BRADENTON – On February 26, the Federation of Manatee County Community Associations held its "50th Golden Anniversary Celebration," with more than 100 people in attendance at the Bradenton American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24. A variety of public office holders, current and past federation officials and other Manatee County movers and shakers were on hand to celebrate the organization's continued success.
|Former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash|
The theme of the event was a celebration of the organization's esteemed history and some of the important events the Federation has been a part of in Manatee County. The opening message was delivered by Earnest "Sandy" Marshall who has been a member for 45 years and had served as its president for a total of 12 them. Marshall was later presented with a meritorious service award from Manatee School District Superintendent Rick Mills.
Guest speakers included Manatee County Commission Chairman Larry Bustle, Manatee School Board Chairwoman Julie Aranibar, Federation member Bill Wheeler and retired county commissioner Joe McClash, who was recognized for championing the federation during his 22 years on the board.
Five of the association's presidents, dating from the present all the way back to 1980, were introduced and recognized for their service: Jim Kaiser, Harlan Twible, Farrell Baker, Harold Crapo and Marshall. Betty Griffin, long-time secretary of the FMCCA, was also recognized for her service.
Kaiser, the current FMCCA President, emceed the event. Six of Manatee's seven county commissioners were in attendance, as were City of Palmetto commissioners and a representative from congressman Vern Buchanan's office, along with several candidates who are seeking local office in 2014.
The event organizer was federation secretary Kay Lynn Duncan, who with the help of the other board members, her husband and neighbors, pulled off a wonderful evening of good food, community celebration and pleasant conversation between a diverse group of dedicated citizens.
The FMCCA's mission is to "improve our quality of life and government efficiency through knowledge," and they look forward to serving Manatee County for the next 50 years as well. For the past five decades, the non-profit organization has provided a forum for Manatee association residents to bring forth issues and seek answers to their concerns and problems.
Federation members attend meetings and provide leadership to Community Associations for the betterment of all to live in harmony and unity in our county. The FMCCA's next meeting will be on March 18 at Synovus Bank on Manatee Avenue. Guest speaker will be Brenda G. Rogers, Director of Community Services for Manatee County.