Community Calendar

Putnam Land Conservancy Picnic in the Park
May 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Little Orange Creek Nature Park

The picnic will feature live music, guided tours of native plants and creek side dip-netting explorations iwth Dr. Dick Franz. Food will be available along with a silent auction to benefit the Conservancy. The park is located at 24115 SE Hawthorne Road (SR20).

“An Evening at the Derby” Five Points of Life Foundation Benefit
May 2, 4:30 p.m.
Gainesville Country Club
Enjoy food and fun at this Kentucky Derby event. Proceeds benefit the Five Points of Life Foundation’s work to raise awareness in our community about the importance of blood, organ, marrow and cord blood donations through educational curriculum and activities. More information at

International Midwifery Day
May 3, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
810 E. University Avenue

The Florida School of Traditional Midwifery will host this event complete with children’s activities, music and raffles. More information available at 352-338-0766 or

“May the 4th Be With You” Library Event
May 4, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Millhopper Branch Library

The Millhopper Branch Library at 3145 NW 43rd Street will host a Star War program featuring crafts, trivia and other activities. There will also be an appearance by the 501st Legion featuring Star Wars costumes. More information available at 352-334-1270.

Windsor Zucchini Festival
May 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Windsor Fire Station, 1401 SE County Road 234

The 31st Annual Zukefest will feature food, arts, craft, kids activities and an auction. More info available at> or 352-372-4875.

A Celebration of Mothers and Endangered Species Awareness
May 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lubee Bat Conservancy

This family friendly event will feature endangered species talks, games for kids, kids crafts and bats. The Lubee Bat Conservancy is located at 1309 NW 192nd Avenue. More information available at or 352-485-1250.

Veterans for Peace Event for Poetry Contest Winners
May 9, 2 to 4 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville

Students will read their peace poems aloud, winners of the 2015 Peace Poetry Contest will be announced and scholarships will be awarded. Musical group, the Mourning Glories, will perform and refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. More information available at 352-373-3435.

A Taste of Gainesville
May 10, 5 to 9 p.m.
UF Hilton and Conference Center

The sixth annual event will feature food from local restaurants along with three chefs competing in Gainesville’s Iron Chef Competition judged by Food Network celebrities. Proceeds benefit Tyler’s Hope, the Child Advocacy Center and Pace Center for Girls. More information available at

Kindergarten Round-Up
May 13, 2 p.m.
Alachua County

Kindergarten registration will be available for children who will be five years of age on or before September 1st. Parents should report to their zoned school with the child’s birth certificate, proof of physical exam, immunization record, social security card and two different documents for proof of residence in the parent’s name. Registration for Duval, Lake Forest, Metcalfe, Rawlings, Shell and Waldo elementary schools will begin at 3 p.m. If you are not able to attend registration, you can still register after May 13. For more information call 352-955-7700.

Gainesville Promise Walk for Preeclampsia
May 16, 7:30 a.m.
Westside Park

Choose from a one or three mile route for this family and stroller friendly event. Proceeds from the walk will benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation and will fund research and education of this disease. More information available at or

2015 Ag Fest and Master Gardener Plant Sale
May 16, 8 a.m. to noon
UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Office
2800 NE 39th Avenue

The plant sale is a fundraiser for the Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteer Program. There will be thousands of plants at affordable prices and Master Gardener Volunteers will be on-site for selection and care advice. Choose from shade and sun loving plants, herbs, annuals, perennials, natives, and fruits. There will be information booths featuring livestock, beekeeping, rain barrels, free pH soil testing, raised-bed gardening, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and composting as well as presentations on growing fruit, bees and pesticides and cooking matters. No pets please. More information available at 352-955-2402.

Sweet Dreams Touch-A-Truck
May 16, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Northeast Complex at Citizens Field, corner of Waldo Road and SE 8th Avenue

The Sweet Dreams Foundation and Sweet Dreams Homemade Ice Cream present the 6th annual that allows children to get up close to large vehicles and allows them to climb into and/or on the trucks and speak with the operators. Smaller children are invited to quiet hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. so they can enjoy the vehicles without the noise of horns, sirens, bullhorns or PA systems. Attendees will be able to get up close to large vehicles have the opportunity to climb into and/or on vehicles and to talk with the operators. They will learn about the vehicles and pedestrian safety around large vehicles. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Camp Amigo! The Children’s Burn Camp of North Florida. More information available at

Annual Hog Roast to benefit Special Olympics
May 16, 12 to 4 p.m.
Gainesville Harley Davidson
4125 NW 97th Blvd.

The 14th annual Hog Roast will feature food, live music, raffles and prizes. More details available at 904-686-5189.

HPV Awareness Event
May 20, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Multi-Purpose Conference Room

Parents, guardians, physicians, health care workers and others interested in learning about HPV and reducing future cancer burden by vaccination are welcome to attend. Dinner will be served and space is limited. Reservation deadline is May 14. For more information contact Linda Koontz at 352-812-4378.

T. rex Named Sue Exhibit
Jan. 24 – Sept. 13
Florida Museum of Natural History

This bilingual exhibit presents the story of “Sue,” the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever unearthed. The exhibition was created by The Field Museum, Chicago. More information on exhibit hours at

Celebrate Adoption
Nov. 8, 1 to 4 p.m.
Tioga Town Center Playground
105 SW 128th Street

The Children’s Home Society will host this family friendly fun event in honor of National Adoption Month. The free event includes music, dancing, food, games and more. More information available at 352-334-0955.

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

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
Ongoing beginning Jan. 27
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.

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

Please note that not all submissions will be on-air due to time limitations.
All submissions will be included in this online listing.