Some weeks, an editor has enough information to write six columns.

And enough time to write three paragraphs.

So let’s try to keep this one to three really long paragraphs — broken into a bunch of smaller segments.

The weather map shows winter pushing through the Great Plains and Midwest this weekend. Certainly, it will also push our winter residents back down here — if not this weekend, soon.

There are a ton of volunteer opportunities and activities for them — and us.

Just this week, I toured Venice Theatre and watched as some volunteers taught Loveland residents a song for upcoming auditions while other volunteers broke down one stage set and still other volunteers prepared new ones.

And guess what Venice Theatre has? Opportunities for volunteers. There’s also a rumor of doughnuts occasionally being available. Volunteers and workers there spoke of it being “one big family.” So, if you’re in the mood for a new family, visit or stop by the facility at 140 W. Tampa Ave.

Over at Agape Flights, they also appreciate new and returning volunteers. Many residents have given to them through donations and financial contributions. They could use your hands and hearts as well, if you have the time. You can check out their needs at or by calling 941-488-0990.

There’s also Literacy Volunteers of America of South Sarasota County. Sure, there are a lot of words in the name, but let’s face it: They work with words. Words don’t intimidate them. Their process is to help people who are foreign to English and assist them as they learn our sometimes tricky language. The website is

These are just three volunteer opportunities. We are working on a story about the many others for an upcoming edition of the Gondolier.

Needing something to do? Well, we’ve got that covered in Venice and the area as well. There’s the new farmers market at CoolToday Park in West Villages on Wednesday; the classic farmers market next to City Hall in Venice on Saturdays and, well, WaWa. Apparently, we really care about WaWa. And by we, I mean, you.

Aside from that, there are small and large events. At 10 a.m. Thursday, a ribbon-cutting will take place at Julia Cousins Laning and Dale Laning Archives & Research Center. Eat your heart out on that name, Literacy Volunteers of America of South Sarasota County.

According to the city, the center holds more than “23,000 items, ranging from historic artifacts to Venice High School yearbooks to the earliest editions of the Venice Gondolier newspaper.”

So I have at least one reason to check it out.

Want to help out a nonprofit with a fancy dinner? The inaugural Road to Independence Foundation is set from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 26 at Fox Lea Farms.

“Kids in foster care travel a very bumpy and uncertain road through no fault of their own,” the invitation notes. “Our organization was formed to give these great kids a better chance to find The Road to Independence as they age out of foster care.”

Tickets start at $25 with an additional $10 for parking. For more information on that event, visit or call 941-376-3768.

Then there’s the fun of the Sun Fiesta that takes place starting Friday, Oct. 18, through Sunday. There’s the Sertoma Wine Fest on Oct. 17; Laughter Yoga at Venice Beach on Sundays; and the Children’s Halloween Parade at 5 p.m. Oct. 31 downtown.

So there’s your three paragraphs of things to do in terms of volunteer opportunities or entertainment — or a little bit of both. Of course, when I refer to three paragraphs, pick your favorite three and read those.


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