LLI class on spirituality and healthy eating

The Lifelong Learning Institute housed on the Charlotte Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda has scheduled a two-part class to highlight a healthy lifestyle and eating, led by Tania Garcia.

Her life journey is all about inspiring people to reconnect, be healthy, thrive and enjoy life. From 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 11, the class will focus on reconnecting and reflecting the inner light: Engage in a self-awareness process to reconnect, to inspire others and reflect your inner light. From 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 18, Tania will demonstrate food preparation to focus on The Cycle of Energy: to stop the energy drain and refuel yourself through an earth-friendly process that will harness energy, promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Fees are $20 for members and $35 for non members. Registration can be made online at www.lifelonglearning-charlotte.org or by calling the LLI office at 941-637-3533.

Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s

• Port Charlotte Parkinson’s Support Group with Courtnie Giddens, “Information on the New rock Steady Boxing Porgram and Exercise” with Ken Dobbs; Feb. 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Murdock Baptist Church, 18375 Cochran Blvd., Port Charlotte.

• Parkinson’s Wellness Club, “Getting the Most out of your PD Appointments with Wanda Jackson; Feb. 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road, North Port.

• Englewood Parkinson’s Support Group, “Planning for the Future” with Elder Care Attorney, Kevin Stass; Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. David Episcopal Church, 401 S. Broadway, Englewood.

• North Port Parkinson’s Wellness Cub, Special Event: North Port “Parkinson’s and Pain, What’s the Connection?” with Dr. Lindsey Job of Restore Medical Partners; Feb. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at SMH, 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road, North Port.

• North Port JFCS Care Partner Connection with Carolyn Stephens, LCSW (Open Forum and Sharing); “Parkinson’s Power Hour with Courtnie Giddens; Feb. 20 from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. at Neuro Challenge North Port, 5600 Peace River Road.

• Punta Gorda Parkinson’ Support Group and Coutrnie Giddens (Care Partners and PwP Breakout Groups-Open Forum and Sharing); Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Punta Gorda Civic Association, 2001 Shreve St.

• North Port JFCS Care Partner Connection with Carolyn Stephens, LCSW (Open Forum and Sharing); “Parkinson’s Power Hour with Courtnie Giddens; Feb. 27 from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. at Neuro Challenge North Port, 5600 Peace River Road.

• Voice Aerobics with Mary Spremulli, SLP; Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 5600 Peace River Road, North Port.

• Movers and Shakers PD Discussion Group with Dr. John Moore, Care Partner Support Group (Open Forum and Sharing); Feb. 28 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.

For a full listing of Neuro Challenge programs and services, visit www.neurochallenge.org.

Cardiovascular Health Symposium

Fawcett Memorial Hospital will host a cardiovascular health symposium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 13 at Charlotte Harbor Event Center and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. Join for lunch and renew your health with experts who will be on hand to provide information on the latest screenings and treatments to ensure a happy, healthier heart. Seating is limited. RSVP at 941-624-4441.

‘More Than Weight Loss’

Join Chrisanna Harrington, Dietitian and Counselor for a discussion on “more than weight loss” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 at 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. Understand how the food we eat can impact our health. She explains why people crave sweets and have difficulty losing weight. Anyone who is thinking about dieting, weight loss surgery or has been advised by their doctor to lose weight should hear this lecture. Find out how you can never diet again. To reserve your seat, call 941-787-3525.

Annual Positive Aging Symposium

A Positive Aging Symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Cultural Center, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte. This event will teach you how to perform hands-only CPR, how to take care of a bleeding situation until help arrives, as well as other tips for in-home safety to protect yourself and the ones you love. CarFit checks will also be available to improve driver safety. Cost is $5 and lunch is included. To register, call The Cultural Center at 941-625-4175.

Complete Dental Care to host Free Dentistry Day

Residents in the Port Charlotte community and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to receive free dental services at Complete Dental Care on Feb. 16. Dr. Keya Brown, Dr. Taylor Minkus and team at Complete Dental Care will be improving the oral health of the community as part of Free Dentistry Day, a day dedicated to providing free dental care to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 108 million Americans are living without dental insurance. During Free Dentistry Day, a choice of one free cleaning or extraction will be provided per patient between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 16, at 1940 Tamiami Trail, Suite 102 in Port Charlotte. Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 941-625-7413 or visit www.FreeDentistryDay.org.

Experience Multi-Modality Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine is the latest technique to hit hospitals and medical schools across the nation. A combination of old and new methods from around the world is beating disease, healing patients, using less medication, and saving time and money.

Glen Means will speak on Integrative Medicine from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 16-18 at Serenity Gardens, 2765 S. Tamiami Trail Suite B, Port Charlotte. In addition to lecturing; Glen also walks the talk as both a certified Medical Reiki Master and Hypnotist, and owns Lake Life Wellness. The combination of modern medical technology and ancient healing techniques is now being used by 13 of the top 15 Medical Centers across America.

Tickets are $45 per person. The first 30 people to sign up for Glen’s talk will receive a 30-minute free one-on-one Integrative Medicine session. For more information, call 941-883-4942.

Health & Wellness Fair

Area residents will have the rare opportunity to take advantage of comprehensive health screening by trained professionals at the 7th Annual Health & Wellness Fair, sponsored by Brookdale Rotonda Senior Living. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Brookdale Rotonda, 550 Rotonda Boulevard West.

Services will include hearing, vision and balance testing to information on medical marijuana, strokes dental, physical activity and much more. The American Heart Association will be on hand and provide CPR, and cancer screening will be offered. The Veterans Administration and Senior Friendship Centers will be represented, and the Englewood Area Fire District will give tips on fire safety. Hospice and skilled nursing will also be on hand.

Prize drawings will be offered, as well as a raffle and a light lunch with hot dogs, snacks and beverages. Proceeds from the raffle and food service will benefit Englewood’s Big Brothers Big Sisters that serves over 100 children to help them realize their potential and change their lives for the better. For more information, contact Brenda Peckham at 941- 698-1198.

2019 Walk for the Poor

Each year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul hosts the Walk for the Poor to raise funds and to increase awareness of the needs of the less fortunate living in our Charlotte County community. The 2019 Walk will begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 16 at the Laishley Park Pavilion in Punta Gorda and proceed across the northbound U.S.41 bridge walkway. You may also simply come and demonstrate support for our cause or walk at your leisure and cheer us on. Together, we can reach our goal of raising awareness of poverty in our community and raising funds to help those we serve. For more information, contact Maryanne Hood at 941-268-9678.

5K Run/Walk

Drug Free Punta Gorda 5K Run/Walk; 1 Mile Fun Walk will be held at 8 a.m. on Feb. 17 at Charlotte High School, 1250 Cooper St., Punta Gorda. Race day registration starts at 7 a.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit Drug Free Punta Gorda.

Register to run/walk at www.facebook.com/events/ 322533121632264/.

Speaker Series: Alzheimer’s and dementia

Join us for a enlightening conversation on Alzheimer’s and dementia with keynote speaker Emily Reese from the Alzheimer’s Association. Community Affairs Specialist Tammy Wilkie will also discuss CCSO programs that serve this population and their caregivers from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte.

This is a free event. RSVP on Eventbrite at https://www.facebook.com/events/280416256001185/

Elite Health & Silver Sneakers Open House

Elite Health & Silver Sneakers Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 at EliteHealth – Venice Community Wellness Center, 4125 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 2, Venice.

Elite Health and SilverSneakers partner up for some fitness fun. Come experience a variety of fitness classes taught by certified SilverSneakers instructors along with a talk on why exercise is so important for your health, presented by Elite Health Internal Medicine Dr., Dr. Rose Baez. Cost is complimentary. Light refreshments and snacks with be served. To RSVP, call Tonya 941-234-0587 or Myriam at 954-261-1035.

Free lecture offered

Join Integrative Movement Specialist Julie Anne McGready and Personal Trainer Heather Pack for this informative free lecture open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 23 at 2525 Harbor Blvd., at the office of Dr. Ballestas. This integrative lecture looks at inefficient posture and movement habits and how this can be the cause of common muscular and skeletal issues including chronic tightness, weakness, muscular and joint pain, and/or the decreased ability to perform every day activities. Pre-registration is required, call 941-627-1256, or email: findjamfit@gmail.com.

Free autism screening for young children

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida, offers a free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to five years of age. The next screening on the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Cape Christian Fellowship, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S., Cape Coral. The ASD screening is conducted by the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The screenings are administered by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders. A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, call 239-343-6838.

9th Annual Punta Gorda Pub Crawl & Food Drive

The 9th Annual Punta Gorda Pub Crawl & Food Drive to benefit The Harry Chapin Food Bank will be held on Feb. 23 in downtown Punta Gorda. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the food drive and registration will take place at The Ice House Pub, 408 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda. Crawl starts at 1:30 p.m. with last hour from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cost for Crawl $30 pre-paid in advance. Ticket sale special; Buy 4 or more for a price at $27 each. Ticket sales end Feb. 21. If any tickets available day of price is $35. Pub Crawlers will receive a T-shirt, logo Koozie, program book and goodie bag. Anyone bringing a food item will receive a raffle ticket (one per can of food up to 20 tickets) for a chance to win Caribbean Cruise for two provided by Downtown Gatorz. A portion of the proceeds also benefit the Harry Chapin Food bank the Homeless Coalition and the local Salvation Army. Food drive is open to all. For more information, go to www.puntagordapubcrawl.com or call Mike Colgan at 239-872-1171 or Nick Berry at 941-628-4800.

Bucs on the Run 5K Run/Walk

The annual Bucs on the Run 5K run and fun walk will be held on Feb. 23. Proceeds benefit the student activities account. Register early for a discounted rate and try to be one of the first 200 to register to receive an official run day long sleeve dry-fit shirt. Registration by Feb. 28 is $25 for adults, $25 youth (under 18). Day of race is $30 adults/$25 youth. Registration is from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Race start at 8 a.m. Register at www.runsignup.com. For more information, contact Coach Winkler at gwinkler@fsw.edu.

Storybook Ball

NBC-2 anchor Kellie Burns will be the honoree at the 25th Annual Storybook Ball benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southwest Florida on Feb. 23, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs. The theme for the evening will be an interpretation of “Coco,” a celebration of family, music and Mexican culture.

In resort evening attire, guests will be entertained by a Mariachi band while enjoying cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m. Dinner and dancing to Karibbean Groove will follow, along with a live auction. All proceeds support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida in its mission to create, find and support programs that directly impact the health and well-being of children and their families.

For more information about tickets and a variety of sponsorship opportunities, please contact Amy Blanco at 239-437-0202 or visit our website at www.rmhcswfl.org.

Nutrition management for diabetes

Deciding what and how much to eat can be one of the most challenging parts of living with diabetes. Please join us for a comprehensive, two-part class, where we will focus on diet and lifestyle approaches to manage diabetes. Feb. 26, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at H2U Center of Fawcett Memorial Hospital, 3280 Tamiami Trail, Suite #493, Port Charlotte. Speaker: Ashley Pospisil, MS, RD, LDN at Fawcett Memorial Hospital registered dietitian. Please make reservations by calling 941-624-4441.

Transportation Ambassadors needed, Join the team, become a volunteer. For an application and more information, visit the volunteer office at Fawcett Memorial Hospital or call Judy at 941-624-8007.

Trivia night

Chelsea Place Adult Day Care, 3626 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, will host a sports theme trivia night from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 28. A $10 donation at the door includes trivia, food and drinks. Wear your favorite sports jersey. Proceeds will benefit Senior Friendship Centers. For more information, call Aime at 941-787-0687 or RSVP to Anthony 352-533-8414.

Charlotte County ‘Fit for Life’ Senior Games 2019

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2019 from March 2-31. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. The games are sanctioned by the Florida Sports Foundation and serve as a qualifier for the Florida Senior Games State Championships. Events will take place at various county recreation facilities and parks. Registration is now open. Additional information is available at the Tringali Recreation Center, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov. Registration deadline for games shirt is Feb. 8. For more information, contact Padmini Sooknanan at 941-681-3742 or Padmini.Sooknanan@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Tappercise dancers to perform annual show

On March 2, there will be a lively group of Tappercise dancers from Venice, Sarasota and Englewood performing in an annual show to benefit Tidewell Hospice for the last time. The event will take place at the Venice Gardens Civic Center, 406 Shamrock Blvd., at 7 p.m. followed by open dancing from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with the band Twice as Nice. All proceeds go to Tidewell Hospice. Tickets are on sale for $15, or purchase tickets at the door for $18.

Tappercise will still be available to do road shows at Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and smaller communities, but no big public shows after this one. For more information about Tappercise, to become a dancer or to purchase tickets now, please call Sharon de Marc at 941-408-0019.

‘Show the Love Luncheon’

“Show the Love” Luncheon, raising funds for Charlotte County mothers and babies, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 8 at the 2421 Event Center, 2421 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Cost is $20 per person. For more information, call 941-764-9700.Call Healthy Start for tickets or sponsorship opportunities, 941-764-9700

Registration is open for March golf charity event

The fifth annual ARCHway Institute for Mental Health and Addictive Disorders Golf Scramble is set for March 9, at Twin Isles Country Club, 301 Madrid Blvd., Punta Gorda, starting with registration at 7 a.m. with an 8:15 a.m. shotgun scramble. Entry fee is $100. The fee includes greens fees/cart and buffet lunch following scramble. For lunch and the silent auction only, cost is $35. ARCHway is also hosting a Tennis Mixer beginning at 2 p.m. on March 8 at Twin Isles.

Half of the proceeds of this outing will benefit the CBHC (Charlotte Behavioral Health Care) in Charlotte County and the Sheriff’s Addiction Recovery Initiative to be used to help an individual who is in need of financial help for recovery. Some monies will also go to help pay for someone’s first month in a structured sober living facility in Florida. To register online for either or both events, go to www.thearchwayinstitute.org.

For more information, contact Dan Stuckey at DStuckey57@hotmail.com for more information or 314-452-4982.

Pedal and Play Returns

Bicyclists of all skill-levels are invited to Punta Gorda, on March 22 and March 23, to Pedal and Play in Paradise. Participants have four bicycle rides to choose from on Saturday, March 23: 15-mile, 30-mile, 62-mile and a 10-mile Mystery Ride. The two-day event is hosted by TEAM Punta Gorda and The Isles Yacht Club.

The fun begins March 22 at the Laishley Park Pavilions next to the city marina where riders can check in, pick up their event goody bags, and then join Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik for his informative “Here and There” ride. Riders can mingle later at the After Ride Social Hour at the Laishley Park Pavilions for free hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine. Saturday begins with a pre-ride welcome breakfast and free yoga. After they ride, cyclists can enjoy free massages, free ice cream, free lunch, free beer and wine for those of legal drinking age, live music and much more. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s bicycle initiatives.

For more information, visit www.pedalandplayinparadise.com.

Dart Cup Challenge scheduled

PGI Civic Association / Cruising Club’s 4th Annual Dart Cup Challenge with proceeds benefiting the Charlotte County’s Homeless Coalition, will be held at 6 p.m. on March 21 at the Ice House, 408 Tamiami Trail #111, Punta Gorda. A $5 registration per person includes: family friendly entertainment, raffles and a lot of fun. For more information and to register, contact PGILarry@CenturyLink.Net

3rd annual Lip Sync Battle

Fawcett Memorial Hospital is excited to host the 3rd Annual Lip Sync Battle from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on March 29 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. New and exciting additions this year. Battles, performances, judging, dancing, and more. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society — Charlotte County. Tickets are $25 per person or ($50 at the door). For more information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/fawcett-memorial-hospital-lip-sync-battle-iii-tickets-51032496571.

GriefShare Program

If you have lost a loved one or know of someone who has and have concerns/questions, we invite you to join our GriefShare Program on Sundays through March 31, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2565 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Contact Holy Trinity Lutheran office at 941-625-5262 with questions or sign up at griefshare.org.

American Cancer Society seeks participation in Relay For Life of Charlotte County

American Cancer Society is calling on all community members to participate in the annual Relay For Life of Charlotte County on April 6, at Laishley Park. Be part of the fight, and together we can beat our biggest rival. American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers to form teams and stand shoulder to shoulder with us and cancer patients and those supporting them.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, the Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change. Symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer, the event can last up to 24 hours and empowers communities to take a stand against cancer.

This year, an estimated 1.3 million people in the U.S. will participate in more than 2,000 events to help the American Cancer Society attack cancer in dozens of ways, each of them critical to achieving a world without cancer — from developing breakthrough therapies to building supportive communities, from providing empowering resources to deploying activists to raise awareness. Funds raised support the American Cancer Society 24/7 cancer help line and free rides to chemo. By joining the Relay For Life event, you can help attack cancer from every angle. To learn more about Relay For Life, and register a team, visit RelayForLife.org/charlottecountyfl.

ONGOING Essentrics Workouts

Essentrics workouts are being held at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. on Thursdays at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve St., Punta Gorda. No membership needed, just $10 per class. This workout is the perfect addition to your wellness routine. Essentrics is a full body strengthening and flexibility workout that is suitable for all levels of fitness. The technique is based on eccentric strengthening which lengthens our muscles, unlocks tight joints, improves mobility and posture and helps prevent injuries.

Hope PACE seeking volunteers

Do you have a caring heart and time to share? Hope PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that helps aging adults live independently in our community, is seeking volunteers for its Port Charlotte Care Center.

Volunteers may be asked to talk and socialize with individuals in Hope’s care, organize fun games and activities, assist with crafts or special projects, help with meals and snacks, or offer administrative support to on-site staff.

Before helping at the Hope PACE Care Center, volunteers will receive an in-depth orientation session. Volunteers must be at least 14 years or older. Call 239-415-7217 or visit www.HopeHCS.org/volunteer for more information about volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about Hope Healthcare programs, including Hope Kids Care, Hope PACE, Hope Palliative Care and the Hope Parkinson Program, call 239-482-4673 or visit www.HopeHCS.org.

LOUD Crowd classes

The LOUD Crowd classes meet every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Universal Fitness, 1544 Rio De Janeiro Ave, Punta Gorda. No fee. New member are requested to contact 941-204-1515 prior to attending for the first time.

The LOUD Crowd is a weekly speech class for individuals with Parkinson’s disease who have previously undergone speech therapy. For more information contact Mary Spremulli, at 941-204-1515 or email info@voiceaerobicsdvd.com.

Voice Aerobics class

Sponsored by Neurochallenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, Voice Aerobics with Mary Spremulli is held the fourth Thursday of the month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Peace River Presbyterian Center, 5600 Peace River Road, North Port. Voice Aerobics is a whole body voice strengthening program combining voice practice with movement. The class provides education about speech and voice changes associated with Parkinson’s, an introduction to vocal function exercises, and a setting for social interaction, support, and communication. There is no fee for classes.

No prior speech therapy is required to join, and classes will focus on: vocal function exercise, speech practice, and methods to improve communication for people living with Parkinson’s. To learn more, call 941-204-1515.

Monthly Tobacco Cessation Seminars

Englewood Community Hospital offers free monthly tobacco cessation seminars. The Tools to Quit program will provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you in developing your own quit plan. Quitting tobacco isn’t easy, but finding help should be. With the new Quit Your Way program, the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program is making it easier for tobacco users in the state to access the free and proven-effective resources available to all Floridians. They have expanded their resources offering tobacco users interested in quitting access to free tools, including a starter kit of nicotine replacement patches, Text2Quit, email tips and a quit guide.

Englewood Community Hospital offers the Group Quit seminars on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Englewood Community Hospital cafeteria conference room. If you or a loved one is ready to quit your way, please register by calling 866-534-7909.

‘Minding Our Elders’

Join Karen Hallenbeck, Senior Living Advisor, Writer, Executive Director and Host of “Minding Our Elders,” is on the air at 11 a.m. every other Monday on WCCF 1580am.

Seventeen years as an Executive Director of Assisted Living Memory Care Communities has given Karen the expertise and empathy to assist families in their journey through senior living. Topics on “Minding Our Elders” will include how to choose the “right” community for your loved one, transitioning at a community, what legal issues should be completed, common questions about placement or how families can endure the emotional impact of caring for their loved one.

You can share your story or make comments during the show by calling in at 941-206-1580 or go to www.wccfam.com for the “Minding Our Elders” blog.

Diabetes/diet classes

Dr. John Janick/Map Weight Loss provides free diabetic teaching the third Friday of every month, a free diet cooking class the third Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. every month, and a free blood pressure and diabetic chocolate the third Thursday of every month from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to set up a appointment, call 941-629-3366.

Free bike rides

Free bicycle rides are offered at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday. All riders are welcome. Helmet is required. The rides depart from Acme Bicycle Shop, 615 Cross St., Suite 1116, Punta Gorda. For more information, call 941-639-2263

Friendship Centers need volunteers in North Port

The Friendship Centers currently has a volunteer opening for Friendship at Home Volunteers in North Port. The Friendship at Home program matches volunteers with isolated seniors through telephone reassurance, the friendly visitor program and supportive intervention. Volunteers go through a background check and screening process. Training is provided.

If you enjoy working with older adults and would be interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Robert Rogers at rrogers@friendshipcenters.org or 941-556-3223.

SHINE seeks volunteers

The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is currently recruiting volunteers to help Medicare beneficiaries in Charlotte County. SHINE is a free, unbiased Medicare and health insurance information, counseling, and assistance program whose specially-trained volunteers assist seniors in making informed health care decisions.

Currently, the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports more than 50 dedicated SHINE volunteers who provide services to aged and disabled Medicare beneficiaries, their caregivers, and families. However, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries needing assistance increases, the need for volunteers increases, too.

A SHINE volunteer can serve in many different capacities. Volunteers provide Medicare and health insurance information, counseling and assistance in person or over the phone, delivers educational presentations or speeches, distributes educational and promotional materials in your community, provides training and leadership to other volunteers, or assists with general program support. Assignments are matched to the skills and interests of each volunteer.

The Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports its volunteers through a network of paid staff and volunteer coordinators. The Department of Elder Affairs provides training and technical assistance. Volunteers also receive local mentoring and support from the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida.

The rewards for volunteer service are plentiful. Since the Program’s inception in 1993, SHINE volunteers have helped Florida elders and their caregivers save millions of dollars, and they have brought peace of mind to those who needed guidance in understanding and accessing health insurance options.

To inquire about volunteer opportunities or to request SHINE services in your community, contact the local Elder Helpline toll-fee a 1-866-413-5337. For more information, you may also call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337), or visit us online at www.floridashine.org.

Blood pressure

Free blood pressure screenings are available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.

Knock out Parkinson’s

This boxing program improves strength, fitness, hand-eye coordination, balance and agility aimed at helping Parkinson’s patients. Taught by a certified USA Boxing coach, the program is offered from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Charlotte Harbor Boxing Club (24710 Sandhill Blvd, Unit 803, near the Kings Highway exit of Interstate 75). Space is limited. Call 239-292-9230, www.parkinsonsneurochallenge.org/ or www.facebook.com/CharlotteHarborBoxingGymnasium/ for more information.

Boxing for Parkinson’s patients

Now in Port Charlotte, the newest affiliate of the national organization, Rock Steady Boxing, offers positive progress through physical activity to people with Parkinson’s. Male and female adults with similarly matching assessments fill the classes at 1770 El Jobean Road. Dawn Holt, accredited Rock Steady Boxing affiliate, conducts classes five days a week. Each class features generous individual attention supported by Holt’s RSB accreditation, her OAS degree and her eight-year profession as personal trainer.

For class information or assessment, call 941-661-6762 or visit rocksteadyboxing.org.

Mental health program

Venice United Church of Christ is sponsoring a series of informational programs, on the fourth Thursday of the month, on the subject of mental health issues. The public is invited and there is no charge. Plan to join us in Naar Hall on the church campus at 620 Shamrock Blvd., Venice. For additional information contact the church office at 941-493-6741.

Eye, ear care

The four Lions Clubs in the area offer eye exams, eye glasses and uninsured surgeries to prevent blindness in individuals with vision impairments. Those living in Punta Gorda can contact Bill Ringelstein at 941-637-9979; those in Port Charlotte can contact Terri Smith at 941-391-1203; in Englewood, contact Gary Nieskes at 941-786-7778; and in North Port contact Penny Gregrich at 941-740-2860.

The Punta Gorda Lions Foundation has received funding to provide hearing exams and hearing aids to those anywhere in Charlotte County who need assistance with hearing problems. To determine eligibility, please contact Bill Ringelstein, Punta Gorda Lions at 941-637-9979.

Respite care

Join “A Special Place” a Burnt Store Presbyterian Church program for seniors and those with memory loss. This group respite program offers high quality day care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia clients while providing necessary time off for their caregivers. The program is held from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. every Thursday (except holidays) at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda

Volunteers are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to get more information on how to become a volunteer.

Donations of craft materials, games, videos and other program supplies are always appreciated. Donations can be made at the church office.

For more information contact the church office at 941-639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by e-mail to office@bspconline.org.

Online parenting class

Bayfront Baby Place at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte recently expanded its offering of educational resources for new parents. During their stay at Bayfront Baby Place, new moms (and dads) have been able to enjoy educational programming in their room on the television network, The Newborn Channel. Now, patients can also access this programming online and on mobile devices.

The Newborn Channel offers several informative programs on topics such as newborn, infant, and mom care, siblings and family life, and work-life balance.

For more information on how to access The Newborn Channel online programming, call 941-637-2497.

Pulmonary diet nutrition class

A free pulmonary diet nutrition class will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Seating is limited so call 941-637-2497 to register.

Cardiac diet nutrition class

A free cardiac diet nutrition class will be held at 9 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Registration is required by calling 941-637-2497.

CHAT forums

The Englewood Community Health Action Team meets at 9 a.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St., Englewood. The meetings allow social services, nonprofits and churches to network.

VOLUNTEER Volunteer coaches and leaders needed for Health and Wellness classes

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is seeking volunteers to lead health and wellness workshops across the region. AAASWFL offers workshops to assist adults age 60 and over, adults with disabilities and their caregivers in seven counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota.

Volunteers have the opportunity to lead fitness workshops focused on the unique needs of older adults. Specifically, these workshops are designed to teach older adults preventative measures to avoid falls, improve their balance, and manage chronic conditions. Classes include Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention, A Matter of Balance, Walk With Ease, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Training is provided for these programs, and AAASWFL provides mileage reimbursement for volunteers. Workshops are typically held on weekday mornings and afternoons, so volunteers with flexible schedules are appreciated. Volunteers should also be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition or community outreach is helpful.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, at 239-652-6900 or sherry.young@aaaswfl.org for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL website: www.aaaswfl.org.

Volunteers needed at Bayfront Health

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte welcomes adult volunteers to greet visitors at the front information desk and drive the courtesy tram. Volunteers receive free flu shots, luncheons, and a complimentary meal for every four-hour shift. Volunteers can apply online at www.bayfrontcharlotte.com/about/volunteer-opportunities, fill out an application found at front desk, or call 941-637-2570 for more information.

Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies

Volunteers are an essential part of C.A.R.E., assisting victims of crimes, answering hotline calls, conducting hospital responses, and in fundraising endeavors. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact 941-639-5499 for more information.

Charlotte County Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help distribute meals to Charlotte County residents who are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. The organization is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver these meals from Monday through Friday. A volunteer driver may volunteer once a week, once every other week, or once a month. The delivery routes are in the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas. To volunteer to deliver meals, call 941-625-4343.

Homeless Coalition

Homeless Coalition: Drivers for Veterans Program. Scheduling will be in advance and as needed; volunteers needed to help with eBay store; kitchen help from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; front desk help in the office of the shelter, 9 a.m. to noon; Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; front desk help in the main office, 9 a.m. to noon and noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; filing help from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; administrative assistant help in the shelter from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; homework tutors from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; garage sale workers on the second and fourth Friday of every month; shelter case managers are needed. Twenty volunteers to help with a Homeless Simulation Training. Donation pick- up, one evening weekly in Port Charlotte. For more information, call or email Robin Clark, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-627-4313, ext. 109, Robin.Clark@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Pregnancy Careline Center

Pregnancy Careline Center seeks both female and male volunteers to assist Charlotte County citizens who have an unexpected or otherwise stressed pregnancy. Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas. For more information, call 941-625-5576 or www.pregnancycareline.org.

Special Olympics seeks volunteers

Special Olympics Charlotte County is looking for volunteers and coaches for a wonderful group of athletes. The organization is looking for coaches for swimming, golf, power lifting, softball and bowling. This does not have to be full time; any time you can volunteer would be greatly appreciated. For more information, email info@specialolympicscharlotte.org, or call 941-391-6906.

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