Community Calendar

Community Calendar is brought to you by:

“Studying Racist Activists: What Can Be Learned and What Cannot”
March 27, 5:30 p.m.
Ustler Hall, UF Campus

Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Pittsburgh will give a free presentation on March 27 at 5:30 p.m. Blee has spent decades observing and interviewing those in America’s racist underground. This presentation is the sixth in the series “Civil Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue” and is organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere.

MASS Visual Arts Fourth Annual Exhibition
March 28-April 6
20 N. Main Street

The fourth annual art exhibition will feature more than 100 pieces by 60 artists. The opening reception will be March 28 from 6 to 10 pm. at the Wooly in conjunction with Gainesville Artwalk. More information available by emailing

Lawn and Garden Fest
March 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
UF Campus Soil Testing Lab

UF IFAS science experts will be available to discuss your lawn and garden need on March 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Soil Testing Lab at the corner of Hull Road and Mowry Road. The event includes on free soil pH test per participant.

Fallen Heroes 5K
March 29, 9 a.m.
UF Commuter Parking Lot

The Gainesville Fisher House Foundation will host the Fallen Heroes 5K on March 29 at 9 a.m. The race begins at the UF Commuter Parking Lot on Gale Lemerand Drive. All proceeds benefit the Gainesville Fisher House which lodges and supports veterans and their families who are have medical work done at the VA hospital. More information available at 407-739-2290.

A Prescribed Fire Awareness Festival
March 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Paynes Prairie Visitor Center

This festival includes hand-on demos, a scavenger hunt, hayride, fire equipment demonstrations, displays, movies, activities and more. Visitors will also receive a Fire Fest passport to be stamped as they explore various “fire stations” throughout the park, and learn about the importance of prescribed fire to Florida’s ecosystems. More info at or 352-466-4100.

Suwannee River Paddling Festival
April 4-6
Suwannee River State Park

The second annual festival presented by Paddle Florida will be April 4-6 at Suwannee River State Park. There will be paddling trips on the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers, a Friday night Water Expo, Saturday night concert, camping, hiking, an evening ghost tour, and real-Florida fun. More information available at

Gator Clot Trot for Bleeding Disorders
April 5, 9 a.m.
West Side Park

The Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida will host the Gator Clot Trot for Bleeding Disorders on April 5 at 9 p.m. at Westside Park in Gainesville. To participate or volunteer call 800-293-6527, ext. 103.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida 32rd Annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake
April 6, 3 to 7 p.m.
Splitz Bowling Center
1301 NW 76th Blvd.

Businesses, organizations, families and students participate in teams to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida. All proceeds will go toward matching children to volunteers on their waiting list. The event will be at the Splitz Bowling Center from 3 to 7 p.m. on April 6. More information at

3rd Wing Bowl for the Child Advocacy Center
April 8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Splitz Bowling Center

The Wing Bowl will feature 12 contestants eating chicken wings. Proceeds benefit abused and neglected children served by the Child Advocacy Center. More information at

Oral History Workshop
April 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) will facilitate an oral history workshop for the public. Dr.Paul Ortiz, UF history professor and vice president of the Oral History Association, will lead the workshop along with SPOHP staff. Participants will gain new skills, learn from professionals and network with other scholars in the field. For more information call 352-392-7168 or e-mail

Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build 7th Annual Luncheon
April 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Holy Trinity Church Parish Hall

”Building Women” is the theme of the 7th annual luncheon for Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build. This year’s event honors Maureen Johnson, Paige Parkhill and Rachel Roy with keynote speaker Dot Maver, Executive Director of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding The event will be held at Holy Trinity Church Parish Hall at 100 NE 1st Street. More info at

Neutral Sounds Benefit Concert
April 11, 5 pm.
The Jam, 817 W University Ave.

A concert to benefit We Are Neutral, a Gainesville organization providing locally generated, community minded carbon offsets, will be on April 5 beginning at 5 p.m. Performers include Ricky Kendall, Nook & Cranny, The Hard Luck Society, Wax Wings and Fea, Mariama and Dru. More information on the organization and tickets is available at

Alligator Lake Spring Festival
April 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Alligator Lake Park
Lake City

Four Rivers Audubon will host the fifth annual festival at Alligator Lake Park on April 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be bird walks and other nature-related events, vendor food and music. For more information contact Valerie Thomas at 386-466-2193.

Gainesville Chapter of the Links, Inc. Luncheon and Hat Fashion Show
April 12, 11:30 a.m.
UF Hilton

The Gainesville Chapter of the Links, Inc. Luncheon and Hat Fashion Show will be on April 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the UF Hilton. Community leaders in the arts, services to youth, international trends and services and health will be honored during the fundraising event. The Gainesville Chapter of the Links, is part of the national organization of 12,000 women who give service hours to the community. More information at 352-505-0572.

No Fault Insurance Seminar
April 14, 6 p.m.
Downtown Gainesville Library

The Alachua County Headquarters Library in downtown Gainesville presents “An A to Z Guide on Flroida’s ‘No Fault’ Insurance Law” on April 14 at 6 p.m. A. Daniel Vazquez, Esq. will simplify the complicated automobile insurance system. More information at

Messianic Passover Seder Presentation
April 15, 6 p.m.
Morriston Baptist Church

The Morriston Baptist Church, at 3141 SE Hwy 41 in Levy County, will be host a Messianic Passover Seder on Tuesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to public and a full Kosher meal will be served. RSVPs are required by April 13. For more information and directions call 352-528-4080.

LGAA 5K and Corporate Charity Team Challenge
April 16, 5 p.m.
Ironwood Golf Course

Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association (LGAA) will host a 5K and Corporate Charity Team Challenge on April 16. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Proceeds benefit the LGAA community grant program and team winners can win money for the charity of their choice. More information at

The Red Silk Thread: An Epic Tale of Marco Polo
April 17 & 19
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

This will be the world premiere of a new multimedia opera coordinated by the UF College of Fine Arts featuring the UF Opera Theatre and UF Symphony Orchestra with additional performances by the UF Concert Choir and UF Dance students. Several acclaimed professional artists will also perform. More information at 352-392-ARTS(2787).

Easter Eggstravaganza
April 19, 10 a.m. to noon
Crossroads Church

There will be 15,000 eggs up for grab at the Easter Eggstravaganza. The event, for kids from 2 to 12 years of age, will also have food, bounce houses and prizes. Crossroads Church is located at 8070 SW 60th Ave in Ocala. More information at or 352-291-2080.

“Dancin’ thru the Decades” Red Cross Benefit
April 26, 6 to 10 p.m.
Gainesville Regional Airport

A 1940s/WWII-themed extravaganza will take place in the atmospheric WWII hangar at University Air Center. There will be music, food and a live and silent auction. More information available at 352-376-4669.

Gainesville Bromeliad Society Workshop
April 27, 2 to 4:30 p.m.
UF Entomology Building

Grow Beautiful Bromeliads in your garden and home. There will be a free workshop on Sunday, April 27 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. by the members of the Gainesville Bromeliad Society. The workshop includes tips on growing and potting materials, how to design a gardenful of bromeliads, what plants are cold hardy and much more. Various bromeliads will be available for purchase. The event will be in the UF Entomology Building – Steinmetz Hall – at 1881 Natural Area Drive in Gainesville. More information at (352) 682-7377 or online at

Life is a Highway Exhibit
April 29 – August 17
Harn Museum of Art

Enjoy an exhibition exploring Japan’s Tokaido Road through woodblock prints. More than 100 woodblock prints will depict the history of this road – the most traveled route in pre-WWII Japan. More information at

Alachua County Crime Stoppers Night at Zaxby’s
May 6, 5 to 8 p.m.

Gainesville area Zaxby’s restaurants will donate 10 percent of all sales from 5 to 8 p.m. to Alachua County Crime Stoppers. More information at

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 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.

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