Swim with Santa

Swim with Santa from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 19 at the North Port Aquatic Center, 6205 W. Price Blvd. Wear your swimsuits, bring your cameras, and find an Instagram-worthy tropical holiday photo op, enjoy holiday games and crafts, along with some delicious hot chocolate. Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5, with complimentary admission for the supervising adult. Registration is recommended at http://bit.ly/NPACSantaSwim or can stop by either the North Port Aquatic, Morgan, or Mullen centers to register in person. Attendees are asked to practice good physical distancing while in attendance. Masks are strongly encouraged when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. Call Parks & Recreation at 941-429-PARK (7275).

Lions toy drive

The Englewood Lions Club is having its a yearly fund drive to help purchase Christmas gifts for children of Englewood Elementary School. Due to the pandemic, the club is not having in-person collection sites, but is accepting donations through its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/englewoodlions. Donors may also send a check to Englewood Lions Club, 4611 Placida Road, Englewood, FL 34224 and indicate it is for "Christmas Toys." All money collected will go directly to Englewood Elementary School Gift Program.

Polar Dip

The North Port Parks & Recreation will have its second annual Polar Dip, set for 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 2 at North Port Aquatic Center, 6205 W. Price Blvd. Cost is $5. Slide down the Tarpon Twister or the Dolphin Dive and splash among ice cubes at the bottom. Float down the Relaxahatchee lazy river or escape the cold water and warm up with some hot chocolate in addition to glacial games and activities. Space is limited, so register at https://bit.ly/NPPolarDip or stop by the North Port Aquatic Center, or the Morgan or the George center for assistance. Remember to practice good physical distancing and use masks on the pool deck, when not participating in the swimming activities and when distance cannot be maintained. Call 941-429-7275 or email Parks@CityOfNorthPort.com for more information.

Senior softball

The Englewood Men's Senior Softball League will have tryouts and drafts for the Winter 2021 season at 9 a.m. Jan. 4 and Jan. 5. New players are welcome. Safety protocols in place. Registration is strongly recommended. Must turn 60 or older in 2021. Get forms at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 River Road, or www.englewoodseniorsoftball.weebly.com. For more info, contact Rudy Davis at 978-204-6799.

Blood drive

GFWC Rotonda West Woman’s Club and the Rotonda Golf and Country Club are joining for a blood drive for OneBlood from 9 a.m until 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2021 at The Hills Marina, 100 Rotonda Circle, Rotonda West. Contact Ellen Lang at 917-579-7770 or grammylang@gmail.com for appointments.


Englewood Opry

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. Volunteers are needed. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, 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 ashley@tri-countycounseling.org.

VFW Bingo

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.

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