Santa Over The Rainbow takes place at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon Dec. 12, 13, 14 and Dec 19, 20, 21 and Lights Only on Dec. 26 and 27. The Park will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Admission is still only $2.00, and children five and under are free. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by pontoon boat on the Rainbow River at 7:00 p.m., and the children may meet with them at the Santa House. Local musicians will provide music each night, and our Gift Shop and Concession will be open for hot chocolate and cider. The Park phone no. is (352) d465-8555 and the address is 19158 S.W. 81st Pl., Dunnellon, FL
...through January 1st
The tubing package fee at KP Hole Park and the entrance fee for Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area are set to change beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The KP Hole tube package fee will increase from $15 to $20, and includes park admission, tube rental and return shuttle service after the four-hour float downriver. The regular park admission fee will remain at $5 per person. The increase will offset the cost of deputies to patrol the river area during the busiest times of the year and to support funding for future capital improvements at the park.
The Carney Island entrance fee will increase $2 per vehicle, from $5 to $7, and will be used to support maintenance and funding for future capital improvements at the park.
Using funds from the “Pennies for Parks” program, Marion County purchased the Carney Island property in 1990 with the goals of protecting its ecological character and providing a resource-based recreation area. The site features more than 750 acres of sandhill islands, causeways, wetland systems and shoreline beaches. Park amenities include boat ramps, volleyball, concession stands and restrooms, hiking trails, horsehoes, two swim beaches and two playgrounds. Last fiscal year, 70,420 vehicles entered the park.
Established as a boys retreat in the early 1920s, KP Hole Park was acquired by Marion County and designated as a public recreation area in 1953. Today, KP Hole Park offers swimming, tubing, scuba diving, boating, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding to thousands of visitors – 74,844 last fiscal year alone.
DescriptionThe City of Ocala brings you the 2014 Holiday Skating Rink. A FUN unique winter activity using synthetic "ice" that's so authentic you won't know the difference. Reserve the rink for a private function such as an Office Party, Birthday Party, or Christmas Party. The rink is open until January 4 and hours of operation vary. Give Carla Chindamo a call at 368.5517 and she'll be glad to help you out. Have a great day!
...through January 4th
THE APPLETON MUSEUM OF ART: 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $4-$8. "A Creative Life: Gladys Shafran Kashdin" runs through Sunday. "Art of the Ancient World" runs through Jan. 4, 2015. (291-4455 or www.appletonmuseum.org)
...through January 4th, 2015
The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville Presents: A walk through full-scale jaws into a 60-foot-long Megalodon sculpture where you'll begin to explore the story of this fantastic ancient creature – its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution, extinction and the science that continues to reveal Megalodon’s tale. Tooth-shaped island units support interpretive materials, which include graphics, hands-on components, and family- friendly interactives. The exhibit is object-rich, including numerous fossil specimens from several collections, and life-size and scale models of other fossil and modern sharks.
...through May 31st
FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: 3215 Hull Road, Gainesville. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. "Panama: Tropical Ecosystem" runs through May 31, 2015. (846-2000)
General Public Service Information
"The Michelle'oGram" is a fund set up by First United Methodist Church in Memory of Michelle Blauser Standridge who lost her life to breast cancer on May 15th, 2009. The fund is for women that can't afford mammograms so that they may be able to do so. She would love for you to consider a donation. First United Methodist Church, 21501 W Highway 40, Dunnellon, Fl 34431 352-489-4026.
AmVets Post #19 in Ft. McCoy is trying to earn enough money to honor the 6 men from Marion County who have given their lives in the war in Iraq with a dedicated monument. Along with Marion County Veterans Services, the Marion County Sheriff's Department, the Ocala Police Department, and the Marion County Fire Department, AmVets Post #19 is trying to raise $10,000 to build a monument in a special place of honor at the Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park. A special account has been set up at Wachovia Banks for this project. The account is under AmVets Auxiliary Post #19 Fallen Heroes of Marion County Monument Account. Please make a donation and join in this effort to honor the servicement who have given their lives for this country and to the freedom they so truly believed in. For more information, please call Libby at 352-351-8438 or email at email@example.com
The Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida's state natural history museum, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. It is located near the intersection of SW 34th Street and Hull Road in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza in Gainesville. Hours are 10AM-5PM Monday through Saturday and 1-5PM on Sundays. Butterfly Rainforest admission is $9.50 for adults ($8 Florida residents) and $5 for children ages 3-12. Prices are subject to change. For more information, including directions and parking, call 352-846-2000.
The Dignity Project desperately needs you unused vehicle! By donating your unwanted car, you can help provide eligible families with reliable transportation for work while also giving at-risk high school students valuable auto-repair training opportunities. A non-profit organization that's been helping the Alachua County community since 1998, The Dignity Project has repaired and given away more than 800 donated vehicles to the working poor. Your donation of your unused vehicle will not only help a deserving family, but you can also get a tax break for your gift. For more information call 352-371-6792.
Are you concerned you may be pregnant and need answers to your questions? A Woman's Answer can provide no-cost pregnancy testing and counseling. A Woman's Answer Medical Center, located at the Parkwood Professional Plaza near Creekside Mall in Gainesville, offers referrals to a variety of community resources with information and options for pregnancy support. For more information, call 352-367-2716.
Levy County Farmers Market & Williston Lions Club... every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8AM-3PM at 401 SE 6th Avenue in Williston. Fresh produce, honey, plants, veggies, crafts and more. The Lions Club has an indoor flea market and concessions and is there to answer your questions about membership. For information or to reserve a space, call 352-486-6229 and leave a message.
West Marion Community Hospital hosts a Leukemia/Lymphoma/Myeloma support group the first Wednesday of each month at 6PM in its medical building community room on the 2nd floor. Family support groups help to serve the needs of patients, family members, friends who are learning to live with these diseases. The group offers a warm and caring atmosphere in which patients and their families come together to identify and share concerns, problems, and positive experiences with the group. For more information, call 800-868-0072.
The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund is now available for children of military personnel killed or permanently disabled while defending our nation. To apply, call 1-800-475-6620.
If you, or a family member, have been told that you need a psychiatric medication, call to get a free copy of the booklet called "A Safe Approach to Mental Health Care." Find out what you may not have been told about these medications. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida is a non-profit watchdog organization that helps to investigate and expose psychiatric abuse. For more information, call 800-782-2878.
If you were involved in an accident and were unconscious, would law enforcement be able to locate your emergency contact person information? The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles maintains a database (D.A.V.I.D) with information on licensed Florida drivers and those who have a Florida ID card. This data includes a photo of the person, vehicles registered to them, their driving record, etc. A few years ago, it became possible for drivers to add their emergency contact information to the database. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement officers can access this information and contact family members or other loved ones quickly. Over 1 million people have already entered their emergency contact information into D.A.V.I.D. For more information or to add your emergency contact information into the database, go to http://www.flhsmv.gov/. You will need your driver’s license or ID card number to register.
Operation Catnip is a nonprofit organization dedicated to humanely reducing the stray and feral cat population in Alachua County. Stray and Feral cats occupy our porches, backyards, alleys, barns, and neighborhoods. They are the neighborhood cats, the ones without a human address to call home but who seek our kindness anyway. There is a humane solution. Trap-Neuter-Return involves spaying and neutering stray cats and then returning them to their colonies where they are fed and looked after by caretakers. This allows the cats to live out their lives in harmony with their community. The success of Operation Catnip depends on our corps of volunteer veterinarians, students, and cat lovers who work endlessly to improve lives of our community's forgotten felines. To help, call 352-380-0940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shores Baptist Church at 414 Silver Road in Ocala offers Adult Daycare Monday through Friday from 7:30AM-5:30PM. All day or respite care. Medical monitoring, various activities [[games, arts & crafts]], social activities, musical entertainment, meals & snacks provided. For more information, call 352-680-3676.
Do you live alone and cannot get out due to age or physical disability? Do the days sometime drag along and you wish you had someone to talk to? Catholic Charities Telephone Reassurance Program has volunteers who can check on how you are doing and provide friendship and support. The non-denominational program is free and volunteers are screened. You do not have to be alone. Respite volunteers are also available to spell caregivers a few hours once a week. Call Linda Gardner at 352-372-0294 for details of each program.
Horsesavers Inc. is a volunteer-based humane organization that promotes the proper care and proper nutrition needed to maintain a healthy and happy horse. Their shelter is located in the Florahome area of Putnam County, but they cover the who state of Florida doing cruelty investigations and assisting other animal organizations. They receive no funds from any city, state, or county agencies. Their only support comes from donations. At this time, they are trying to send one of their cruelty investigators to Washington DC to attend a one-day educational class hosted by the USDA about unwanted horses in the US and what can be done for them. If you'd like to help, send your donation to PO Box 380261, Granidin, FL 32138. You can reach them by phone at 386-661-2121 or online at email@example.com
Archer Family Health Care has expanded to a new location and provides affordable, quality health care for children, adults, and families. They help cover the cost of care for families with little or no income and no health insurance. Selected insurance is accepted, including Medicaid and Medicare. Call 352-495-2550 to find out more.
The Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders support group of Ocala will be meeting the first Monday of every month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Medical Office Building at West Marion Community Hospital, 4600 SW 46th Court, 2nd floor Community Room. For information please call (352) 401-1453.
Knights of Columbus Breakfast is the first Sunday of each month. $5 donation per person. Lots of good food and coffee. From 8-11AM at their 12228 SE 301 location in Belleview.
SAFE Sanctuary is looking for personnel over the age of 21 to volunteer. Help with feeding the animals, cage cleaning, prepare food, mowing, landscaping, watering gardens, and other small projects. Volunteers are greatly needed and appreciated. Safe Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary located in Anthony, Florida, just 15 miles north of Ocala. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a safe haven for animals. They have a Class 3 License issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which enables them to take in many types of animals: domestic, farm, and exotic, including small primates. The Sanctuary provides a place for animals to live that are in need of a home. Many animals come to them because of unfortunate circumstances - some have been lost or abandoned, or just no longer wanted. They work with a number of state and local organizations, including animal welfare agencies, to make sure that animals they are unable to shelter or place are given a home. They are also contacted by owners when they are unable to maintain the level of care the animals needs, due to relocation, financial, or health reasons. In rare cases, the animal may require special handling by a professional. In most cases, the owners want to make sure that good care is provided to the animal. If the Sanctuary is unable to take in the animal, they will work with the owner to find another facility that is able to help. For more information, or to volunteer, call 352-671-6797.
Are you an honorably discharged veteran? Are you in need of long-term hospital help, but don't think there are any options for you? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you are probably entitled to more benefits than you realize. 49 states and Puerto Rico currently have state-run and funded facilities that provide various types of care at virtually no cost to you. If you or someone you know is in search of assistance, but not sure if you qualify, call toll-free at 1-866-331-1944. This message is brought to you as a public service by the Disabled Veterans Associations.
Have a Heart for Companion Animals will again this year offer their free "Hurricane Protection Guide for Pets." This is an 8-page document full of tips and ways to protect your pets from an impending hurricane. The free guide can be downloaded from the internet by going to http://www.haveaheart.us, or call them for a free copy by mail at 352-687-4070.
Volunteers are needed to deliver Meals on Wheels to frail elderly in Gainesville. Lunchtime meals are delivered Monday-Friday, own transportation needed. Work individually or in pairs. For more information or to volunteer, contact ElderCare of Alachua County at 352-265-9040. Ask for Jeff Lee.
Make a difference in the life of an abused child, become a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer; as a child advocate, you will experience the rewards of helping our community’s most vulnerable children. Stand up and speak for a child who has been abused, neglected and abandoned. Our next training begins Aug. 5th at the Ocala Police Dept., 402 S. Pine Ave., Ocala. For further information contact Lynn Sennett, Recruiter/Training Guardian ad Litem Program at 352-274-5231 or email Lynn.Sennett@gal.fl.gov. Please watch our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feieuu4EBo8&feature=relmfu and visit their website at www.guardianadlitem.org
This year, 213 million women will learn they have breast cancer, making it the most common cancer among women. Screening and new treatments are allowing more women to beat this disease. For more information on screening and treatment, visit http://www.rtanswers.org.
Studies prove it... volunteering is good for your body and mind. Volunteers are also important members of the Hospice Team and work in many different areas including administration, comfort and support for patients and their families, and in their Thrift Stores. Hospice of Marion County needs you! If you would like to become a volunteer, or if you have any questions, call 352-873-7441.
The Division of Blind Services, Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides a wide range of services to those who are blind or visually impaired with the goal of assisting them to gain, maintain, or advance in employment. Services include career counseling, on-the-job-training, job placement assistance, and more. For more information, call 1-800-443-0908.
Life South Community Blood Centers needs your help to avoid a blood shortage in our community. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more, and show photo identification. For more information, call 888-795-2707.
Florida Blood Centers are in critical need for all blood types. They are also in need of platelet donations. For information call 352-732-0175 or stop by Florida's Blood Center, 1051 SW 1st Ave. in Ocala.
People Assisting Children (P.A.C) are working with local organizations to provide assistance and address the needs of children. They will collect baby wipes, diapers, children's underwear and pajamas for the Domestic Violence Shelter at Mad Dads - The Family Connection office, 210 NW 12th Ave. in Ocala; at Emerald Shores Elementary, 404 Emerald Rd. in Ocala and at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 1601 E. Gulf Atlantic Hwy, Wildwood.
Gainesville Pet Rescue is open for adoption on Thursdays 10am-8pm; Friday and Saturdays from 10am-6pm. Stop by their Adoption Center to meet your new pet. It's located at 600 NW 75th St. Ste. C in Gainesville. For information call 352-331-1087.
Parents or guardians in Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Sumter Counties of a child from birth to 5 years of age--the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast is enrolling eligible children into low-cost, quality early care and education programs. It's a 501-C (3) not for profit corporation. Call 1-877-336-5437 for information.
The Volunteer Center of North Central Florida is encouraging you to give back to the community. Whether it's working with kids or lending a hand outdoors, the Volunteer Center has an opportunity that you will enjoy. For information on how to get involved, e-mail the Volunteer Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352-378-2552.
American Legion Post 16, 4701 NW 6th St. in Gainesville, has Bingo every Thursday at 7pm. It's located south of the closed Rancher Western Store. Jackpots range from $25 to $250. Parking is free. Smoking and non-smoking seating is provided. For information call 352-372-8802.
The United Way's Marion Volunteer Network invites you to search for available opportunities and sign-up at 1-800-Volunteer.org. It's free for volunteers to find ways they can help their community. For information call Heather at 352-732-9696 ext. 203.
Every Thursday from 7-8:30pm and the first Saturday of every month from 11am-12:30pm there is an informal gathering of adoptive and prospective adoptive parents at the Women's Pregnancy Center, 1701 E. Silver Springs Blvd. in Ocala. For information call Tracy at 351-1294.
The Alachua County Humane Society needs your help. Help save an animal's life by being a foster guardian and giving it a temporary home while it awaits adoption. All you need is room in your heart and home, they'll take care of the rest. Foster guardian orientations are held monthly. Call 373-5855 for information.
Marion County Blood Bank is urging you to give the "gift of life." The Blood Bank is located one block north of Munroe Regional Medical Center on 1st Avenue. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-5pm, Tuesday 9am-7pm and Saturday 7am-3pm. You can also donate in Lake County in Lady Lake: C5 La Plaza Grande Blvd. Monday through Thursday from 9am-5pm. For information call 352-750-4088.
Would you like to visit Asia, Europe or South America this year - without leaving home? The ASSE Exchange Student Programs is looking for you! Host a 15-18 year old student in your home for the academic school year! For more information, call 1-800-473-0693.
Visit Gallery Under the Oaks, an artist cooperative under the direction of the Micanopy Community Council for the Arts, Inc. The gallery features the work of Micanopy area artists year round. The Gallery Under the Oaks is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am-5pm in downtown history Micanopy's Log Cabin. Plan to come and spend the day exploring Florida's oldest inland town. For more information, call 352-466-9229 or visit http://www.micanopyarts.org.
The Belleview South Marion Chamber of Commerce is hosting a farmers market. It is held weekly on Wednesdays from 9am-2pm. Located at City Hall Park on 441 (next to the Chamber building @ 5301 SE Abshier Blvd. Belleview, Fl.) Quality products that are fresh and affordable will be what’s on the menu at your local Belleview Farmers Market! This market provides a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, organic meats & vegetables, pirogues, local honey and jams, nuts, plants natural items including soap and some fun crafts to the citizens of Belleview and surrounding areas while helping to boost our local economy. Vendor applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce. For more vendor or consumer info please call Mariah Chaffin @ (352)245-2178 or email email@example.com
Fresh things are coming to the Downtown Ocala Square! Stop by the new Ocala Farm Market each Saturday morning from 8am to 1:00pm to purchase farm & seafood products, organic and gourmet foods, flowers, botanicals, art and antiques. Now you can check out the unique Downtown shops AND buy something fresh and delicious! Discover the Ocala Farm Market each Saturday morning. Call (352) 426-8244 for more information or to become a vendor. Brought to you by the Downtown Business Alliance and the City of Ocala.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out. In Marion County we had approximately 2,500 World War II Veterans when we started the project three years ago. Now we have around 1,000 vets. Each flight costs $70,000. Veterans are not allowed to pay for themselves. Funds come from donations from community businesses and private citizens. Veterans can be sponsored by a group or business. Tax deductible donations can be done online at the www.ocalahonorflight.org site through Pay Pal. Forms for volunteers and others who want to take part in the flight are on the webpage. Checks can be written payable to VFW Florida Department. Please note in the memo line; Ocala Honor Flight. Send the checks to Florida Department of VFW, Attn: Ocala Honor Flight, PO Box1630, Ocala, FL 34478.
The Humane Society of NE FL in partnership with First Coast No More Homeless Pets Inc. will be operating the Neuter Commuter on selected Wednesday's. Companion cats $32-42. Feral cat package $30. Dogs $42-87. Space is limited please call 386-325-1587 to schedule an appointment for Hollister or East Palatka.
The Humane Society of Northeast Florida, Inc.,has updated their hours at the shelter and the thrift store as follows. The shelter hours located at 112 Norma Street, Hollister are Tuesday through Sunday, 10-4. The thrift store hours located at 819 S. Moody Rd. (Sears Complex) are Monday through Friday 10-5, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 12-5.
Marion County Public Library System announces new hours of service to better meet community needs for the Reddick and Fort McCoy public libraries. The new hours of service for these public libraries are as follows:
Fort McCoy Public Library:
-Monday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
-Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For more information regarding the hours of service at all Marion County Public Library System branch locations, call 352-671-8551 or visit library.marioncountyfl.org.
Understanding Medicare or health insurance benefits, or choosing a supplemental policy or prescription drug plan, can be a confusing task. SHINE can help! SHINE, which stands for “Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders,” is a free program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Several SHINE counselors are located in Marion County. Call the Elder helpline at1-800-963-5337 to find the nearest counseling site to you or to make an appointment with a SHINE counselor. This is a free service.
I am for the child who has had seven addresses in a single year because she is in foster care. I am for the child who barely remembers the Mom who left her at a neighbor’s house two years ago.
I am a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. I am you.
Lift up a child’s voice…a child’s life…become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer.
Looking for a great place to bring your friends and family? Visit the Marion County "Health Happens" Farmers' Market! The market takes place every Friday from 9a.m. to 3p.m. in the field at McPherson Government Complex, 601 SE 25th Ave. From peanuts to produce and salads to seafood, the "Health Happens" Farmers' Market has all the goodies in stock. We welcome new market vendors weekly, so every Friday has something new to offer! Check it out at www.facebook.com/healthhappensfarmersmarket or contact Brittney Bruner: firstname.lastname@example.org.