went to Jay Disbrow of Bradenton and Tom Rhodes of Cortez. Winner of the June 8 games were Herb Ditzel of Anna Maria and Cortez' Tom Rhodes.

The weekly contests get under way every Wednesday and Saturday at Anna Maria City Hall Park located at 10005 Gulf Drive. There are no membership fees and everyone is welcome.

Another chance to sign up

The Anna Maria Island Community Center will accept applications for Police Athletic League Dolphin football until July 1.

Currently the team has approximately 18-20 players, but they'd like to have a few more so that everyone doesn't have to play on both sides of the ball.

Anna Maria will more than likely field a team in the younger Mighty-Mite division, even though a couple of players might be a year older. PAL has four age/weight divisions starting with flag football for players age 6-7 as of September 1. Flag football carries no weight restrictions. Mighty Mites must be ages 8-10 and under 125 pounds, while junior varsity is for players age 11-12 under 145 pounds. The oldest division is varsity, players age 13-14 and under 165 pounds.

For more information, call the Center's Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.

Session 2 basketball camp

The Anna Maria Island Community Center's summer basketball camp is now accepting applications for Session 2. Players age 9-13 are encouraged to sign up for a low cost of $35 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Each player will receive a camp jersey and trophies will be awarded for various categories of shooting, defense, sportsmanship and most improved. Session 2 runs noon-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 18-29, except for the first day, which starts at 11 a.m. Registration deadline is July 8.

Session one was very successful with 15 or so players taking part in the week-long camp. Awards were earned by players in four different categories. The "hot shot" champion for shooting went to Emma Barlow, while Kyle Bergeron won the sportsmanship award. Julian Botero was named best defensive player, while Nicole Botero captured most improved player award. All other players who participated in camp received medals and basketballs.

For more information, contact Jonatzke at 778-1908.

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