Community calendar: Oct. 4

October 4, 2013 


Email information to A list of ongoing classes is available at DEADLINE: Information must be received 10 days in advance of publication.


U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Open House: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Open House is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5 at G.T. Bray Park, 5801 33rd Ave. Ct. Dr. W., Bradenton. Learn what your local volunteer auxiliary does. There will be Auxiliary and Coast Guard boats, fun, games and food. Parking is free. Information 941-733-4123

Kitten foster parent and bottle-feeding: Become a foster parent or help with bottle-feeding orphaned kittens 11 a.m.-noon Oct. 19 at the Cat Depot, 2542 17th St., Sarasota. Information and reservations: 941-366-2404 or email

Leash walking cats: Leash walk our abandoned and adoptable cats noon-1 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Cat Depot, 2542 17th St., Sarasota. Information and reservations: 941-366-2404 or

New College of Florida "New Topics" Lectures: The 2013-14 New Topics New College series will feature speakers from the worlds of medial research, global finance, international affairs, women's rights, environmental conservation and rock and roll. The 6-program series, a collaboration of New College of Florida and the New College Foundation, will feature lectures on timely topics, followed by a question and answer session with the audience and a reception where guests can meet the speakers. The topics and speakers for this year are: "Journey into the Heart of Florida," with photographer Carlton Ward, Nov. 21; "Improving Brain Health: What Validated Science and Research Reveals," with Dr. Michael Mullan of the Roskamp Institute, Dec. 5; "Lessons learned from Rock-n-Roll," with music executive Tony Michaelides, Jan. 21; "A look at the Current Market," with Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, Feb. 6; "Our Bodies, Ourselves: Four and a Half Decades of Advancing Women's Health and Human Rights," with Judy Norsigian, author of "Our Bodies, Ourselves," Feb. 25, and "Contemporary Afghanistan," with David Staats, former U.S. Consul in Pakistan, March 19. All programs are at 5:30 p.m. in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion on New College's Caples Campus, 5313 Bay Shore Road. Tickets are $20 per event or $100 for the series. Reservations and information: 941-487-4888 or


Book release: Local author, B. F. Jochnowitz's book "A Polish Boy: The Youngest Partisan," a poignant memoir as seen through the eyes of a child is now available at Information:

Book release: Former Southeast High School teacher and frequent guest columnist for the Bradenton Herald Chip Ballard's fourth book, "Front Porch Ramble," is now available and may be purchased at most major bookstores, from RoseHeart Publishing or Autographed copies may be obtained from the author. Information: 863-448-6494 or

Sarasota Book Fair: Art Center Sarasota will host the annual Sarasota Book Fair 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 5 at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The literary festival showcases independent, self-published authors and illustrators of adults' and children's books. The event is held in conjunction with ABCBooks4Children.Inc. Admission to the event is free. Information: 941-365-2032.


Alzheimer's Association Walk: The Alzheimer's Association will host a 1.6 mile walk starting with registration at 9 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Riverwalk, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton, to raise awareness for Alzheimer's. Participants can enjoy local celebrities, entertainment and each walker will also join in a meaningful ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer's disease. Proceeds will provide and care and support to residents living with Alzheimer's, while also contributing to advancing critically needed research. Information: 941-365-8883 or

Dog Show "Top Dog": Dogs from across the Suncoast will gather with their owners to compete in a Westminster-like dog show spoof and vie for the honor of being named "Top Dog," beginning with registration at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Celebrity judges will determine the winner of the categories best kiss, owner look alike, best wag, sit-stay-whatever, best smart pet trick and best dressed. Guests can socialize with their dogs during Yappy Hour, followed the competition at 7 p.m., and enjoy fabulous food provided by various local restaurants. There will be an open bar. Tickets: $100. Proceeds will benefit Donte's Den Foundation. Information: 941-928-5572.

"Croptoberfest" : The Salvation Army will host a scrapbooking fundraiser, "Croptoberfest," 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 5 at 5328 24th St. E., Bradenton. This whole day of fun for scrapbookers will feature vendors, free make-and-takes, goodie bags, continental breakfast and lunch. Bring a snack to share. Pre-registration: $30, $35 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Salavation Army and its programs. Information: 941-755-3248 or email

Causeway 4 the Cause: The fourth annual Causeway 4 the Cause Run, Bike or Walk will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at Manatee Public Beach, Holmes Beach. Distances are 8 miles, 3 miles and 5 miles. Friendly dogs on a leash are allowed but will have to have updated vaccinations. Proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Organization. Information: 941-920-0935.

Dean Malliaras Charity Golf Tournament: Basil's Chicken and Ribs and the Hellenic Society of Manatee County will host the annual Dean Malliaras Charity Golf Tournament at 1 p.m., with registration at noon, Oct. 6 at IMG Golf and Country Club, 4350 El Conquistador Pkwy., Bradenton. The event features a 4-person scramble format, dinner, awards and prize drawings. Tickets: $100, includes green fees, cart, range balls and dinner. Information: 941-747-7972, email or

"Dine, Dance and Donate": Children's Miracle Network will be hosting "Dine, Dance and Donate," 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Fete Ballroom, Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, featuring a silent auction, food and live music by SoulRCoaster. Proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. Tickets: $25. Information: Marie Avery at 941-725-0911 or

"Grill and Chill Kickoff" Fundraiser: The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance members and area businesses will host the first annual "Grill and Chill Kickoff," 5 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Gold Coast Eagle Distributors, 7051 Wireless Ct., Sarasota. The event features tailgate games, fall beer tasting, hot dogs and hamburgers, a Gold Coast Eagle tour and a prize drawing. Tickets: $25 Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance members, $35 nonmembers or at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. Information: 941-757-1664 or

"Spay-ghetti with No Balls Dinner Dance": The No Kill Manatee Animal Network will host the second annual "Spay-ghetti with No Balls Dinner Dance" 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Manatee Central Banquet Hall, 509 Ninth St. E., Bradenton. The event features a cash bar with complimentary artisan cheese trays followed by a pasta buffet dinner and dance to music by DJ "JT". There will be a comedy show and a prize drawing. Tickets: $40 a person, $75 two persons. Information: 941-729-8631.

13th annual Empty Bowls benefit luncheon: The "Empty Bowls" luncheons to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 18 at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, and on Oct. 19 at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. For this casual luncheon, area restaurants, local businesses and talented potters all contribute to help fight hunger in Manatee County. Tickets are $25 each and include a unique ceramic bowl to keep, a selection of soups, fresh bread from Publix, and a Grandma's Goodies cookie. Empty Bowls is the primary fundraiser of the year for The Food Bank of Manatee and 100 percent of the proceeds stay local. The event is sponsored by Neal Communities, Michael Saunders & Company - Bradenton Office, The Mosaic Company, Walgreens, ABC 7, The Manatee Herald-Tribune, and Lakewood Ranch Communities. Tickets are $25 ($12 is tax-deductible), $10 children (age 12 and younger) and may be purchased online at, by calling 941-749-0100, or at the door. Renaissance on 9th is at 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar's "Shoeless Shindig": The Anna Maria Oyster bar will throw its newest funraising bash, the Shoeless Shindig 5:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Paradise Point, 102 48th Ave., Holmes Beach. Guests will be treated to themed food stations with wine pairings, bourbon tasting, a Patron tent, cigar bar, live music by Kettle of Fish, a full bar, midway games, a glow-in-the-dark sand trap contest, prize drawings and more. Tickets: $100. Proceeds will benefit the Manatee Education Foundation, the PACE Center for Girls and the University of South Florida, School of Hospitality and Technology scholarships. Information: 941-761-7797.

2013 Dog Olympics and Adopt-A-Thon: The 2013 Dog Olympics and Adopt-A-Thon will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 19 at Bayside Pet Resort, 8154 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. This fun family event will be focusing on finding fur-ever homes for cats and dogs from local rescue groups and animal shelters. Dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes are invited to participate in fun, non-athletic competitions. The event will feature the following Olympic Games and contests: shedding, pie eating for large and for small dogs, howling, leave it, smallest dog, longest tail, roll over Rover, best trick, look-alike, and an inspired costume contest. There will be pet-related vendor booths, a cooling corner, and dog and cat adoptions. Admission is free. Registration per game: $3, $15 for unlimited Olympic Games. Information: 941-747-8808, ext. 310 or

Safe Sex Halloween Bash "Studio 13: The Undead Disco": Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida will present its fifth annual Safe Sex Halloween Bash, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Oct. 25 at Michael's on East, 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota. Groove the night away amidst a sea of glitter and glamour at this freakishly gorgeous party featuring tantalizing nighttime nibbles, open bar, surprise entertainment, 70s swagger, a costume contest, and music by DJ Imminent. Tickets: $85 in advance, $100 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the sexual health and prevention education programs. Information: 941-365-3913, ext. 1124 or

"Doctor Idol": The Sarasota Orthopedic Associates will host a "Doctor Idol" competition, a continuation of the popular battle of the bands featuring Sarasota-Manatee musician/physicians, 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Hyatt Regency, 1000 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota. Attendees in costume dressed as a music legend will be automatically entered into a grand prize drawing. Tickets: $25, includes light bites and a cash bar. Proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County. Information: 941-487-1140 or

Cancer benefit: A cancer benefit for Sgt. Sean Courtney, a local U.S. Marine Sergeant and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, will be 2-8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Straggler's Bar, 5580 Swift Road, Sarasota. The event features a live auction, prize drawings, food and live music by Kettle of Fish. Bikers and the general public are invited. Information: Sara Brubaker at

"Images of Caring" Awards Dinner: The Manatee County Rural Health Services Foundation will hold "Images of Caring," its annual awards dinner, 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Palmetto. The event will highlight Dr. Angus Woodward Graham Jr. as he is bestowed with the Senator Edgar H. Price Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets: $100. Proceeds will benefit the Manatee County Rural Health Services Foundation. Information: 941-776-4017.

Legacy of Valor Celebration Luncheon: The Junior Leagues of Sarasota and Manatee Counties will host the Legacy of Valor Celebration Luncheon 11 a.m. Nov. 7 at Dolphin Aviation, 8191 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The event is part of the Legacy of Valor Campaign, which honors the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families and provides information about programs specifically designed to help veterans in the Southwest Florida region. Keynote speaker will be Keni Thomas, a decorated combat veteran of the elite 75th U.S. Army Ranger Rgt. special operations unit. Tickets: $40. Information: 612-280-5800 or

"High Tide at High Noon": The annual Planned Parenthood fall fashion show luncheon "High Tide at High Noon," will be at noon Nov. 18 at the Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. The event features resort style fashion from various local merchants and a variety of fresh fare at delicious food stations. Tickets: $65. All proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood programs. Information: 941-365-3913 or


Prospect Riding Center: Prospect Riding Center, a non-profit organization that offers therapeutic and recreation directed equine activities for enhanced well being to those with special needs, is seeking volunteers to assist with students in the arena and with barn activities. Volunteers are needed to help with administrative duties including fund-raising and other computer generated assignments. Volunteers are also needed for monthly workdays at the ranch and for fund-raising events through out the year. Prospect Riding Center is at 34250 State Road 70 E., Myakka City. Information: 941-713-1736.

Graphic design volunteer opportunity: Turning Points, 701 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, is looking for a volunteer with graphic design experience who can offer several hours of graphic design assistance on two projects. Turning Points is a non-profit organization that provides, coordinates, and facilitates services to the homeless and those at risk of being homeless in Manatee County. Information: Cheryl Hedger, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-747-1509 or email

Manatee County Agricultural Museum: The Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 1015 Sixth St. W., Palmetto, has several volunteer opportunities available at the museum or as work at home. Duties include preparing mailings, manning the front desk, historical research, data entry, assisting at special events or elementary school programs, craft and materials preparation, gardening and yard work, restoration of tools and equipment, and carpentry. For more information call Cindy Keck, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-721-2034.

Humane Society Lakewood Ranch: The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 7334 Trade Court, Lakewood Ranch, is looking for volunteers in several areas of its organization. Volunteer positions are available in their dog and cat care facilities. Dog care positions are for four separate shifts a day and consist of walking dogs, feeding and socializing. The duties of the cat care positions are for two separate shifts and consist of feeding the cats and cleaning their rooms. There is also a need for consignment shop sales people, desk help and off-site adoptions. For information, call 941-361-1071 or email

Volunteer drivers and yarn needed: Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee is requesting yarn donations and volunteer drivers. Yarn donations are needed for volunteers who knit or crochet lap blankets and slippers, which are distributed to needy seniors in Manatee County. Any and all yarn is appreciated. Donations can be dropped off at 811 23rd Ave. E., Bradenton. Volunteer drivers are needed to help deliver hot meals to homebound seniors. Time requirement for delivering meals is approximately 1-1.5 hours, 1-5 days per week. Meals are prepared at 811 23rd Ave. E., Bradenton and delivered by volunteers between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Information: 941-747-4655 or

Parent aides: Family Partnership Center, a local agency that gives support to families before crises emerge, ensuring that children can enjoy their right to grow up in a healthy and happy home, seeks parent aide volunteers. The parent aide visits an overwhelmed family one hour, once a week on Monday-Saturday mornings, afternoons or evenings. The volunteer teaches parents effective discipline, age appropriate behavior, and anger and stress management. The position requires a one-year commitment. Volunteers will serve both English and Spanish speaking families in the center's in-home parenting education program. Schedules are flexible, and a 1-hour orientation and a 20-hour training session are required. Volunteers will work under ongoing supervision. Information: 941-756-3007.

Turning Points: The organization formerly known as The Community Coalition on Homelessness, at 701 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, is looking for Spanish bilingual volunteers for positions in the open door intake, reception center, computer lab, and medical and dental program. To volunteer, obtain more information, or schedule a tour of the facility, contact Cheryl Hedger, volunteer coordinator, at 941-747-1509 or email

Senior Enrichment Center: The Senior Enrichment Center at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, is looking for volunteer instructors to enhance their offerings for the over-50 group. The SEC is the premier gathering place for active seniors in Manatee County with regularly scheduled classes, activities and special events. Volunteers are needed to lead classes in fitness, arts and crafts, foreign language, photography, woodworking, painting, watercolor, etc. Information: 941-749-0100.

Volunteer mentors: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast needs volunteers to mentor children ages 6-18 in Manatee County. There are 38 youth ready to be matched, of which 35 are boys and three are girls. Many options are available to mentors, such as the Bigs-in-School Program, where the volunteer/mentor meets with the student in school for one hour a week, or the traditional community-based program, where the volunteer/mentor meets with the child outside of school. Information: 941-746-7000 or

Master Gardening program: The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service is accepting applications from members of the community who are interested in joining the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program. Requirements are an interest in learning about gardening and horticulture, time to attend the intensive training course and study many areas of horticulture, and a willingness to share what you learn with others. Applicants can download an application from and click on the Master Gardener Program link or call 941-722-4524.

Free tutoring program: Support A Child offers free tutoring, open to children and adults, to focus on core math and reading skills. The primary objective of this program is to raise a child's self-esteem by providing the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school and in life. Adult programming focuses on English as a second language and GED fulfillment. Coursework is designed to address disengaged learners and others who are not reaching their potential. Information: 941-773-6676 or 941-301-1055 or email

Habitat for Humanity: Manatee Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers who are able to donate time 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks and projects geared at eradicating substandard housing. Volunteers do not need previous construction experience. Information: Ogden Clark at 941-748-9100, ext. 104, or email


Creative Writing classes: Creative Writing classes are offered 12:30-2 p.m. Oct. 2 and the first Wednesday of every month at South Manatee Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton. Anyone with a desire to write are invited to attend and are encouraged to bring something they wrote to read at each class. Classes are taught by Dr. Maggie Stanton, author and environmental chemist. Information: 941-755-3892.

Joyful Noise After School Music Camp: Joyful Noise is a free After School Music Camp for community kids in Kindergarten through 5th Grade and will be 3:15-4 p.m. Wednesdays at Roser Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Van transportation from Anna Maria Elementary School is provided. The Joyful Noise Hand Bell Choir for grades 4 and 5 meets 4:15-5 p.m. Wednesdays. If there is early dismissal students will be met from 1:30-2:15 p.m. and 2:30-3:15 p.m. Performances scheduled are Nov. 24 "A Love Feast," and Dec. 24 "Christmas Eve." A brochure with the enrollment and van transportation form that need to be completed prior to attending is posted at or on Facebook at www.facebook/roserchurch. Information: 941-778-0414.

Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service: The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service offers the following variety of educational classes:

Cooking with herbs, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 1.

• Florida Master Naturalist Program, 1 40-hour Freshwater wetlands module, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9, 16, 23 and Nov. 6 and 13.

• Extension Master Gardener Plant ID Tour, Robinson Preserve, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 6.

• Lowdown on lawn irrigation, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

• Introduction to Florida-friendly landscaping, 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

• Extension Master Gardener Plant ID Tour, Riverview Pointe Preserve, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 12.

• Growing in small places, container gardening workshop, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 15 at South Manatee Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton.

"What is that ugly pipe in my yard?" 6-10 a.m. Oct. 17.

• Extension Master Gardener Plant ID Tour, Emerson Point Preserve, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 19.

• Master Gardener educational and demonstration gardens open house, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 26.

Unless otherwise noted, all classes are free and are at the Manatee Agriculture and Extension Service, 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto. Minimum workshop size is required and workshop size is limited. Registration for all classes and workshops is required. Information : 941-722-4524 or

Project Appleseed Rifle Marksmanship Clinic: The Revolutionary War Veterans Association offer the Project Appleseed rifle marksmanship clinic 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12-13, with registration starting at 8 a.m., at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club, 1805 Logue Road, Myakka City. Participants are taught fundamental rifle marksmanship skills that are to allow a rifleman to be accurate out to 400 yards, with iron sights, a standard rifle, and surplus ammunition. Most of the instruction is conducted on the firing range at 25 yards, at reduced size targets to simulate 100-400 yards. Students will learn safe gun handling, proper use of a rifle sling, and Revolutionary War history. Bring you own ear/eye protection, a rifle with sling, ammunition, rifle mat, bug repellent, hat, sunscreen, a packed lunch, snacks, drinks, and plenty of water. A .22 caliber rifle is recommended due to the cost of ammunition. The use of a centerfire rifle is allowed. About 250 rounds of ammunition will be needed per day. Clinic fees: adult males $50 one day, $80 two days; adult females $20 one day, $40 two days. Youth, ages 17 or younger $10 one day, $20 two days, or one youth admitted free per paying adults, male or female. Revolutionary re-enactors in costume are admitted free. Additional club range fees: $15 per day a person. Information: 904-424-3855 or email


AARP Driver safety classes: Driver Safety Classes for Manatee County are held monthly at various locations including the public libraries. This is a state-approved safety class and the certificate you receive is good for three years with your insurance company. Cost: $12 AARP members, $14 nonmembers. The class is open to anyone age 50 and older. For registration, full schedules and locations call Pat between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Friday at 941-746-2787.

ArtCenter Manatee: ArtCenter Manatee offers classes and workshops at 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. For full class and workshop schedules, call 941-746-2862 or visit

Concealed weapons classes: Self Defense Firearms and Hobbies will offer Concealed Weapons Classes at 421 Ninth Ave. W., Palmetto. For a full schedule of classes and cost, call 941-840-1327.

Dancing Through the Years Adult Ballet Classes: Adult ballet classes, all levels, including pointe, will be held Saturdays and Mondays, at Bradenton Dance & Performing Arts Center, 2726 Sixth Ave. W., Bradenton, and Fridays and Wednesdays at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria Island. Classes are $10-$12. All classes at both locations are accepting beginning level students for both the Ballet Booth Camp class and Bare Bones class, now. Age range is 18-65. For a complete schedule, hours and location, call 941-779-1108 or 941-758-5270.

Etiquette and music classes: Allegro Music Academy offers Etiquette classes for all ages. Classes are ongoing and are taught by certified and licensed instructors. Topics covered include manners, making introductions, polite conversations, telephone manners, successful job and college interviews, speaking to adults, dress codes for different occasions, 62 table manners, and much more. The academy also offers private music lessons for all ages on all instruments and voice. Group lessons available on violin, guitar, voice, wind instruments and percussion. The Allegro Music Academy is at 241 Whitfield Ave. in south Manatee County. Information: 941-358-8511.

G.T. Bray Recreation Center: G.T. Bray Recreation Center offers the following classes at 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton: Yoga, Yoga-lates for women, and Yoga for Tennis, Pilates, Butts N' Guts, Spin, Boot Camp, Recess, Water Aerobics, Body Sculpt and Sculpt and Burn, Strength and Length, Zumba, Ballroom Dance, and Tennis Stretch. Some classes require memberships. Classes are $5 for nonmembers, excludes spin classes on Wednesdays. For a full schedule of classes, hours and prices, call 941-742-5923. ext. 6086.

Jazzercise: Jazzercise classes are held 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 8:15 a.m. Saturdays at the Palmetto Boys and Girls Club, 1600 10th St. W., Palmetto. Information: Kathy Matthews at 941-720-8981 or email

Palmetto Art Center: Palmetto Art Center offers art and fitness classes at 907 Fifth St. W., Palmetto, including ceramic art classes, homeschool art classes, and art after school, Zumba, tai chi, aerial yoga, Breath and Body and more. For a full schedule of classes, hours, and prices, call 941-518-2109.

Play classes: Forty Carrots Family Centers will offer the popular free play class "Partners in Play," 9:30-10:15 a.m. Fridays at Manatee County Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd., Bradenton, and 11:15 a.m.-noon Fridays at the Braden River Branch Library, 4915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. Families with children ages 1-5 years old can play and learn together, and the class features "play stations" proven to foster fun, growth and development. While families play together, experienced parenting educators join in and are available to answer questions or help solve problems about issues such as discipline, sleep patterns or sibling rivalry with parents. The class concludes with a musical circle time for all. No preregistration is required and up to 12 families can participate weekly on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is available at

Writer's Workshop: State College of Florida offers free weekly writer's workshops throughout the year 2-4 p.m. Mondays at 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton, Room 139, Science Building, Bradenton. Bring fiction, memoirs, non-fiction, novels, children's stories, picture books, poetry, prose, paranormal, mystery, science fiction, editorials, and technical writings. Instant critiquing by a group of many published author and former REAP (Recognized Educators and Professionals). The workshops are free and open to the public. Information: John Garzone at 941-753-8680.

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