Free drivers ed
Charlotte County Public Schools is offering a free drivers education program this summer. Six hours of classroom 9-11 a.m. June 7-9 is followed by six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in four consecutive weekday sessions. It is open to all public and private school students enrolled in Charlotte County high school programs. Students receive a .5 credit hour for passing. Contact your high school for an application or call Ault's Driving School at 941-474-5125 to get an application. Students must have a learner's license and must always wear a mask. Register by May 27.
Boating safety seminar
US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Englewood Flotilla 87 will present a two-hour Seamanship Seminar at 6 p.m. April 26 via Zoom virtual meetings. The class teaches boat stability, personal watercraft, drowning and hypothermia, survival in the water, operator responsibilities, sailing skills, mooring, anchoring, and carbon monoxide exposure. Cost is $15. To register, go to www.coastguardenglewood.com/public_ed.html. Click on “Register for our classes” at the bottom of the page to fill out the registration form.
'Left Coast Connections' exhibit
The Englewood Art Center, a division of Ringling College of Art and Design, presents “Left Coast Connections,” a group exhibition curated by George Zebot, on exhibit through May 28. This exhibition features the work of 31 artists with connections to the visionary artist and teacher, Dick Oden, who taught at California State University Long Beach. Showings are by appointment only. For more information, visit www.ringling.edu/EAC or call 941-474-5548.
Centennial geocache treasure
Celebrate Sarasota County's Centennial by finding treasure through a geocaching program at the North Port Library, 13800 Tamiami Trail. Starting in March, families can use the geocaching app or www.geocaching.com/play/search to find one of the 100 specially made tokens to keep or pass on. Geocaching is an international treasure hunt where players use GPS, clues, and their own intuition to find prize boxes hidden all over the world. Other programs are coming soon. Call 941-861-1300 or visit Sarasota County library website, www.scgov.net/government/departments/libraries.
LB Touchdown Club golf tourney
The Lemon Bay Touchdown Club will have its annual golf tournament Saturday, May 15, at Rotonda Golf & Country Club's Hills course, 100 Rotonda Circle, Rotonda West. It will be a four-person scramble starting at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The tournament is a fundraiser to support the Lemon Bay Manta Ray football program. Cost to play is $75 per player. To register or to help sponsor, contact Jeremy Dowd at 941-223-4461 or Suzie Moore at 941-270-6148, or email email@example.com.
Virtual tegu talk
North Port Friends of Wildlife will host a virtual presentation at 6 p.m. May 19 by Dan Quinn titled “An Incipient Population of Invasive Lizards in Charlotte County: The Argentine Black and White Tegu.” Quinn, a biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Nonnative Fish and Wildlife Program, will discuss invasive wildlife ecology and how the Nonnative Program functions to mitigate nonnative wildlife issues. The threat that tegus pose to Florida’s’ native wildlife and ecosystems warrants their designation as a high-priority species for management action. The FWC found tegus in Charlotte County in 2018 and more than 170 have been removed from FWC trap lines. For more information and a link to register, visit northportfriendsofwildlife.org and tap Events, or call 941-876-3720.
Registration is open for swim lessons at the North Port Aquatic Center, 6205 W. Price Blvd. Weekend sessions will be available May 15-30. Classes are Saturdays and Sundays, with course times varying based on the class level. The fee is $30 for North Port residents and $35 for non-residents. Programs, classes, and events are subject to change. Participants will be asked to practice good physical distancing and are encouraged to use a mask on the pool deck when distancing cannot be maintained. For more information, call 941-429-PARK(7275) or visit www.CityOfNorthPort.com/Pool.
Summer sailing camp
The Englewood Sailing Association's Learn to Sail Summer Camps are for students 10 to 17. No previous sailing experience is required but students must be comfortable in the water and know how to swim. Camps are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14-18, June 28-July 2, and July 12-16. Registration will be open until all spaces are filled. The cost is $150 and financial assistance is available if needed. To sign up or get more information, visit www.englewoodsailing.org.
Garden Club sale
Lemon Bay Garden Club, 480 Yale St., Englewood, has a weekly plant sale from 9-11 a.m. Fridays. The club had to cancel its annual November garden tour due to the pandemic, but members work each Friday propagating plants, their speciality is bromeliads. Visitors are asked to follow the CDC guidelines which includes wearing mask in the gardens. For more information, please call 941-474-9068.
The Englewood Opry, featuring The Sidemen and the Gulf Breeze Bluegrass Band, will play classic country and bluegrass from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Life Realized, 501 W. Dearborn St., Englewood. The shows are BYOB and free. Bring a chair. For more information, visit englewood-opry.com.
Crafty Ladies of GCUMC
The Crafty Ladies of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church have hand-crafted items available from 9-11:30 a.m. each Thursday at Oak’s Cove, the small building behind the church, 1100 S. McCall Road, Port Charlotte (Gulf Cove area). You can also call MaryEllen at 941-697-6384 to make an appointment for another day. Please note that masks and social distancing are mandatory. Email GulfCoveUMC@gmail.com or visit GulfCoveChurch.com for more information.
St. David’s Thrift Shop
St. David’s Thrift Shop, in the Beall’s Outlet shopping center, 485 Indiana Ave., Englewood, is now open. The store has many newly donated items, including clothing, accessories and household goods, all high-quality and reasonably priced. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Volunteers are needed to help at the store. For more information, please call 941-474-1047.
Coping with COVID
A COVID-19 support group meets at Tri-County Counseling for free from 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays, and 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at 12543 Tamiami Trail, Warm Mineral Springs. A mental health counselor helps participants learn to cope effectively with stress, anxiety and depression during this crisis. The counselor also helps with wellness techniques that foster mental and emotional health and gain invaluable support from other local residents struggling with similar issues. For more information, call 941-876-3060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10178's Auxiliary Bingo game has resumed at 1 p.m. Saturdays at at the post, 550 N. McCall Road, Englewood. Members and their guests a re invited. The Canteen is open with non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Players are social distancing and following recommended cleaning protocols Call the post for more information at 941-474-7516.