The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 7 - November 28, 2012


Dodgeball tourney helps raise money

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

AMICC Dodgeball Tournament Champion team –
P. Penguins. Captain Tyler Brown and players
Cord Graham, Tyler Jensen, Ben Kretzmann,
Will Kretzmann and Reese Vita.

The Anna Maria Island Community Center hosted the third annual Dodgeball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 23. More than 50 players, ages 14 and up, took out their Black Friday frustrations by throwing a black dodgeball at their opponents. Instead of spending money, they helped raise money for Island teens.

Teams from all over Manatee County participated in this fun, one-day tournament. The tournament was created by Center’s Teen Director Ryan Hogan three years ago. Hogan and the teens try and raise money to help pay for their field trips. Whether the teens are feeding the hungry, cleaning an adopted beach, taking an educational field trip, learning life skills or just having fun, this active group is always doing something positive. The group’s program name is R.E.A.C.H, which stands for Responsible Educate Adolescents Can Help, and that’s just what they do.

This year’s tournament champions where named the P. Penguins. Team captain Tyler Brown put together the winning team of Tyler Jensen, Cord Graham, Ben Kretzmann, Will Kretzmann and Reese Vita. The team made its way through the winner’s bracket and never lost a game.

In the third round, the P. Penguins team defeated the team King Jeremidus. King Jeremidus then had to battle its way through the loser’s bracket and into the championship game to face the Penguins again, but fell short of the championship. Team captain Jeremiah Goode put together this year’s second place team of J.T Goode, Adam Bujarski, Austin Wash, Ian Fetters, Collin Cravens and Billy Cole.

The tourney packed the Center’s gym with players, spectators and fund-raising supporters. The tourney raised more than $500, and all the proceeds will benefit the Teen Program. The event helped raise awareness for the program and sparked excitement throughout the county.

Hogan said, “This tournament is a lot of fun and a way to raise money for our Teen Program that helps give these kids a positive place to be.”


My top four reasons to go vegan

My friends and I got a little sad this week to read that Starbucks bought Teavana, the popular online tea store and that alsois found in many upscale malls. The best thing about Teavana is it lets you sample an amazing number of teas for free. But the more depressing thing about the story, other than another case of a big corporation gobbling up a smaller one, is that one of the reasons cited is that the coffee bean is in deep distress over global warming. And tea leaves may eventually follow suit.

With corn prices soaring ever higher from drought conditions earlier this year, meat and dairy are feeling the impact too. One of my Google alerts is “vegan.” An increasing number of studies say what I’ve been saying for years, especially globally, we may all be eating veg eventually, like it or not.

On these cheery notes, I give you what I get asked about most these days:

Why would you want to go vegan? My top reasons:

It saves so much pain and suffering for humans and all animals. Watch any factory farming movie or video on Mercy For Animals website and other websites or YouTube. Because of YouTube, it is hard for most of us to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we just don’t see what goes on at factory farms. Recent news stories show how China is adopting our factory farming ways to meet their growing demand for meat.

We should have been adopting their healthy ways of eating, not the other way around. Even for those who say they eat meat from animals killed humanely, there are increasing numbers of stories/videos showing that animals right down to fish, experience pain. And those kinds of “humane” farms are not sustainable globally.

It saves so much money. Seriously. If you follow my top 10 tips in my book, or even just a few of them, it’s a piece of carrot cake. My fav tip, of course, is buy in bulk. That is where you can save big bucks. Trade in the dairy and meat for bulk beans, and you have plenty of money left over to buy produce.

Plant protein is way cheaper than animal protein. In talks I give all over the U.S., I really crunch the numbers comparing the price of a serving of beans to a serving of the cheapest form of hamburger meat at 30 percent fat. Much of the fat will drip off during cooking, but ounce per ounce, 30 percent burger meat is about seven times more expensive, and more expensive cuts of meat like tenderloin are up to 37 times more expensive than beans.

You’ll feel better. This is pretty much a universal reaction that so many people report. You hear it from cooking classes to individual accounts. Whether your goal is to lose weight or just get rid of whatever ails you, the high fiber alone from a plant-based diet gets your plumbing in great working order.

There’s a reason that the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been around forever. It mainly relates to the high fiber and pectin that keep your colon doing what it needs to do, processing toxins and keeping all of the waste moving right along.

But many other fruits and vegetables do their magic too. So invite them into your life. And as “The China Study” points out, in cultures of the world that don’t have access to meat and dairy, diseases of affluence don’t exist. No cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis that western cultures often write off to the aging process.

It’s the best thing you can do for the environment. The World Health Organization and a Pugh Research report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow” have said that factory farming is not sustainable. Both reports suggest that giving up meat reduces your carbon footprint more than giving up driving any kind of car. The Stockholm Water Institute’s report crunches the numbers: If we don’t reduce our protein consumption from animals by at least 15 percent immediately, we will all be vegetarian by 2050.

Hey, I’m just the messenger. This report focuses on world populations and the demand on our water supply. It takes so much more water to raise meat protein than plant protein.

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released book:,"Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," or her website: She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

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