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 beginning Jan. 6 and continuing weekly 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.
‘Who Will Win?’
“Who Will Win?” will be presented by Chelsea Place Senior Care from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, at 3626 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Information will be provided about the benefits of home care versus senior day care. Free food and drinks will be offered. For more information or to RSVP, call 941-787-0687.
‘Chef Nights for Kids’
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast will host “Chefs Night for Kids’ event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Jan. 17 at Charlotte County Beach Complex, 4500 Harbor Boulevard, Port Charlotte. Tickets are $45 per person. Proceeds from the event benefit the children in the Port Charlotte area served by Big Brothers Big Sisters. For more information, contact Melissa Nelson, Regional Program Director, at 941-764-5812, or email@example.com. To purchase tickets, visit https://one.bidpal.net/cnk2019.
Englewood Lions Club to host flea market
Englewood Lions Club on 4611 Placida Road, Englewood, will be hosting its Flea Market the second Sunday of every month through March, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Inside tables are available for $20 each. Vendor spots outside are available for $15 each. For more information, call Diane at 941-681-2161.
Elite Training & Fitness, 946 Tamiami Trail #204, Port Charlotte will be holding a health fair from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 17. There will be free chair massages, blood pressure screening, glucose screening, hearing screening and video otoscopy exams, balance testing, posture and movement screening, raffle prizes, drawings, free refreshments and more. For more information, call 941-286-3475.
Ride for Tiny Town
Ride for Tiny Town, a celebration ride for the Arcadia community of 2019 will be held at 8 a.m. on Feb. 9. The start and finish line is at the Mosaic Arena in Arcadia. Bicyclists from around Florida are invited to participate with 15, 30, and 60 mile routes. The ride is fully supported with periodic rest stops and sag vehicles.
Ride pre-registration is only $40, ride day registration $50. Participants can preregister online at ridefortinytown.com or by sending name, address, phone, email, and $40 to Ride for Tiny Town, 1144 NW Peace Point Drive, Arcadia, Florida 34266.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 2019 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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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: 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 email@example.com, or call 941-391-6906.