A free October Festival for children with autism will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22 at Brown’s Grove Farm Market, 12255 U.S. 301, Parrish.
The event is planned to be “sensory-friendly” for autistic children, who can feel overwhelmed in noisy, crowded environments.
The festival will be easier for the children because “Number one, it will be just for them,” said Colleen Buccieri, founder and president of Face Autism.
That means the event will be smaller than other fall festivals that are open to the general public and therefore less likely to be overwhelming, said Buccieri.
“They can relax, and no one is going to judge them,” she said.
Face Autism is a Sarasota organization that provides support for families affected by autism. The group offers “sensory-friendly” outings, including to movies and skating rinks, along with autism screenings and parent support groups.
The fall festival will include a hayride, train ride, face painting, games, a sack race and more. Everything is free except for food, which will be available for purchase.
For more information, call 587-2525, visit www.face-autism.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooking demo will feature vegetarian dishes
BRADENTON -- Vegetarian cooking will be the star at a free seminar by chef Tim Schoonmaker at 11 a.m. Oct. 25 at Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., Bradenton.
The seminar is the fourth in a series of cooking demonstrations by Schoonmaker, who is the hospital’s director of food and nutrition.
Previous classes featured cooking with fresh herbs and using healthy oils.
“We’ve had a packed house of 40 to 50 people,” said Schoonmaker. “People are interested in improving their health.”
“Every time we’ve done something, what comes up is a lot of requests for a class on vegetarian cooking,” he said.
He promises that the demonstration won’t be “here’s a veggie burger,” but will feature instructions for more complex dishes, including a grilled tofu dish and protein salads.
Schoonmaker always likes to finish the seminars with a “wow dessert,” but hasn’t decided what it will be this time.
“Probably something fruity,” he said.
The seminar – “Enjoying Flavorful Vegetarian Cuisine” -- will be held in the hospital auditorium. Enrollment is limited to the first 50 reservations. Call 708-8100.
Happy hour to benefit breast cancer research
BRADENTON -- A “Tickled Pink Happy Hour” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton.
The “Power in Pink!” team from Manatee Memorial Hospital is hosting the event to raise money for the upcoming Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Sarasota.
So far, the “Power in Pink!” team has about 20 members. They will walk together in the Making Strides event.
Donna Allen, human resource manager for a food vending company at the hospital, is co-captain of the team along with co-captain Kathy Swann.
Their goal is to raise at least $5,000. So far,the women have held bake sales and collected money in the hospital cafeteria while wearing fancy pink bras (over their clothing) that are decorated with feathers, fringe, jewels, and pretty hair clips.
“We get a lot of attention,” said Allen.
The “Tickled Pink Happy Hour” will feature pink-drink specials, hors d’oeuvres, and drawings for prizes, which will include a cooking class for two with Pier 22 chef Greg Campbell, dinner for four, a pink breast cancer ribbon watch, and gift baskets.
The minimum donation cover charge is $5. For more information, call 745-6852.
YMCA offering activities for toddlers and parents
BRADENTON -- “Parents Morning Out” at the Bradenton Branch of the YMCA is for children ages 3 to 5 – and their parents who need a little kid-free time.
The YMCA Bradenton Branch is at 3805 59th St. W., Bradenton.
“This is an informal pre-school program. It’s great preparation for regular pre-school or kindergarten,” said Jennifer Haughey, program director at the Bradenton Branch Y.
Activities include arts and crafts, gym time, snack time, letters and numbers, and outdoor play.
“We promote physical activity – after all, we’re the YMCA,” said Haughey.
Classes are held 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and run through May.
Cost is $65 per month for YMCA members and $80 a month for non-members.
Children must be potty-trained to enter the program.
For more information, call Haughey at 792-7484 Ext. 120 or email email@example.com.
Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.