Community Calendar

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.

Community Update and Public Service Announcements are
available to non-profit organizations only.

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.

Community Weatherization Coalition Bi-Annual Energy Coach Training
March 22, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
March 29, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
April 1, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
United Church of Gainesville
1624 NW 5th Avenue

The Community Weatherization Coalition works to save money and resources for Alachua County neighbors. The organization works to lower utility bills and conserve water and energy. Volunteer Energy Coaches perform tune-ups and advise residents on their energy and water efficiency. More coaches are needed and participants must attend all three training sessions
More information is available on the Community Weatherization Coalition Facebook page,at or(352) 450-4965.

Gainesville Modern Sacred Spaces Tour
March 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Seven Mid-Century places of worship in Gainesville and High Springs

Gainesville Modern will host the first-ever Sacred Spaces Tour. The spaces are the works of architects Bob Broward, Gordonn Dirk, Jim McGinley, Albert Wynn Howell, Harry Merritt, Jack Moore and Lester May. There are two options for visiting the architect-designed buildings: a self-guided tour or a VIP bus tour. The self-guided tour allows visitors to determine which properties they will visit, in what order and set their own pace. Information will be provided about each architect and space on-site. The VIP bus tour which takes visitors to each location will start at 9:30 am. Space is limited. On the evening before the tour, March 24th, we will host a Drinks and Dwellings Party to kick-off the weekend at the “Butterfly House” owned by Jonathan Mills. This 1962 mid-century modern home was recently featured in Architectural Digest and was previously featured on our home tours. Enjoy drinks, food, and live music as we celebrate mid-century modern architecture. Money raised will help continue our efforts in providing National Register nominations for significant buildings and homes, support for Habitat for Humanity, internships for the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program, the UF’s Special Collections collaboration and Gainesville Modern Archive, and the City of Gainesville partnership on their recent survey of Mid-Century architecture. Tickets for the tour and the Drinks and Dwellings Party are available at

Community Fest
March 26, 2 p.m.
Howard Bishop Middle School
1901 NE 9th Street

The orchestra workshop is open to musicians of all levels and all ages. Following the workshop, participants will be part of a combined performance with the Star Center Theatre and the Caring and Sharing School. More information at

51st Annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival
April 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Santa Fe College Northwest Campus
3000 NW 83rd Street

The festival will return after a three-year hiatus in a new location – the northwest campus of Santa Fe College. It will spotlight stunning artists and artwork, foster emerging talent, as well as live Music, food trucks, and more. Information available at

Silver Springs State Park Photo Exhibit with Bonnie Halsell
April 1, 1 to 3 p.m.
Silver Springs State Park

The Friends of Silver Springs Park will host an exhibit of photos of animals that Bonnie Halsell has taken at the park in recent years. They will be on display in the lobby of the Welcome Center, located across from the Glass Bottom Boat Rides. More information available at or 352-275-9029.

Fore! the Kids, Chippin’ Away at Child Abuse Golf Tournament
April 8
Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida

Individuals and foursomes can compete in the charity competition. Events include longest drive, closest to the pin and hole in one competition. More information at

Film Premiere: “The Life of Oscar Mack/The Bridge of Freedom to Love”
April 13, 5 p.m.
Pugh Hall
296 Buckman Drive

Hybrid Zoom event:
For in-person register here:
The 1920s in Florida saw some of the most severe racial violence in the United States, in an era already known as the low-point for race relations. Two years after the Ocoee massacre, the bloodiest day in American political history, and one year before the destruction of Rosewood by a White mob, one Black man stood up to the Ku Klux Klan in Jim Crow Florida. Black WWI Veteran Oscar Mack received a federal appointment as Postmaster in Kissimmee, a job that would come at a price. The New York Tribune reported the lynching of a man by his name on July 18, 1922. What happened to Oscar Mack? One hundred years later, interviews with Mack’s descendents reveal the true story.

Samuel Proctor Oral History Program filmmaker Deborah Hendrix uses interviews with the descendants of Oscar Mack, and with the descendents of the White men that came after him, to reconstruct an astonishing series of events. The Life of Oscar Mack aims to reveal the truth and bring closure to everyone affected by the story. For information on live streaming the program, contact the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at 352-392-7168.

Bard & Broadside Poetry Festival
April 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
Open Mic Night at Harn Museum of Art
April 14, 7 to 9 p.m.
Poetry Workshop with local guest poet Alejandro Aguirre at Matheson History Museum
April 15, 3 to 5 p.m.
North Central Florida Youth Poet Laureate Commencement, 401 E. University Ave.
April 16, 1 to 3 p.m.
Poetry Workshop with special guest poet John Murillo, 401 E. University Ave.
April 16, 4 to 5 p.m; Poetry Reading, 401 E. University Ave.
The Bard & Broadside Poetry Festival features four days of art and poetry events for residents of North Central Florida. More information available a or

Sun Country Dance Theatre’s 15th Anniversary Spring Concert Featuring “Alice’s Adventures”
April 16, 2:30 p.m.
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
3201 Hull Road

Sun Country Dance Theatre (SCDT) is the resident non-profit performing company of Dance Sun Country at Sun Country Sports Center. The dance theatre is committed to its mission of providing invaluable arts opportunities for the youth of the community. Free tickets for children ages 11 and under will be available only at the box office. To celebrate this important anniversary, Artistic Director, Judy Benton, has selected several works from the company’s past seasons to re-stage for this year’s production, in addition to a diversity of newly choreographed works by guest choreographers. More information available at

Spring Plant Sale
April 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
18730 W Newberry Road

Dudley Farm Heritage Nursery has a great selection of “Heritage” plants. These come from the original gardens around the Dudley homestead, and are legacy plants from the past.There are also native plants which beautify your yard, while providing shelter and food for pollinators and other wildlife. They promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage. The park will also be open. More information at 352-472-1142.

Hernando Youth Orchestra is seeking interested young musicians
Sunday afternoons
Christ Lutheran Church
475 North Ave.

Musicians between the ages of 6 and 60 are welcome. The orchestra plays Mozart, the 3 Bs, and more. Students will earn community service hours. Register at or call 352-544-8105.

Spring Hill Timebank

Timebank brings people together to match needs with skills. People of all ages and all abilities can join. For every hour of work done for a member, the individual will receive one time credit to “buy” an hours worth of work from another member. For more information contact Andy at 727-517-1148 or

Donate Used Musical Instruments to the Hernando Youth Orchestra

The Orchestra is collecting used musical instruments for talented young musicians who can’t afford to buy or replace their own. Donations of unneeded instruments will be repaired if necessary before passing it on to a student. Call 352-600-9555 for more information or to make a donation. We’ll pick up your instrument and give you a tax deductible receipt. More information at

Nature Coast Community Services Foundation Provides Services to the Homeless

The Nature Coast Community Services Foundation is serving the homeless of Hernando with food, clothing, shoes, job, IDs, food stamps, spaying and neutering pets, transportation and more. Volunteers are needed. For more information call Ellen at 352-600-9555.

Online Griefshare Group
Covenant Presbyterian Church

Covenant Presbyterian Church is hosting a free, ongoing, online GriefShare group for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Call 352-332-0400 for more information, or visit to register.

Elder Options Referral Helpline

Elder Options is the Area Agency on Aging for sixteen counties here in North Central Florida (Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union). The agency oversees the efficient administration of home and community care programs and long term care services for elder Floridians. In partnership with lead agencies and local service providers, the agency serves thousands of frail, low-income seniors each year, providing home delivered meals (Meals on Wheels), personal care, transportation and other in-home services that help seniors to remain at home safely and with dignity and avoid or delay the need for more expensive nursing home care.

During this time of crisis many seniors are in need of food/meals and are scared and don’t know who to call. We have funding to provide services such as meals, shopping assistance, virtual support groups, and daily well-being calls for seniors, to name a few. Please direct any senior you find in need to our Elder Helpline for referral to resources.

Hernando Youth Orchestra needs young musicians, ages 6 to 18
Rehearsals are on Sundays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Heather Community Center
9100 Nakoma Way
Weeki Watchee

Hernando Youth Orchestra has resumed rehearsals and is recruiting new members. We need young musicians aged ages 6-18, and adult mentors to support them. HYO plays classical music and gives several concerts throughout the year.
You must be able to read music and play an instrument. Instruments are also available to loan to those in need. Sign up at or call 352-600-9555. If you have an instrument to donate, call and it will be picked for a tax deductible receipt.

Nature Coast Community Foundation (NCCSF) Bicycle Collection
Hernando County

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.

WhyHunger Hotline

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

Old Computers Needed
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines
Weeki Wachee

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.

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,

Books & Toiletries Needed for Homeless People
Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines
Weeki Wachee

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.