To have your event included on Community Update, please send all relevant information to:
P.O. Box 118405
Gainesville, FL 32611-8405
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Community Update and Public Service Announcements are
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All submissions must be received 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.
Events will be included in this online listing and if time permits they will be featured in on-air public service announcements.
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines
Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15, Dec. 22, Dec. 29 11 a.m.
Heather Community Center
9100 Nakoma Way
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines will take GENEROSITY for its December theme. On the 1st, Dr. Andy LePage will discuss Generosity of Time. Ellen Paul will talk about Generosity of the Spirit on the 8th. Karen Clarke will moderate a panel on Generosity of Talents on Dec. 15. On the 22nd, the subject will be Generosity of the season. Rabbi Reva will close out the year with Living With Generosity, Dec. 29. A potluck lunch and discussion will take place after the program.
35th Annual Christmas on the Square
Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m.
Historic Downtown Live Oak
The Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Live Oak and the Community Redevelopment Agency will debut a new living Christmas tree. This event kicks off a three-day festival that includes a kids fun run, 5K, movies in the park and the a lighted Christmas parade. Moe information available at 386-362-3071 or email@example.com.
Operation Santa Delivery
Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Santa Fe College North Fields
Don’t miss LifeSouth Community Blood Center’s annual Christmas event. Santa will arrive from a ShandsCair Helicopter. Children will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa for free, and over 25 local nonprofits will be attending to provide fun activities for children. Find out more about Operation Santa Delivery at https://www.facebook.com/events/2502022009874900/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7th Annual 4-H Little Run on the Prairie 5K
Dec. 7, 8:30 a.m.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
The 7th Annual 4-H Little Run on the Prairie 5K will raise summer camp scholarships for special interest, residential and county day camps. For more information contact Amanda Morgan Pittman, 4-H Youth Development Agent, at email@example.com or 352-955-2402, for more information.
Fall Farm and Cane Festival
Dec. 7, 9 a.m .to 3 p.m.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Enjoy watching the traditional method of making cane syrup, including our cane mill and syrup complex. Other activities include traditional craft demonstrations, blacksmithing, wood working, cross cut saw demonstrations, children’s games, a quilt drawing, old-time music and much more! More information available at 352-472-1142 or www.friendsofdudleyfarm.org.
Operation Santa Delivery
Dec. 7, 10 a.m .to 1 p.m.
Santa Fe College
North Field at the corner of NW 39th Avenue and NW 91st Street
Community organizations will offer games and fun activities and there will be free photos with Santa. LifeSouth Bloodmobiles will be onsite. More information available at 352-334-1000.
Fix Them All Fundraiser for Pay to Spay
Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gainesville Garden Club
Pay to Spay’s mission is fund spay/neuter surgeries for pet owners that cannot afford it. Their goal is to greatly reduce, if not eliminate, euthanasia of healthy animals as population control. The “Fix Them All” fundraising event will be a champagne brunch with a glass of champagne and served food, raffles, silent auction, “pup up” gift shop, vendors, giveaways, kids activities and more. More information and tickets available at http://www.paytospay.org.
City of Gainesville Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
Dec. 7, 6 to 8 p.m.
Historic Thomas Center
302 NE 6th Avenue
The tree lighting celebration will be in the Thomas Center Spanish Court, Santa will onsite, live music will be playing and refreshments will be served. More information available at 352-393-8532.
Dec. 7-8, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Stephen C. O’Connell Center, 250 Gale Lemerand Drive
The Craft Festival is an annual event that showcases crafts that are authentically made by hundreds of talented artisans and crafters. More information at https://www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu/craftfestival/ and https://www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu/
Fall Farm and Cane Festival
Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
The Fall Farm and Cane Festival features a demonstration of the traditional method of making cane syrup. Other activities include traditional craft demonstrations, blacksmithing, wood working, cross cut saw demonstrations, children’s games, a quilt drawing, old-time music and much more! More information is available at www.friendsofdudleyfarm.org.
American Association of University Women Red Stocking Tea
Dec. 8, 3 p.m to 5 p.m.
The Home of Dr. Kayser Ennecking
2504 NW 24th Terrace
Join the Gainesville Branch of the American Association of University Women for a fellowship, guests, holiday goodies and entertainment.
Winter Solstice Psychic Faire
Dec. 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1409 NE 6th Street
The annual event is free and open to the public. More information available at http://www.seraphimcenter.com/.
Dec. 14, 12 to 4 p.m.
Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
12626 NW CR 231
Critter Creek’s Farm Sanctuary will host a winter open house for the public. They will be giving tours of all the fields and you can hug a cow, kiss a donkey, and rub a pig belly. Enjoy live music, food, local beers and ciders and citrus. More information available at https://www.facebook.com/events/2469072780079950/.
Sunshine State Book Festival
Jan. 24 – Jan. 26
Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall
3000 NW 83rd Street
The Writers Alliance of Gainesville will host the Sunshine State Book Festival. More information at http://www.sunshinestatebookfestival.com/.
4th Annual Gainesville VegFest
Feb. 15, 10 a.m – 5 p.m.
Bo Diddley Plaza
111 E. University Ave.
This family-friendly event features over 80 vendors offering cruelty-free products and vegan food, plus entertainment, demonstrations and information. More information at http://gainesvillevegfest.org/.
Florida Heritage Writers Conference
Feb. 20 – 22
Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village
500 S Legacy Trail
The Florida Heritage Book Festival Board will be holding a three-day conference with a writers’ “boot camp” session, multiple author sessions, the annual Literary Legend Reception and writers’ critique sessions. More information at http://fhbookfest.com/.
Sundays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, 5:45 p.m – 6:45 p.m.
1899 NE 23rd Ave.
The Shambhala Gainesville offers meditation and book study on Sundays. They also offer Heart of Recover on Tuesday, open to anyone who is interested in exploring how the path of meditation and the path of recovery intersect. All are welcome who are working with recovery from addiction to substances and behaviors as well as those whose lives have been impacted by addictive and compulsive behaviors. For more information, call Lynne Rigney Barolet at 377-7084 or visit: www.gainesville.shambhala.org.
Nature Coast Community Foundation (NCCSF) Bicycle Collection
Nature Coast Community Foundation (NCCSF) and Grace Presbyterian Bicycle Ministry is collecting unwanted bicycles (or parts thereof) that will be reconditioned and given to the needy. Call 352-600-9555 to schedule a free pick up.
Hernando Youth Orchestra
9100 Nakoma Way
Hernando Youth Orchestra is looking for aspiring musicians, ages 6 to 18. The orchestra rehearses Sundays 3:30-5:00 at The Heather Community Center. For more information, visit www.hernandoyouthorchestra.org.
Need help finding healthy, free food in your community? Call the WhyHunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY to be connected to food assistance in your neighborhood. You can also text your zip code to 1-800-548-6479 to get a list to your phone and search online at whyhunger.org/findfood.
Relax & Color
Every other Wednesday; 10:30 11: 30 a.m.
Interlachen Public Library
Enjoy and adult coloring group in the Interlachen Public Library at 133 N CR 315. More information available at 386-684-1600.
Brain and Spinal Tumor Support Group
3rd Wednesday of each month
The UF Health Neuro-Oncology Division of Neurosurgery has started a support group for brain and spinal tumors. More information available from Sarah Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 352-27-7981.
Old Computers Needed
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines
The church is collecting computers for the homeless. Any make or mode with a windows platform is welcome. More information available at 352-600-9555.
UF Psychology Decision-Making Study
UF Clinical and Health Psychology
This study will examine how mood impacts brain functioning during a decision-making task. People ages 60 to 80 may be eligible to participate. More information at 352-294-9765.
Be the Hope A Child Needs, Become a Foster Parent
Partnership for Strong Families
North Central Florida
North Central Florida has an urgent need for foster care parents. If you would like to become a partner family to help a child or teenager call 352-244-1684 or find details online at www.PartnerFamily.org,
Books & Toiletries Needed for Homeless People
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines
The church is collecting books and toiletries for People Helping People.The PHP book drive will provide books offering information on marketable skills and possible work opportunities. ‘How to’ and text books on subjects such as cooking, culinary sciences, computer/office skills, sales, and gardening/landscaping are especially appreciated. Toiletry items needed include: tooth brushes, razors, combs, soap, lotions, shave creams etc. Call 352-600-9555 for information or to schedule your donation.
Gainesville Peer Respite
Gainesville Peer Respite is launching “Warmline” for peers in need of emotional support. The phone line will be open Wednesday night through Monday mornings from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The number is 352-559-4559. The phone line is staffed by those who have had their own experiences of trauma and mental illness.
Pain Research & Intervention Center of Excellence
The Uf Center studies pain and aging, chronic pain risk factors, pain and the brain, musculoskeletal pain, pain and exercise and non-medical treatment of pain. More information available at 352-273-5967 or PRICE-CTSI@ufl.edu.
Borgen Project Volunteer and Internship Opportunities
Over the past 20-years, the number of people who are malnourished has been reduced by 50 percent… And more children are in school today than at any time period in history. Global poverty can seem daunting, but success in alleviating suffering is occurring across the globe. To learn how you can volunteer at The Borgen Project and take action locally to help our global community, visit borgenproject.org.
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.
Cowling on Cancer:
Patients and Families share their stories
On his blog Here’s a Story Just for You at www.jerrycowling.com, 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 email@example.com. 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 aclib.us/literacy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://edfoundaitonac.org/take-stock-in-children or call 352-955-7242.
Indoor Gardening Sessions for Cancer Patients
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
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 hernandoyouthorchestra.org
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 www.latinawomensleague.org
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 email@example.com 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 academicyear.org 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 www.iwionline.org
Savvy Caregiver Training
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.
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 http://www.nmhp.net
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 https://www.facebook.com/SalArmyGville
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 www.gone4evershredding.com
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 www.esgr.mil.
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 www.kidneysmart.org
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 www.rmhcncf.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Yummy@TheKindnessCookieCompany.com, you can also visit the website at www.TheKindnessCookieCompany.com.
In the U.S., 19 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant—most of them for kidneys. MatchingDonors.com has become the most successful nonprofit organization improving those odds by finding living altruistic donors for patients who desperately need transplants. Visit www.matchingdonors.com 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 http://eitccurriculum.com/. To learn more about the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, visit www.NFIB.com/YEF.
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 www.epilepsyfoundation.org 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.