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Former Marine, 72, wins gold in powerlifting

William "Doc" Bauer, a provisional member of the Morris F. Dixon Jr. Detachment 54 of the Marine Corps League in Largo, earned a gold medal in the bench press competition for his age and weight classification last month at the 21st Annual USAPL Military/Armed Forces National Powerlifting Championships in Orlando.

The 72-year-old also took first place while setting a national record in his age and weight class at the Amateur Athletic Union Armed Forces competition last December at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and repeated his success in January at the military component of the AAU's powerlifting competition in Richmond, Va.

Bauer grew up in Pittsburgh and served in the Third Marine Air Wing at the USMC Air Base, El Toro, Calif. He received a master's degree while working as an educational assistant in the Marines.

He worked in administrative positions for Pennsylvania's community college system after leaving the military. In 1977, he earned his Ph.D in higher education from the University of Pittsburgh and retired as president of the Community College of Beaver County in 1989.

Since coming to the area 20 years ago, the certified personal trainer has worked at several fitness centers in a position he calls a "paying hobby," specializing in fitness instruction for ages 55 and older. Along the way, he's competed in powerlifting at county, state, national and international levels.

"I'm living proof you're only as old as you feel," he chuckled, already looking forward to his next competition.

• • •

Gordon and Marion Newell met on a blind date and hit it off. Problem was, they weren't each other's date.

"The girl I was seeing in Toledo asked me to fix up her friend," Gordon recalled. "I did, and the four of us went out."

It seems fate had other ideas. "We switched girls and got married," he said.

The arrangement worked out — the Newells of Safety Harbor recently marked their 60th wedding anniversary. A celebration is planned that includes Marion's childhood friend, Elaine.

The couple married April 17, 1953, at the home of the bride's parents in Toledo, Ohio.

He worked for Medrad, a Pittsburgh company founded by a doctor who created the first flow-controlled, angiographic power injector that introduced a contrast agent into the vessels of the heart, enhancing the image and making it possible to diagnose heart disease and stroke. He also worked seven years for a clinical laboratory business in New Jersey and was employed at a pharmaceutical business in Cleveland.

She is a homemaker.

In 1982, they purchased a condo in the area. "We lived in it a year and decided we didn't like condo living," George said. "That's when we bought our house. We love it."

The Newells put down permanent roots after making the move from Pittsburgh in 1990.

They are of the Methodist faith.

He was a volunteer and training director for the Service Corps of Retired Executives and served as director of his homeowner's association.

They have a son, Jeff; a daughter, Ruthlyn, who recently passed away after a 12-year battle with ovarian cancer; and two grandsons, Christopher and Alex.

• • •

Sandee Heidner of Dunedin was named Volunteer of the Year 2013 by Goodwill Industries-Suncoast and received her award during Goodwill's volunteer recognition luncheon April 11 at the Columbia Restaurant, Tampa.

A retired teacher who winters in Florida, Heidner has been a volunteer with Goodwill's BookWorks early childhood literacy program since 2002. She reads to the children at Dunedin Head Start every week from October through April and presents a book to each child.

Mary Brown, Dunedin Head Start director, says she loves the light "Ms. Sandee" brings to the children.

Dozens of other people whose volunteer efforts have supported Goodwill's mission were also honored at the luncheon.

Last year, 332 local volunteers donated more than 5,758 hours of their time to support Goodwill programs in West Central Florida.

• • •

What's the result of combining fish farming and hydroponics?

Lily Landau, a seventh-grader at Clearwater's St. Paul's School knows. Her project, "Growing Tomato Plants: A Comparison of Aquaponics and Soil," earned second place in the botany category at the 58th annual Florida State Science and Engineering Fair in late March.

She compared the growth of tomato plants in St. Paul's aquaponics bed with tomatoes grown in traditional potting soil. Aquaponics allows plants to grow in lightweight expandable clay aggregate and receive fertilizer from the waste of fish, such as tilapia, which are held in an adjoining tank.

Used by ancient cultures, this symbiotic method of food production has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.

The three-day fair took place at the Lakeland Center and showcased more than 891 scientific presentations submitted by finalists in sixth through 12th grade. At the event, Gov. Rick Scott spoke to the young researchers about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.

At the Pinellas Regional Science and Engineering Fair in February, Lily received the Navy Junior Science Award and received top honors, allowing her to compete at the state level.

Mail Good For You items to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email