Nick Longhi is a graduate of Venice High School who plays with the Cincinnati Reds organization. He is hosting a free holiday baseball clinic at Venice Little League from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 15. This event is an annual tradition for 90 children ages 7 to 12 at Chuck Reiter Stadium. For 32 years it has been run by Venice’s top baseball players and coaches, including Jack Voigt, Jon Knott, and for the past three years by Longhi.

A scholarship program was launched nine years ago to cover registration costs for families in financial need and has provided scholarships for over 150 campers. Donations go towards instructors, insurance, field rentals, prizes, snacks, drinks and T-shirts for campers. Sponsors names appear on the website year round, a banner at the clinic and campers’ T-shirts.

For more information, visit www.holidaybase ballclinic.com.

Rockin’ and treats Thursday on West Venice Avenue

Stop in and support a local charity while enjoying a sweet treat at another Rockin’ Night at Ciao Gelato on West Venice Avenue.

Hosted by Daria & Rod Nafziger, it coincides with the Venice Christmas Stroll from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

George Byrne entertains; all tips with donations benefit The Venice Christmas Angels Fund.

Toys or cash for tots

For the Marine Toys for Tots Program drop in new, unwrapped toys at City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., or the Municipal Airport, 150 Airport Ave. E. by the second week of December. They will stored and sorted in warehouses then at Christmas, coordinators, with local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to needy children in the community. For details and to make a financial donation, visit https://toysfortots.org.

Celebrate Christmas

Bring the family with your lawn chair to the Christmas Eve Dec. 24 Candlelight Service at the Gazebo in Centennial Park at 6 p.m. to celebrate God’s gift with Venice Bible Church.

Art & Basket Show with lunch

Enjoy a Soup and Salad Luncheon on Thursday Dec. 13 from11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art and Basket Show at South Venice Yacht Club, 4425 Yacht Club Drive. They have an active Kayak Club, art classes, basket weaving classes, line- dancing classes, card and game days, tickets $10.

Doctors Hospital earns “A” grade for patient safety

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit tracking safety in hospitals, graded Doctors Hospital of Sarasota for the ninth consecutive time with an “A” grade. The rating system focuses on errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

“We have an excellent reputation for safety and quality and I thank our dedicated team for their compassionate and safe care provided for our community,” said Robert Meade, CEO of Doctors Hospital. They also earned the highest rating, five stars from the Center for Medicaid Services for quality.

Caring Star of 2019

Holiday Retirement’s the Venetian Gardens at 450 Venice East Boulevard was selected as a “Caring Star of 2019,” part of an annual nationwide rating honoring service excellence. It was based on consumer ratings and reviews posted on Caring.com. Jim Rosenthal, website CEO congratulated the Venetian Gardens team for earning such high praise from residents and their family members. Call 941-208-4039.

Christmas events downtown

• Friday Night Concert featuring Larry Yunker & Michael Dempsey at Gazebo Friday, 7 to 9 p.m.

• Golf Cart “Not Parade” Friday 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. outside Venice Wine & Coffee

• Holiday Tree Lighting in West Blalock Park on Saturday, at 5 p.m.

• Chanukah Klezmer Festival in Centennial Park on Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

• Christmas Friday Night Concert with Mindy Simmons Christmas at Gazebo at Gazebo on Friday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

• Christmas Gazebo Starlight Cinema featuring Home Alone on Thursday Dec. 20, at 5:40 p.m.

Editor’s note: Service and product information in this column should not be taken as an endorsement of the business. Send your new business opening, an expansion, a relocation or other significant event to rogerbutton@verizon.net.

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