The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 14 No. 10 - January 1, 2014


Flag football, food and fun for fans

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


Show your spirit colors for the start of the NFL Flag
Football season at the first annual Tailgate
Spirit Fun Day on Jan. 11.

The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s athletic department announced this week that it was kicking of the 2014 youth flag football season with a brand new Tailgate Spirit Fun Day.

On Saturday Jan. 11, 24 youth teams, ages 5 to 17, will officially begin the season with a spirited day of fun and jamboree style games.

Football is in the air and on the minds of most sport enthusiasts. The NCAA College BCS Championship Bowl Games are on TV every night and conclude with the National Championship game on Monday Jan. 6. The Vizio title game will be played in the Rose Bowl this year and feature #1 Florida State vs. #2 Auburn.

The NFL regular season concluded this week with some exciting games to determine playoff eligibility. The spirited road to the Super Bowl begins this week with the AFC and NFC wildcard playoffs.

Tailgating has become a national pastime for football enthusiasts. Coaches, players, parents, family and fans are encouraged to dress from head to toe in their team colors to start off this year’s youth season. Team supporters are encouraged to show their spirit by tailgating, setting up camp alongside the field, being creative and showing as much spirit for their team as possible.

Points will be awarded to each team by counting the number of spirit colors matching their team, and extra points will be given for creativity and special categories. The team showing the most spirit in each age group will win a team prize package.

There will be plenty of community spirit, food, fun and, of course, football games. Everyone in the community is welcome to come and celebrate this fun day and the start of the upcoming football season. There will also be a bounce house, all-you-can-eat snow cones and carnival style games.

For more information you can call Matt Ray at the Community Center, 778-1908, ext. 9205, or visit their website at

Tailgate Spirit Day Youth Flag Football Schedule

Jan. 11, Saturday, 11:30 a.m., 5-7-year-old age group games.
Jan. 11, Saturday, 11:30 a.m., 8-10-year-old age group games.
Jan. 11, Saturday, 1:30 p.m., 11-13- year-old age group games.
Jan. 11, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., 14-17- year-old age group games.

Adult co-ed 18 & Over Flag Football Schedule

Jan. 8, Wednesday, 7 p.m. – Slim’s Place Bears vs. Beach Bistro Raiders
Jan. 8, Wednesday, 8 p.m. – Duffy’s Tavern Seahawks vs. Agnelli Pool & Spas Giants
Jan. 8, Wednesday, 9 p.m. – Waterfront restaurant Panthers vs. Beach to Bay Dolphins

Adult co-ed 30 & Over Flag Football Schedule:

Jan. 9, Thursday, 7 p.m. – Jessie’s Island Store Bucs vs. Ross Built Panthers
Jan. 9, Thursday, 8 p.m. – Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings vs. Agnelli Pool & Spas Giants
Jan. 9, Thursday, 9 p.m. – Island Real Estate Raiders vs. Island Gourmet Bills

Register for vegan cooking classes

OK, so big deal, we have a couple of rainy days. Doesn’t the change-up make you grateful for the normally spectacular days we almost always have?

The next-door-neighbor snowbirds just returned. Their license plates say Michigan. Like so many, I’m sure they’re maxed out. News stories say thousands who lost power before Christmas may not get it back until after the new year.

Please, I’ll take a hurricane that causes a power outage for a few days any day. And that has only happened twice during the first summer we were here, almost 10 years ago. Piece o’ carrot cake!

Speaking of which, I love this time of year like so many locals do, because my snowbird personal training clients have returned. While some of them are here on vacation, they also try not to view this time as one for gluttonous overload.

The range of my clients’ goals are all over the board. Most don’t have a particular interest in changing their diet, or as one great quote I heard recently says it, “Emphasize healthy, not skinny.”

Because I’m proudly 61 and have a pretty accomplished sprint and endurance running record. I won’t bore you with that again. Go to my Website to check out credentials. More people seem curious about not necessarily running a marathon or 100 meters in record time, but they tell me they want what I’ve got.

This not only extends to my very cool, long-term and loyal clients, for which I am so grateful, but apparently in the publishing world too. My publisher just released the cover to my third book, “Paleo Vegan” which isn’t coming out until April.

But my fourth book, which will be my fitness journey and methods, has offers before the proposal is even crystalized. My current publisher has said it definitely wants anything I write and an offer is enroute.

Another publisher, who has had a booth back-to-back to my publisher’s and has seen me in action, already sent me a contract. I reached out to one of the larger publishers I’ve met on book tour, and it wants a contract. All of that without an agent.

I was referred to an agent who represented a current vegan male athlete-author. She told me that because I haven’t been a recovering drug or alcohol addict, my story wasn’t sexy enough. I offerered. Not! If you have thoughts/experiences about/with agents, let me know on my website.

As a former TV reporter for decades, I think I know a pretty good news story. I also think dodging genes that gave my mom, aunt and both sisters breast cancer is pretty compelling, and given that I look a lot younger than I am, or so I’m often told, I suspect I’ll get an opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong.

As one of my author friends said, “They have no clue about your work ethic.”

To me, all that seems like common sense. If you don’t tell people what you do, how can anyone know? Of course, as I’ve oft heard, no one cares about your book like you do. I get that.

But the reason my publisher has wanted all of my books is because as the owner told me in a recent e-mail that blew me away, “We’ve never had anyone promote the way you do.”

I also recognize that many of their well-known authors never had access to social media the way I have. Almost 26,000 fans on my “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” page, one of many I admin, where I post tips, recipes and news stories that can help people eat well on a budget.

Be sure to register for my four “Taste of Vegan” cooking classes on all four Thursdays in February for tasty lunches. Class topics include, “Eat Well-Stay Fit on a Budget,” “Getting Enough Protein ‘Just’ on Plants,” “Sumptuous Salads,” and “Delectable Deserts.” I’ll share the menu soon. In the meantime, call the Anna Maria Island Community Center to reserve seats, which are vanishing as I write. You can even get a workout in their gym before class, or one with me cleaning up afterwards. ;)

Also, be sure to get your New Year’s resolutions off to a great start and join me for a free, yup, totally free hour workout every Monday starting 9 a.m. Jan. 6, by the Manatee Beach picnic tables. I’ll do my fav warm-ups and cool-downs sandwiched between an age and ability-appropriate beach walk and/or run. Also, if you haven't seen "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead," watch it on Netflix and follow its "Reboot" programs for a good New Year's Detox.

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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