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Community Briefs

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By The Staff

The Gadsden County Writers Association is seeking officers for its board of directors, including president, vice president and secretary-treasurer.The association will meet Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Writers and wanna-be writers of all ages and genres are encouraged to attend and meet other authors. Information will be made available regarding sessions to be held Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.

A book club is also forming, and will meet Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.

Complimentary refreshments and food will be served at all functions. For more information, call Dolores "Elf" Caracci at 875-4199 or 591-7799. The meetings will be held at Eyes of a Child, located at 12 W. Washington St. in Quincy.

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A dance to celebrate the presidential inauguration will be held at the Michael Moore Lodge Jan. 17, from 9 p.m. until. Cost for the dance is $10. The lodge is located at 320 East Washington St.

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Eight of the region’s top artists will contribute original works of art for the upcoming live auction and “Chance to Win” portions of the Gadsden Arts Center’s Night on the Nile Gala fundraiser. These artists are known for having a true signature style in the use their particular mediums, exceptional quality work and an original, clear “voice” in their artistic expression. The artists are Julie Baroody (acrylic and mixed-media), Denise Choppin (mixed-media), William H. McKeown (watercolors), Dawn McMillan (watercolor and pastels), Dean Mitchell (watercolor and oils), Eluster Richardson (watercolor and oils), Don Taylor (watercolor) and Kathleen Wilcox (enamel and mixed-media).

These artists’ contributed works of art can be previewed at the Gadsden Arts Center Web site, www.gadsdenarts.org, on the Events page. Anyone interested in enjoying a possible bargain on one of these works is invited to purchase tickets to the gala on Jan. 24 at the Sawano Club in Quincy, and bid during the auction. Event tickets are $85 each or two for $150, or purchase a table for eight people for $650, which includes fine food and refreshments, live and silent auctions, entertainment and music by Crooked Shooz.

The Dean Mitchell work entitled, “Brighter Days for New Orleans” has been selected as the “buy a chance to win” piece, with “chances” available for a $25 donation each. The winner need not be present at the gala.

To purchase tickets, stop by Gadsden Arts or call 875-4866.

The Gadsden Arts Center is located at 13 N. Madison St. in Quincy. Gadsden Arts Center gallery and gift shop hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Group tours are available free of charge. Call 875-4866 for reservations.

January will be a busy month for children's programs at Gadsden Arts.The Tallahassee Community College 21st Century Community Learning Centers after school program will continue every Wednesday, in partnership with TCC and the TCC Quincy House; student art exhibitions from Stuart Street Elementary and St. John Elementary schools will be featured in the Bates Children's Gallery; a Family Gallery Guide for the Journey Toward Freedom and Phil Gleason exhibitions will be available at the center and via the center's Web site, with art information, a glossary of terms and fun in-gallery and at-home activities for children; and all docent-guided tours and school programs are available by request, free of charge.

To sponsor children's art programs or to volunteer, call Grace Maloy, executive director, at 875-4866.

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The Gadsden County Humane Society will have a pet adoption booth at PetSmart in Tallahassee, 3220 Capital Circle NE, on Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. See photos and descriptions of our available pets at www.gadsdenhumane.org. For more information on adopting a new friend, please contact GCHS at 539-0505. The society will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 at First Presbyterian Church, 213 N.E. 1st St., in Havana. Meetings are held at this location and time on the second Tuesday of each month, and everyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to make a donation, foster a homeless pet or adopt a new friend, please contact GCHS at 539-0505 or check the Web site at www.gadsdenhumane.org.

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Members of the Class of 1970 will meet at the Quincy Library at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 to discuss their 40th reunion. For more information, call Leonard Brown at 875-1327 or Ethel McCray-Marshall at 856-5408.

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The Gadsden 4-H Saddle Club is sponsoring an open speed show Jan. 31 at the Gadsden Livestock Pavilion in Quincy. Divisions include Peewee-9 & under, youth-18 & under, as well as open classes. Registration begins at 11 a.m., and the exhibition begins at noon. Runs will not begin before 1 p.m. Class pricing is $3 per run, exhibition classes; $10 per run, Peewee Poles and Cloverleaf; $15 per run, youth poles and Cloverleaf; and $15 per run, open poles and Cloverleaf. Cash prizes will be awarded, and all events are 3D, 50 percent paybaack. No refunds after a class is announced, and registration will close after a class is announced. Current negative Coggins is required for all horses on the premises. The event is sponsored by Locke’s Tree Service, and all proceeds will benefit the Saddle Club.

The club is also raffling off a 3-year-old paint mare, a sorrel and white, unregistered quarter horse. The horse is a female, currently 14.2 hands, vaccinated, and has just started training. Horse will be raffled as is, and delivery is not included. Drawing will be held March 28 at the Gadsden Horsemen’s Association show. Winner need not be present to win. Tickets are $5 each, and all proceeds will benefit the club. Call Elva Peppers at 566-6213 for more information.

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The Gadsden County Coalition for Change is organizing a food drive as an answer to President-elect Barack Obama’s call for Americans to give back to their communities. The drive will supply food to various food banks in Gadsden County. If you would like to donate a nonperishable food item, please call Rick at 539-5338, Johnnie Mae at 663-3900 or Monica at 510-4015.

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East Gadsden High School is hosting a parent and student FCAT Explosion, for students in grades six through 12.

While students take advantage of tutoring in reading, math, writing and science, parents will receive free gifts, including a dinner for two, gift cards, a shopping spree, and gas and phone cards.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until noon at the following locations and on these dates:

•  Jan. 17, Midway City Hall

• Jan. 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Quincy Public Library

• Jan. 31, Beulah Hill Missionary Baptist Church

The Gadsden County School District's mobile Parent Resource Unit will be onsite at each location.

For more information, call Debra Lewis-Stafford at 539-2882.

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, part of United Way of the Big Bend’s Best Project, needs volunteers.

VITA offers free tax preparation at sites throughout the Big Bend from January to April each year. This fast and free service helps residents avoid predatory income-tax preparers and costly, refund-anticipation loans. VITA volunteers work to ensure that eligible families take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can increase a family’s annual income up to 15 percent.

Volunteers receive free training to become an IRS-certified tax preparer and then volunteer a few hours per month to prepare taxes to help people in our community keep more of what they earn.

For more information or to sign up, contact Stephanie Brandt at 488-8342 or e-mail her at stephanie@uwbb.org.

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Capital Health Plan will host a series of lunch and learn programs for older adults who want to learn more about creating and maintaining healthy, happy and active lifestyles.The first is set for Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m. featuring, "Recharge Yourself with Personal Health Resolutions" by Melissa Dancer-Brown, a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist. The program will be held at the Gadsden Historical Society, 304 West King St. in Quincy. No charge; bring your own lunch and drinks provided.

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The Carter-Parramore Class of 1966 will meet Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. in Quincy City Hall. All class members are asked to attend. A reunion is planned for July 3-5. For more information, call Barbara Swann at 442-6482 or Richard Taylor at 627-3534.

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An inaugural celebration in honor of President-elect Barack Obama, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Quincy Conference Center. Attire is business dress. American cuisine will be served.The event is free. For more information, call 875-4507.