Community Update

To have your event included on Community Update, please send all relevant information to:
Sue Wagner
Community Update
P.O. Box 118405
Gainesville, FL 32611-8405
The e-mail address is, with the words “Community Update” in the subject line.

The Community Update fax number is 352-392-5741. All submissions must be made on organization letterhead at least two weeks prior to the event.

Please include only the basic facts:
who, what, where, when and why and a phone number or website address for more information.

All submissions will be included in this online listing and if time permits they will be featured in on-air announcements.

Aftermath: The Fallout of War—America and the Middle East Exhibit
Through Dec. 31
Harn Museum of Art
UF Campus

The exhibit brings together the work of twelve international photographers and artists offering a closer look at armed conflict through images of refugees, loss, history, environmental dangers, and veterans from the U.S. and Middle East. Artists in the exhibition are Lynsey Addario, Jananne Al-Ani, Jennifer Karady, Gloriann Liu, Rania Matar, Eman Mohammed, Farah Nosh, Suzanne Opton, Michal Rovner, Stephen Dupont, Ben Lowy, and Simon Norfolk. More information available at

4th Annual River Phoenix Center for Peacbuilding UNITY in CommUNITY March and Rally for Peace
Oct. 19, 4 p.m.
Gather at the Hippodrome Theater
Downtown Gainesville

Wear an orange t-shirt recognizing your organization and join the march through Downtown Gainesville. More info at 352-234-8595.

A Day in Solidarity with African People
Oct. 19, 6:30 – 8:30p.m.
Alachua County Headquarters Library, Room A
Downtown Gainesville

This event addresses the role of white people in ending the rampant police violence targeting black people in the United States. Part of a nationwide campaign sponsored by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, the event will build national support for the black-led Uhuru Movement’s quest for justice for the murder of three African teenage women by Florida sheriff’s deputies this year. Speakers include Kunde Mwamvita, Omali Yeshitela and Penny Hess.The event will feature culture, light refreshments, and a question-and-answer session. More information available at (352) 234-6770 or via email at

Penney Retirement Community Senior Health Fair
Oct. 20, 1 to 4 p.m.
Penney Farms

Join more than 30 vendors from senior health care organizations and partake in hearing tests and get a flu shot. More info at 904-284-8579.

Blessed Trinity Carnival
Oct. 20-23
5 SE 7th Street

The annual event at the church school features midway rides, games, carnival food and raffles. More info at 352-622-58-8 or

Uf College of Medicine: A Legacy of Innovation & Collaboration since the 1950s
Oct. 20, 6 p.m.
Matheson Museum

Murray Laurie, historian and author, and Dr. Nin Stoyan-Rosenzweig, will speak at the event. More info at

United Nations Day Celebration
Oct. 21, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Gainesville Woman’s Club

The annual event will feature a keynote address by Dr. Glen Galloway on “Curbing Climate Change from the Perspective of Sustainable Development.” There will also be panel discussions and a box lunch. More info at 352-378-4853.

ACORN Clinic Haunted Trail Fundraiser
Oct. 21, 5-10:30 p.m.
Oct. 22, 1 to 10:30 p.m.

The event includes Halloween-themed activities for adults and children. The course will be a the clinic. More info at

McIntosh 1890 Arts, Crafts and Antiques Show
Oct. 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 42 annual festival will feature over 280 arts, crafts and antiques vendors from all over the country. Food, live music and children’s activities will also be available. More information available at https://www.facebook.come/pages/mcintoshfesival or 352-591-4038.

12th Annual Florida Bat Festival
Oct. 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lubee Bat Conservancy
1309 NW 192nd Ave.

“Hang with the Giants” is the 2016 theme. Enjoy tours, children’s activities and a beer garden. Proceeds support the Conservancy. More in

UF Cultural Plaza Festival
Oct. 22, 11 a.m – 3 p.m.
UF Cultural Plaza

The event will feature activities at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Harn Museum of Art. More info at 3542-846-2000.

ECO Fall Festival
Oct. 22

The festival will feature workshops on cheese-making, wild crafting, food preservation as well as children’s activities. More information at

Friends of the Library Book Sale
Oct. 22-26
430-B N. Main Street

The annual sale will feature bargains on items in more the 64 categories. All proceeds support the Alachua County District branches, scholarships for library staff and special land purchases for remodeling. More info at

Repurpose Project Halloween Masquerade and Costume Ball
Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
1920 NE 23rd Ave.

The event will benefit stage two of the recycling mission in Gainesville – the creation of a family friendly, permanent event space. More info at

Love Letters
Oct. 24, 5:30 P.M.
Hippodrome State Theatre

Join Southern Legal Counsel for a night of theater and fun at the Hippodrome State Theatre. Nell Page and Kevin Rainsberger will perform a staged reading of “Love Letters.” The two characters will share the details of their separate lives through the course of about 50 years of intimate cards, notes and letters. The event’s proceeds will benefit Southern Legal Counsel, a Florida not-for-profit public interest law firm that is committed to equal justice for all. Attendees and the general public are invited to attend a pre-show reception and silent auction that begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Hippodrome Basement. The show will start at 7:00 p.m. Tickets and more information available at 352-375-4777 or at

Dr. Michael Butler Presentation on Black Freedom and the Civil Rights Movement in Florida
Oct. 26
Pugh Hall Ocora
UF Campus

Dr. Butler will speak on his new book, “Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida.” More information is available at 352-392-7168.

Trick of Treat Fun Night
Oct. 29, 6 – 9 p.m.

The Hawthorne Area Chamber of Commerce is will the annual event at the Hawthorne Recreation Park located at 6000 SE 205th Street. More info at

Horses Helping People Charity Texas Hold’em Tournament
Nov. 1, 10 a.m .to 6 p.m.
Shriner Club, 8100 SW Archer Road

The event features the poker tournament and a BBQ. Proceeds benefit HOPE who provides equine-assisted programs in a healing environment that enhances personal growth, empowerment and well-being. More information at 352-328-6412.

7th Annual Swamp Chomp
Nov. 4, 7 – 10 p.m.
Girls Place

The casual Gator-themed tailgate party promotes female athletics and raised funds for Girls Place. UF Women’s Basketball Coach Amanda Butler will emcee the event featuring food, drink, a DJ and silent auction. More info and tickets available at

Walk for Life
Nov. 5, 8:30 a.m.

The Tri-County Pregnancy Center will host the back beginning at 4216 West Noble Ave in Williston. More info at 352-528-0200.

UF Health Afib Insights Seminar
Nov. 5, 9 – 1 p.m.
Ocala Hilton

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a serious but treatable heart condition that affects over 2.7 million Americans. Find out if you are at risk and learn more about heart care. Free Health Screenings and Breakfast from 9 – 10 a.m. and All About AFib presentations from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Although attendance is free, seating is limited. To register, visit or call 352.265.8384.

10th Annual Newberry Fall Festival
Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The annual festival featuring vendors, food and children’s activities is located on Seaboard Drive just off Newberry Road (SR26).

Masquerade Ball and Auction to Unmask Joy
Nov. 5, 6:30 – 10 p.m.
Harrell Medical Education Building
UF Campus

Xtraordinary Joy, a non-profit foundation funding X chromosome disorder research at UF, will host the event located at 1104 Newell Drive in Gainesville. More info at

Caring for your Veteran Nearing the End of Life
1-Day Conference
Friday, Nov 18, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – RSVP by Oct. 28
Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd.

The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), located at Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, and Haven Hospice are sponsoring a one-day conference titled “Caregivers: Caring for your Veteran Nearing the End of Life.” This event is free and open to persons caring for Veterans or others nearing the end of life. Topics to be covered include: Introduction to palliative care, hospice and respite care; Legal issues/advance care planning; Identifying end-of-life resources available to caregivers and Veterans; Communicating end-of-life wishes; Taking care of the caregiver; and a Q&A session with a Palliative Care Team (physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain and pharmacist). No cost to attend, and refreshments will be provided. Register early; space is limited. For more information or to register, please email or; or call Ellen at (386) 984-2719.

Free Yoga at Healthstreet
Monday, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2401 SW Archer Road

Free stress relieving classes will be taught by Janke. More information available on this and other programs at 352-294-4880.

Volunteers Needed for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide in Alachua County
Volunteer through Dec.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide seeks Alachua County volunteers who want to help others in our community from Feb. 1 through April 18, 2017. A service of the AARP Foundation in conjunction with the IRS, Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax help and e-filing resource. Tax-Aide serves low to moderate income taxpayers. Training is provided. More information available at 352-665-0607.

Cowling on Cancer:
Patients and Families share their stories

On his blog Here’s a Story Just for You at, Florida author and actor Jerry Cowling has posted his experiences and feelings during his late wife Janet’s battle against breast cancer. He also tells of his journey through his grief process after her death. Now Cowling has opened his Cancer Chronicles to contributions from cancer patients and family members to share their own stories. Each contribution should be no more than three or four paragraphs. He encourages multiple submissions on the various aspects of the cancer experience. Send submissions to Cancer Chronicles posts are made on Wednesdays.

Chronic Pain Association

Chronic pain is a pain that never goes away. If you have it, you know that often doctors and medicine can’t full help. The American Chronic Pain Association can teach you how through small group meetings. Learn to deal with your pain in a positive way. Call the Alachua County Chapter of the American Chronic Pain Association at 352/213-1600.

Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory Needs Participants

The Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory at UF is conducting a research study on blood vessel health in individuals with type 2 diabetes and the effects of supervised exercise training. It is currently seeking study participants ages 30 to 79 with type 2 diabetes as well as healthy participants who do not exercise regularly.

Alachua County Library District’s Adult Literacy Program Needs Volunteers

Many adults struggle with reading. These individuals have keen compensation strategies, amazing memory skills and are highly intelligent. The program is seeking volunteers to work with these adults. There are various levels of time and service commitments. For more information, visit

Tourism Institute Study Needs Participants

The UF Eric Friedhelm Tourism Institute is looking for volunteers for a study measuring the impacts of online advertising on viewer’s attention, emotion, and memory using a mobile eye-tracker and an arousal sensor. To qualify you mus be between the ages of 18-60 years old and have normal vision or be able to wear contact lenses (no glasses). Participant will receive an Amazon gift card after completing the test. For more information contact Lauren at

Ronald McDonald House Needs Volunteers

The Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville serves 31 families, keeping them close to their sick children receiving critical medical care. The House is always full, and it’s single maintenance manager could use a little help. If you are handy and can spare two hours each week to help with routine maintenance tasks please contact Dorie Faulkner at 352-374-4404, extension 224.

Mentors needed for Take Stock in Children Program
The Education Foundation of Alachua County

Take Stock in Children pairs good students who have the odds stacked against them with mentors who provide support, encouragement, and the guidance they need to succeed in school. Mentors will meet with their student once a week at a convenient time such as their lunch hour. More information available at or call 352-955-7242.

Indoor Gardening Sessions for Cancer Patients
Ongoing Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
UF Wilmot Gardens Greenhouse

The Gainesville Chapter of the Climb for Cancer Foundation is sponsoring weekly indoor gardening sessions for community members who have been or are being treated for any form of cancer. Free parking is available and individuals are welcome to bring a friend or caregiver. More information is available from Deborah at 352-294-5992.

Hernando Youth Orchestra Rehearsals
Ongoing Sundays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Heather Community Center
Weeki Wachee

Children ages 5 to 21 can learn to play an instrument, and learn music theory and site reading. Sessions will be held at The Heather Community Center, 9100 Nakoma Way in Weeki Wachee. The event is free and open to the public. More information available at

Citizens for an Engaged Electorate Meetings
First Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Citizens for an Engaged Electorate is a group of progressive individuals dedicated to building a functioning democratic republic. The meetings are open to the public and are held at Melanie’s Restaurant, 124 E. Noble Street in Williston. More information is available from Barbara Byran at 352-465-8461.

Cooking Oil Recycling
Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection

The Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Program will recycle used peanut, corn, canola or olive oil into biodiesel fuel. The biodiesel is combined with standard diesel and used to power County fleet vehicles and a biofuel electrical generator. Oil should be cool, and placed in a metal or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The oil cannot mix will other fluids such as water, petroleum products or soaps. The collection center is located at 5125 NE 63rd Ave. in Gainesville. More information on hours or operation and other rural collection centers at 352-334-0440.

Free English Classes
Millhopper Branch Library

Free adult English classes are available to newcomers to Alachua County. More information available at

Written and Spoken Language Study
UF Aphasia and Bilingualism Lab

The Aphasia and Bilingualism lab is currently recruiting healthy adults age 50 to 80 for a study on written and spoken language. Participants should have English as a primary language and have normal or corrected vision and/or hearing. More information available at or 352-273-3715.

UF Environmental Horticulture Gardening Study

The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Department is seeking healthy women between the ages of 30-45 without gardening experience. Volunteers will undergo an MRI and participate in gardening session over an eight week period. For more information contact Christy at 352-273-4576.

AYA Needs Host Families for Students

The Academic Year in America program matches students from more than 40 countries with an American host family for a semester or academic year. Families can choose their student and must provide room and board. More information available at or 352-237-3966.

Alachua County Wage Recovery Ordinance

The Alachua County Wage Recovery Ordinance began on January 1, 2014. The ordinance provides Alachua County employees a method for collecting unpaid or underpaid wages. For details on the ordinance or how to file a wage theft complaint call the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at (352) 374-5275.

Institute for Workforce Innovation

The Institute for Workforce Innovation (IWI) is dedicated to improving the communities’ quality of life through education, employment and advocacy. For more information or to volunteer call 352-225-3307 or online at

Savvy Caregiver Training
Elder Options
100 NW 75th St., Suite 30

Elder Options in conjunction with the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers free six week training programs designed for family caregivers who assist persons with Alzheimer’s and or dementia. More information available at 352-378-6649.

Operation PetSnip

Spay and neuter pet services available for qualifying low-income Alachua County and surrounding rural county residents. The cost of surgery, pain medication and anesthesia for pets spayed or neutered is covered. More information available from No More Homeless Pets’ Operation Petsnip at

The Salvation Army Thrift Store

The Salvation Army thrift stores are funded by generous donations of material goods. The stores accept gently used merchandise to be refurbished and resold. The Gainesville store is located at 55 NW 23rd Ave. More information on hours of operation available at 352-373-7597 or

Children’s Home Society Adoption Program

There is a significant need to find adoptive homes for children in the foster care system. Currently there are many children wanting and wishing to find a home to call their own. More information available 352-334-0955.

Gone 4 Ever Shredding
The Arc of Alachua County is a local not for profit that provides employment services to adults with developmental disabilities through several small business it has created. One of its businesses, Gone 4 Ever shredding, offers a free paper shredding service to all residents of Alachua County every Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at its main location at 3303 NW 83rd Street. Gone 4 Ever shredding hold a AAA certification in document destruction so all paper is safely and securely destroyed. For more information please call 352-334-4060 ext. 132 or visit

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve- Supporting our Nation’s Service Members

Today, nearly half our nation’s fighting forces are members of the Guard and Reserve. When they are called is called to active duty, they leave behind a family, a community, and a job. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, honors and products the bond between service members and their civilian employers. Whether serving our country or supporting those who do, we all serve. To learning more about ESGR, call 1-800-336-4590, or

The Family Mealtime Project

This spring research at the University of Florida will conduct a research study to learn about families and their interactions during mealtimes. The Family Mealtime Project is available to two-parent families who live within 20 miles of Gainesville and have a child between the ages of 2 and 6. The study consists of three, 45 minute sessions in families’ home in which families will complete questionnaires and two video recordings of their mealtimes. Families will be compensated at the completion of the study. Families interested in participating or who have questions should call the Family Mealtime Project office toll free at 1-866-673-9623.

“Kidney Smart” Education Program

The “Kidney Smart” program educates and partners with people to take control of their health and helps them develop a plan to live a healthy life. The program features medication, diet and nutrition information, stresses the importance of choosing a heath care team, provides continuing education and treatment options. More information available at

Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. Hosts Meal Site
Open every Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. hosts a meal site at the Bronson Community Church located on Hathaway Ave. in Bronson, FL. The meal site serves seniors age 60 or older. Meals are served at noon. There is no cost, but donations are welcomed. For more information, call 352-490-7055 x1.

Ronald McDonald House Charities NCF Seeks Long-Term Volunteers

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida, a non-profit organization in Gainesville that assists families with children being treated at local medical facilities, is looking for long-term volunteers to serve as hosts for its two core programs: Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room at Shands Hospital for Children. For more information, visit or call Dorie Faulkner, Volunteer Coordinator at 352-374-4404 ext. 224.

Visiting Chef Program, Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida, a non-profit organization in Gainesville that assists families with children being treated at local medical facilities, seeks volunteer groups or families to provide a full-course dinner or weekend-breakfast for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville. Chefs may come equipped with ingredients to serve approximately 50 people and cook in a spacious, well-stocked kitchen or they may cater a meal from a local restaurant. Meals are served 7 days a week, including holidays. For more information, contact Judy Bates at or call 352-374-4404 ext. 299.

The Kindness Cookie Company

In partnership with The Arc of Alachua County, the Kindness Cookie Company bakes homemade cookies with our messages of kindness, gratitude and inspiration inside. In the spirit of these messages, Kindness for Cookies also seeks to raise awareness of the unique gifts of individuals with developmental disabilities and how they can teach us to live with greater compassion, acceptance and presence. The Kindness Cookie Company can bake for any event, or custom orders and gifts. For more information, contact Susan Thiele, founder, at 352-256-8084 or email at, you can also visit the website at

In the U.S., 19 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant—most of them for kidneys. has become the most successful nonprofit organization improving those odds by finding living altruistic donors for patients who desperately need transplants. Visit and meet some extraordinary people.

Help a Kid Start a Lemonade Stand

The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., is urging parents to teach their children lessons about entrepreneurship and responsibility by helping them start a lemonade stand. They provide free classroom curriculum and other resources to enable students to learn first-hand about the risks and rewards of operating a small business. This curriculum can be found at To learn more about the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, visit

Red Carpet Customer Service Training Program

This program, launched by FloridaWorks in partnership with Santa Fe College, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Gainesville, has a goal of training 3,000 people in customer service. Each participant earns a certificate from Santa Fe College after completing the 3-hour course. To register, contact Santa Fe CIED at 352-395-5053. To become a community sponsor, contact the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce at 352-334-7100.

Adoption from Foster Care

There are currently more than 107,000 children available for adoption in the U.S. Foster Care System. The Adoption from Foster Care campaign encourages potential parents to adopt and aims to increase the number of potential families inquiring about adoption. You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.

Veterans Outreach Program, Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation wants to help men and women who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, which are a common form of injury that can lead to seizures and epilepsy in some cases. Symptoms can include confusion, momentary black-outs and uncontrollable shaking or twitching. For more information about the foundation’s Veterans Outreach Program and other services, visit or call 1-800-332-1000.

Three Rivers Legal Services

Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. is a local, non-profit corporation that provides free, quality civil legal services to low-income, eligible clients in seventeen counties throughout North Florida. Three Rivers is now providing representation to eligible clients who live in Alachua, Levy, Gilchrist, Bradford or Union County for family law cases, regardless of domestic violence. For more information, call the Legal Helpline at 866-256-8091.