Around The Town

February 8, 2024 at 2:48 p.m.
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Updated January 25, 2024 at 12:05 p.m.


LBHS Manta Market
The Manta Market at Lemon Bay High School is back on Saturday, February 10 from 9am to 2pm at 2201 Placida Road. Over 80 area vendors participate in this monthly open-air market with plenty of free parking. There is something for everyone from artisanal foods, jewelry, home décor, arts & crafts, to beauty & health goods, pottery and food booths. Facebook page: LBHSMantaMarket.



On Sunday, February 11th, The Brown Family Singers will be in concert at Fellowship Church Worship Center, located at 140 Rotonda Blvd. West in Rotonda, for two free concerts at 8:30am & 10:30am. The Browns have a blended Bluegrass & Southern Gospel style with amazing fiddle playing skills. Complimentary refreshments will be served at 9:45am at the Fellowship Hospitality Cafe & free childcare is provided. For more information, please call 941•475•7447 or log on to fcenglewood.com. All are welcome.



MBC Monday Lectures Series
This year’s Manasota Beach Club’s (MBC) Monday Lecture Series, “Gulf Coast Ecology and Historic Preservation”, features the following speakers for the next three lectures: Monday, February 12th, join MBC owner Sydney (Buffy) Crampton, along with Steve Avdakov, Heritage Architecture, and Charles Jordan, Construction Engineer, for MBC on the National Historic Register: What It Means. This will be followed by a walkabout tour of the grounds. Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Ph.D., will speak on Restoring Coastal Ecosystems on Monday, February 19th. He serves as a board member and advisor to Sarasota Bay Watch. If you are interested in Gulf Coast ecology, especially coastal wildlife and shellfish restoration, you will want to hear this. On Monday, February 26, hear Jack Davis, Ph.D., UF History Professor, present Us and Gulf of Mexico: History, Wisdom and Hope. His book, The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in history and the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction. Lunch & lectures are noon to 1:30pm and are $35 nonmembers and $30 Beach Club members. Reservations are required by calling 941•474•2614 or at manasotabeachclub.com/Monday-lecture. MBC is located at 7660 Manasota Key Road. 

Bag O’ Books Sale
The Friends of the Englewood Charlotte Library will be sponsoring a “Bag O’ Books Sale”, Monday through Saturday, February 12-17, in the bookstore located within the library at 3450 N. Access Road. Hours of the sale will be from 10am to 4pm, Monday thru Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday. Hundreds of books will be available, including fiction, non-fiction, and best-selling authors, for those choosing to purchase and fill a bag for $5. Also, a sale will be running on paperback books for 6 for $1.

Health and Wellness Fair
Brookdale Rotonda Senior Living is hosting a Health and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, February 13, 10am to 2pm, at their facility located at 550 Rotonda Blvd. West. This free event is open to the community to learn and ask questions about senior health. Scheduled participants include an ophthalmologist, skin screening by a dermatologist, hearing tests by an audiologist, IV hydration nurse, Encompass Health Rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s Association, a funeral preplanner, Englewood YMCA, and many more offering educational materials and interactive presentations. There will also be tours of Brookdale Rotonda. A hot lunch will be available for purchase and opportunities to purchase tickets for silent auction and raffle items. For questions, call 941•698•1198.

Florida Scrub Jays in Charlotte County
All are invited to attend a free lecture, Florida Scrub Jays in Charlotte County, on Tuesday, February 13, 10:30 to noon, at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road. Kalvin Bernard will talk about this special endemic species, discuss why it is important to protect this species, and why the Charlotte County Habitat Conservation Plan is innovative & beneficial to citizens of this county. Register online at checflorida.org or call 941•475•0769.

Health in Motion Bus
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County Health in Motion staff will be on-site to provide no-cost health screenings and referrals for general health and wellness on Tuesday, February 13, noon to 4pm, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. Nursing staff will help individuals who lack medical insurance find a medical home for ongoing health care through referrals to the Community Health Centers of Sarasota County. No appointments needed. The bus will be located in the west parking lot. Wellness staff will also be available in the front lobby of the library. For questions, contact Cathy Jones at 941•861•2873.

Ashes to Go
Don’t have time for a formal church service on Ash Wednesday? Then visit Gulf Cove United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 14, between 7 and 9am, where you can drive through for Ashes to Go and free coffee. If you do have time in the evening, you are welcome to attend the traditional Ash Wednesday service at 5pm. Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Road (Route 776) in the Gulf Cove area of Port Charlotte. For more information, contact the church at 941•697•1747 or [email protected].

Cooking with Chef Warren
Chef Warren will be back at the Englewood Charlotte Library for another cooking demonstration on Wednesday, February 14, 2 to 3pm. This month’s presentation will be The Perfect Valentine Day Celebration with tasty samples for all. This free program is held in the Tringali Community Center, 3460 N. Access Road, and sponsored by the Friends of the Englewood Charlotte Library. For more information, call the library at 941•681•3736

Say “I Do” Again
Celebrate a renewal of wedding vows on Wednesday, February 14th at sunset on beautiful Siesta Beach (948 Beach Road, Sarasota) or Nokomis Beach (201 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis). The event includes a commemorative certificate and gift, a flower, music on the beach and light refreshments. Both events begin with check-in at 4:30pm and activities begin at 5pm. The non-denominational service begins promptly at 6pm. Register in advance by 5pm, Friday, February 9. Cost is $15 per couple in advance, $25 on-site, day of event. For more information or to register, call 941•861•7275 or visit online at bit.ly/sidareg.

Movie in the Park
Enjoy a free movie under the stars at Centennial Park in Venice on Wednesday, February 14, 6 to 8pm. This month’s family-friendly movie is Beauty and the Beast. Bring your own seating. The movie series is held on the second Wednesday of the month through April. Centennial Park is located at 200 W. Venice Avenue, Venice. For more information, visit visitvenicefl.org.

Holocaust Remembrance Event
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Chabad of Venice will host a special event featuring Holocaust survivor Irene Zisblatt on Thursday, February 15 at 10:30am at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Avenue South, Venice. Born in Polyana, Ukraine in 1929, Irene Zisblatt experienced the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust firsthand. At just 14 years old, she was taken to Auschwitz, enduring not only the extreme cruelty of the camp but also the infamous experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele. She is most well known for her autobiography, The Fifth Diamond, and her experiences were highlighted in the Academy Award-winning documentary The Last Days by Steven Spielberg. In addition, there will be a solo performance by internationally renowned violinist Vladimir Tsypin, playing from the ballad of Schindler’s List on his melodic sixteenth-century violin. Doors open at 10am. Ticket prices are $18 to $36 and are available at chabadofvenice.com/tickets. For additional details, please contact 941•493•2770.

Tarpon Springs Greek Spongers
Learn about the Greek Spongers of Tarpon Springs in a program on Thursday, February 15, 2 to 3pm, at the Englewood Charlotte Library, 3450 N. Access Road. Join Panayotis (Paddy) League, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Director of the Center for Music of the Americas, for Golden Harvest: The Music and Traditions of the Greek Spongers of Tarpon Springs, an exploration of the rich cultural history of Tarpon Springs through its music, including live performances on violin, lute, goatskin bagpipes and songs in Greek and English. Free. First come, first served seating. For questions, call 941•681•3736.

Life Enrichment Workshop
The Women’s Resource Center presents You Are Worthy, an eight-week series moderated by Chris Florand and Denise Whalin. This in-person series is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s life enrichment programs. The program meets every Thursday from 6 to 8pm, February 15 through April 11. The course is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRC’s Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Avenue. To register, please call 941•256•9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy.

Meet Carrie Chapman Catt
Friends of the Englewood Charlotte Library invite you to a special program on Monday, February 26 at 2pm in the Tringali Community Center, 3460 N. Access Road. Kathryn Chesley will portray Carrie Chapman Catt who was a leader in the fight for women’s right to vote. Attendees will enjoy the inspiring story of the President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and it was Carrie’s work which got the last state to vote and pass the amendment. This event is free, and seating is first come, first served.

Family Movie Night
Gulf Cove United Methodist Church invites you and your family to a free showing of … the movie will be a surprise! It will be shown on Friday, February 16 at 6pm inside the church. Bring your own snacks and drinks. Free popcorn will be available. Please, no drop-offs. Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Road, in the Gulf Cove area of Port Charlotte. The church can be reached at 941•697•1747 or [email protected].

Circus Sarasota
Circus Sarasota is back with an all-new show, February 16 through March 10 at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring artistry from around the world. Performers include the Flying Tabares, Anton Monastyrsky, Bello Sisters, Caleb Cartinci, Elan Espana, Duo Minaov, and Wheel of Destiny. Evening performances start at 7pm with weekend matinees available. Tickets are $30-$80. Purchase tickets at circusarts.org or call 941•355•9805.

Englewood Boat Show
Harborside Marine Sales is hosting a boat show on Saturday, February 17, 8am to 5pm, at their location, 2200 Placida Road. There will be over 100 new and used boats to choose from: tri-toons, bay boats, offshore, deck boats, hybrid, skiffs, and cabin boats. Free admission. Door prizes. For questions, call 941•460•8658.

Spring Veggies Garden Workshop
A spring vegetable gardening workshop is scheduled from 9am to noon on Saturday, February 17 at Centennial Park Recreation Center, 1120 Centennial Blvd., Port Charlotte. This program is sponsored by UF/IFAS Extension Charlotte County. The workshop will cover the basics of vegetable gardening, pest and diseases. There is a $5 fee to cover the cost of materials. Register on Eventbrite at https://svgw24.eventbrite.com or contact Holly Bates at 941•764•4340 or [email protected] 

K of C Pasta Dinner
All are invited to enjoy a Pasta Dinner on Saturday, February 17, 5 to 7pm, at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, 770 Kilbourne Avenue. The dinner is hosted by the Knights of Columbus. 50/50 raffle. Advance tickets are $13 in the church office and $15 at the door. Take-outs are available. For more information, call the church at 941•474•9595.

Craft & Bake Sale
St. Raphael’s Council of Catholic Women will be holding a craft and bake sale during Pasta Night on Saturday, February 17 at the church located at 770 Kilbourne Avenue. The sale runs from 5 to 7pm. Shop for gifts or yourself and take home some homemade baked goods for your sweet tooth. For more information, call the church at 941•474•9595.

Jewish Food Festival
Enjoy entertainment, Jewish food, vendor booths, a jewelry sale, and raffle at the Jewish Food Festival on Sunday, February 18, 10am to 3pm, at the Jewish Congregation of Venice, 600 N. Auburn Road, Venice. Join the many people who come for traditional Jewish food such as corned beef or pastrami sandwiches, knishes, stuffed cabbage, chopped liver, matzo balls, soups, pastries, and much more. Free admission and parking. Park at the synagogue or off site at Achieva Credit Union (1485 E. Venice Avenue) and take the free shuttle. For more information, visit jewishcongregationofvenice.org.

Car & Art Concours de Caractère
Join Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens for an unique event celebrating the fascinating world of cars and art on Sunday, February 18th. This invitational exhibition of 150 rare and unique automobiles creates a high-quality display for enthusiasts and spectators. Show begins at 10am and awards are at 3pm. Admission is $20. Advanced tickets can be purchased online at peacerivergardens.org or through Eventbrite. The Gardens are located at 5827 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda.

Boating Skills Class
The Englewood Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship course Monday-Thursday, February 19-22, from 5:45-8pm, at the USCG Auxiliary Station, 1949 Englewood Road. This is an in-person class and qualifies for the U.S. Coast Guard and NASBLA certifications. Cost is $45. For more information and to register, go to coastguardenglewood.com.

The Roots of Black Music in America, Part 2
All of the great spirituals, blues, jazz, pop, and rock of the first 100 years can’t be contained in just one hour. Karlus Trapp returns to the Elsie Quirk Library to share part 2 of his delightful edutainment presentation, The Roots of Black Music in America, on Tuesday, February 20, 11am to noon. Did you know that many of the top stars of today were heavily influenced by the music pioneers of over 100 years ago? Hear the songs and stories of artists including Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Drifters, Stevie Wonder, and Nat King Cole. Seating is limited at the library located at 100 W. Dearborn Street. First come, first served. Sponsored by the Friends of Elsie Quirk Library. For questions, call 941•861•1225.

"The 1976 History of Venice" Video
Offered by the Venice Area Historical Society. Tuesday, February 20, 7pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice. Followed by Q and A Session, moderated by VAHS Member, Gary Youngberg. The program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.  Please plan to arrive early. For questions, email [email protected]. Website: veniceareahistoricalsociety.org.

Solar Energy and Electric Vehicle Basics
If you are interested in understanding residential solar and electric vehicles, this presentation is for you. UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County presents The Solar Energy and Electric Vehicle Basics, as part of their series on Supporting Clean Energy. The webinar will be Wednesday, February 21, noon to 1pm. Discussion will cover the basics of residential solar and electric vehicles, how they and charging stations work, considerations and incentives for those interested in buying them, and the charging infrastructure around Sarasota County. Register only at eventbrite.com/e/supporting-clean-energy to receive the Zoom link. For questions or further information call 941•861•5000.



The 38th Annual Huge Rummage Sale is Thursday through Saturday, February 22-24 in the Englewood Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 700 E. Dearborn Street. Just about everything imaginable fills the gymnasium-sized hall, inside and out. Pay a $5 “Shop Early Admission Fee” at the door Thursday at the “Early Bird” Pre-Sale, February 22 from 3-6pm to gain an edge in finding prime treasures. Admission is free on Friday, February 23, 9am to 3pm, and Saturday, February 24, 9am to noon. Proceeds support the church’s local charitable programs. Donation of items for the sale is now closed. For Rummage Sale information, call Cindy at 847•636•0118. See englewoodmethodist.com for information about the church or call 941•474•5588, Monday-Thursday.



Italian Feast & Carnival
The 35th Annual Venice Italian Feast & Carnival is set for Thursday-Sunday, February 22-25 at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds, 610 Airport East, Venice. There will be live music, entertainment, food, vendors, rides and games. Hours: Thursday & Friday: gate opens at 4pm; Saturday & Sunday events start at noon. See the entertainment schedule at ItalianAmericanClubOfVenice.com/feast.

A Gathering of Quilts
The Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild 15th Biennial Quilt Show will be Friday & Saturday, February 23 & 24 at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, 75 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda. Hours are Friday, 9am to 5pm and Saturday, 9am to 4pm. The judged quilt show features over 200 quilts, a quilters boutique, merchant mall, community sew-in, and more. Featured artist will be Karen Matzke. Admission is $10 per day/$15 for two-day entry. Free parking. Online advanced ticket purchase available with discounts for five or more guests at dpgginc.com/quilt-show-2024.html.

Beach Yoga Celebration
Loving Light Yoga is holding a special community beach yoga celebration on Saturday, February 24th in honor of their 16th anniversary of beach yoga on Englewood Beach on Manasota Key. Start off your morning with morning yoga from 8:30 to 10am, featuring yoga flowing, crystal bowls singing, and drummers in rhythm. That evening there will be full moon yoga along with crystal bowls and drums from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Classes are a $5 donation. No registration required. For more information, visit lovinglightyoga.com or call Lata at 239•280•6745.

Big Yard Sales
Mark your calendar to stop by the Clintwood Acres community yard sales on Saturday, February 24 from 8am to 2pm. There will be four streets of bargains to browse and shop. Participating streets are Edith Avenue, Loralin Drive, Elinor Place, and Florence Avenue. The neighborhood is located just north of the Englewood CVS, off Pine Street.

Strawberry Social
Englewood Museum’s annual Strawberry Social will be held on Saturday, February 24, noon to 3pm. Stop by the museum located in the historic Lampp House at 604 W. Perry Street for strawberry shortcake, strawberry brownies or a strawberry sundae for a small donation that benefits the museum. Come early before the berries run out! Learn more about the museum on its Facebook page.

Boy Scout Spaghetti Dinner
Save the date for Boy Scout Troop 776’s Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, February 24, 4 to 7pm, at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, in the Gulf Cove area of Pt. Charlotte. The menu includes spaghetti, meat sauce or regular pasta sauce, garlic bread, salad, dessert, and a beverage. Tickets are $15 for adults and youth over age 12, and $8 for children ages 5 to 12. Kids under 5 eat free. Purchase tickets in advance by visiting the church office, Monday through Thursday, or call Michelle at 941•716•2918. Tickets also available at the door.

Educational Events for 50+
Charlotte County Community Services is offering several low cost educational and informative presentations this spring. Presentations take place at Harold Avenue Regional Park, 23400 Harold Avenue, Port Charlotte, and the cost per presentation is $3. You must pre-register by calling 941•627•1074. Scheduled presentations are Saturday, February 24, 10 to 11:30am: Introduction to Florida Fishing. Fishing Captain Josh Olive will offer an overview of tackle selection, baits & lures, best times to fish, and various angling techniques. Registration deadline: Monday, February 19. Saturday, March 2, 10 to 11:30am: Wildlife Photography for Beginners. Florida Master Naturalist Josh Olive will offer an overview of equipment and techniques for photographing birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Registration deadline: Monday, February 26. Wednesday, March 6, 3:30 to 5pm: Cognitive Decline – Why am I Losing My Memory? Wendy Hoover, certified holistic health coach, brings awareness to why so many people are having memory issues and what you can do to slow that progression in a safe and natural way. Registration deadline: Saturday, March 2. Wednesday, March 13, 10:30am to noon: Back Health and Balance by Karen Augustyn who will provide handouts, talk about ways to maintain a healthy back and improve your balance, and demonstrate exercises to help. Registration deadline: Friday, March 8. Wednesday, March 27, 10:30am to noon: The Proper Planting & Pruning of Woody Ornamental Trees by Ralph Mitchell, UF/IFAS Extension Charlotte County. Learn research-based, unbiased information to increase your understanding of establishing a tree together with proper pruning techniques. Registration deadline: Friday, March 22. If transportation is needed, free transport is available through Charlotte County Transit Service vans by calling 941•575•4000 at least three days in advance.

Online Scam Awareness
Elsie Quirk Library is offering a free class, Online Scam Awareness, on Tuesday, February 27, 10:30 to 11:30am, at the library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. This workshop is for those who are interested in safety online and want to protect themselves from fraudsters and scams. Build your confidence when you are visiting websites, creating passwords, and responding to email. Must register at scgovlibrary.librarymarket.com or call 941•861•1225. Laptops not required.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Survey
Exciting developments are underway as Sarasota-Manatee County Pollution Reduction Plan project takes bold steps to create a regional plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Everyone’s voice matters, and your input is crucial for the success of this plan. You are encouraged to take a brief online survey at surveyhero.com/c/Sarasota-CPRG. Survey deadline is Tuesday, February 20th. Community workshops are also being planned for discussions and for idea contributions. To learn more about this project, visit scmc-pollutionreduction.com.

Wastewater Plant Tours
The Charlotte County Utilities Department is offering tours of four facilities to give citizens a behind-the-scenes look at the process involved in providing water and wastewater treatment and reclamation services to the community. Tour dates are as follows (subject to change): Tuesday, February 27, 10am to noon: Burnt Store Water Treatment and Reclamation Facility, 17430 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. Wednesday, March 13, 10am-noon: West Port Water Reclamation Facility, 15005 Cattle Dock Point Road, Port Charlotte. Wednesday, March 27, 10am to 12:30pm: Peace River Water Treatment Facility, 8998 SW County Road 769, Arcadia. Wednesday, April 17, 10am-noon: Rotonda Water Reclamation Facility, 3740 Kendall Road, Rotonda West. Visitors will learn about the water reclamation process, observe treatment plant operators in action and learn about the transport, processing and disposal of biosolids. Wear closed-toed shoes for a walking tour, mostly outdoors. Please email [email protected] or call 941•764•4304 to request a reservation.

Fashion Show Luncheon
St Raphael Council of Catholic Women will host a Fashion Show Luncheon on Wednesday, February 28, noon to 3pm, at St Raphael’s Parish Center, 770 Kilbourne Avenue. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at the Church office. Tickets will be available for bidding on raffle baskets. For questions, call the office at 941•474•9595.

AACA Car Show
The 34th annual AACA Venice Region Car Show will be Sunday, March 24th at Centennial Park, 200 W. Venice Avenue, Venice. View over 280 classic cars: un-restored, stock, modified, hot rods, rat rods, customs, and motorcycles. There will be live music and food trucks. Those wishing to enter their vehicle should go to venice aaca.com.

Visually Impaired Peer Group
If you or someone you know is visually impaired, there is a peer group that meets weekly on Tuesdays, 11am to 2pm, at Wintergarden Presbyterian Church, 18350 Wintergarden Avenue, Port Charlotte. Meetings feature educational programs, guest speakers, games and peer support. For more information, call Bethany at 239•573•6996 or Cheri at 941•882•2432.

VITA Tax Assistance
VITA is returning to Englewood this year to assist low-income families with preparing and submitting their taxes. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program provides free tax preparation services at three locations in South Sarasota County that can help maximize refunds, fill in tax forms, and navigate Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Those locations are United Way South Sarasota County office, 4242 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice; Englewood YMCA, 701 Medical Blvd.; and Family Service Center, 6919 Outreach Way, North Port. You are eligible for VITA basic tax preparation services if you are an individual or a family who lives in South Sarasota County and who earned $74,000 or less in 2023. Appointments are required. Go to uwssc.org and click on VITA under Programs. For more information, call 941•484•4811.

Jury Scams on Rise
Karen E. Rushing, Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, warns the community of a statewide surge in imposters calling residents and accusing them of missing jury duty, and it is occurring with increased frequency in Sarasota County. The caller presents himself as a Clerk official, judge or law enforcement officer, to inform you that there is an outstanding citation and/or warrant for your arrest due to missing jury duty. You are requested to make payment (often by wire, ‘green dot’ loadable debit cards or other prepaid gift cards) to avoid arrest and incarceration or asked to provide sensitive information that can lead to identity theft. Neither the County Clerk and Comptroller, nor law enforcement employees, initiate phone calls for missed jury duty, nor demand payment by phone. Moreover, failure to appear for jury duty is not grounds for immediate arrest. Court-related communications are typically sent through normal mail. If you receive a court-related call and are unsure about its authenticity, call the Clerk and Comptroller’s Jury Office at 941•861•8000 for verification. If you feel you’ve been a victim of fraud, call local law enforcement at 311.

CC-TV Streaming Available
Charlotte County Television, CC-TV, announces that its local government channel that informs and updates residents on county services, programs, meetings, and events, is now available via streaming platforms. Viewers may watch CC-TV on their smart TVs, phones, tablets, and other streaming devices without a cable connection. To watch CC-TV, download the free app from your device’s app store by searching for Cablecast. When the app opens, click the CC-TV graphic to view CC-TV. Choose between live streaming or on-demand videos. CC-TV is still available on Comcast (channel 20), YouTube channel CCTVcharlottecountyFL, and at the County website: CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Caring & Sharing

Ninth Annual Beaujolais
United Way of Charlotte County’s Beaujolais Starry Nights will be Friday, March 1, 5:30 to 8:30pm, at Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, 5827 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda. Enjoy tapas, wine tastings and live music in a beautiful natural setting. Charlotte Technical College’s Chef Jason Osborne & his students will provide another outstanding menu. Tickets are $75 at unitedwayccfl.org/beaujolais.

Relay for Life Fundraiser
The Relay for Life of Venice presents Artlandish on Tuesday, March 5, 5:30 to 7:30pm, at the Venice Train Depot, 303 East Venice Avenue, Venice. This art-based fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society will feature an art auction, lite bites and sips. Tickets are a $20 donation to the American Cancer Society and can be purchased at the door. If you are an artist and want to contribute, email [email protected]. Save the date for the 2024 Relay for Life of Venice scheduled for Saturday, April 6th.

CHAIRity Fundraiser Returns
Calling all creative people! The CHAIRity Fundraiser for @kidsneedsenglewood is back! Show your creative talent as you repurpose a chair into a unique piece of art that will be auctioned off to benefit Kids Needs of Englewood. No entry fee. Deadline is Saturday, April 20th. To register go to kidsneedsenglewood.org. All chairs will be on display at the Englewood Art Center, 350 S. McCall Road, from Tuesday, April 23 to Friday, May 3. Bid online until the final auction and celebration on Friday, May 3rd For questions, call Marie at 941•445•0819.

Sports

Rays Spring Training
The Tampa Bay Rays will be returning this year for spring training at the Charlotte Sports Park now that hurricane repairs have been completed. The schedule opens on Saturday, February 24 at 1:05pm as they take on the Atlanta Braves and ends on Saturday, March 23. Ticket prices range from $49 to $279 and may be purchased exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/spring or call 941•235•5010. Parking fee at stadium is $10 prepaid or $15 day of event (must use MLB Ballpark App – no cash).

Pickleballers
Drug Free Charlotte County’s Rally Round 4 Prevention will be Saturday, March 2, 3 to 8:30pm, at the PicklePlex®, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda. All skill levels welcome at this round-robin, poker hand style play, to benefit Drug Free Charlotte County. $35 for single or $50 for team (w/meal). Register at: https://bit.ly/PlayRally2024. At 3pm the opening match is CCSO, PGPD, CC Fire/EMS and PG Fire/EMS hitting the courts for The Battle of the Guns and Hoses tourney. All events are free to watch (no meal included). For questions, call 941•559•1946.

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