COMMUNITY CALENDAR

BLOUNT COUNTY EDUCATION RETIREES ASSOCIATION will meet Friday, Dec. 1, at 10:30 a.m., at Charlie B’s Restaurant. Amy Rhudy, Blount County Memorial Museum curator, will coordinate the program ‘Fun Time with Santa Dollars.’

ALTOONA CHRISTMAS PARADE will be Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. There will be bands, floats, classic cars, mascots, costumed characters, Santa, and more. For more information or a parade entry, phone city hall at 589-2311.

TOWN OF HIGHLAND LAKE will hold a work session at 6 p.m. and the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Anchor, 612 Lakeshore Drive.

HAYDEN CHRISTMAS PARADE will be Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. The parade will begin on Bent Tree Drive near Hayden Primary School and move down Ala 160, ending at the Hayden Town Hall with Santa and the tree-lighting ceremony. Groups are invited to participate in the parade. Phone the town hall at 647- 7191 or visit www.townofhayden.com for applications and more information.

BLOUNTSVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE will be Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. Floats will be judged and awards given. The town invites the public to the annual Christmas Open House at the town hall following the parade for cookies and cocoa. Take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and elves at no charge. Questions? Email susanblythe321@gmail.com or phone 429-2406.

TOWN OF CLEVELAND will have the annual Christmas in the Park on Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at 5 p.m., with a community choir presenting ‘Christmas is in His Presence.’ Refreshments will follow at 6 p.m., with carols performed by string instruments, and Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m. for visits and photos (bring your camera).

PALISADES PARK The 17th annual Christmas Lights in the Park is open between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. every night in December, except Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Santa will be at the cottage and available for photos on Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 16, 17, and 22.

AMARYLLIS GARDEN CLUB MITTEN TREE is up at the Oneonta Public Library. Needs are for mittens, gloves, caps, warm clothing items, books, small toys, and coloring books and crayons. The items will be distributed to the Blount County Children’s Center and Hope House by Dec. 20.

RICKWOOD CAVERNS STATE PARK The first-ever holiday in the cave will be Dec. 1-23, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. each day. The theme is Santa’s Underground Workshop and the cave will be lit with colorful Christmas lights. Admission is $10 per person.

BLOUNTSVILLE HISTORICAL PARK Pictures with Santa will be Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon until 4 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., near the fireplace and old-time Christmas tree.

Christmas Open House will be Sunday, Dec. 3, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. There will be carols, special music, refreshments, and a live Nativity (at 1 p.m.), with the park decorated as Christmas during the 1800s.

Friday, Dec. 8, beginning at 9 a.m., Carolyn Vest will teach a Christmas table decorations class with supplies except your greenery supplied. The cost is $10 and you take your masterpiece home.

The large pavilion is open for weddings, parties, reunions, and celebrations. The park is now open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Phone 429-2468 for booking information.

ONEONTA PUBLIC LIBRARY ‘Twas the Night’ Poetry Contest is for ages 7-11 and 12-18. Gift cards will be awarded to winners in each age bracket. There is a 100-word limit for ages 7-11 and 200-word limit for ages 12-18. Entries are due Dec. 15 and may be submitted at the library or at oplib@otelco.net. Winners will be announced Dec. 18.

Twisted Stitchers will meet Monday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. Needlecrafters of all kinds are invited.

La Leche League will meet Monday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m.

Anime and Manga club for teens will meet Thursday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. Japanese snacks will be served.

A Polar Express pajama party will be Friday and Saturday nights, Dec. 8 and 9, and Friday, Dec. 15, beginning at 6 p.m. Watch the movie and kids will get a special surprise. Space is limited.

Patrons may check out up to four DVD or BlueRay movies for up to seven days. New releases are limited to two per card for a maximum of three days. An increased late fine of $1 per day is now in effect.

Hours are Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit www.oneontapubliclibrary.org for more information on library programs.

ONEONTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL will host the Scholastic Book Fair on Monday, Dec. 4, through Thursday, Dec. 7, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and Friday, Dec. 9, from 8 a.m. until noon, at the OES Media Center. Books for classroom libraries and gift certificates are available for purchase. Visit www.scholastic.com/bf/oes1 to order online.

ONEONTA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION The Annual Holiday Decorating Contest winners (First – $500, Second – $250, Third – $100, honorable mentions, and people’s choice – $100) will be announced Saturday, Dec. 16, at noon, in front of Miller’s Soda Shoppe.

‘Run, Hide, Fight: Responding to an Active Shooter’ will be the topic of discussion at the OBA meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 5:30 p.m., at the Woodman Life building on Ala 75. Corporal Anthony Brewer with the OPD will present the program.

The community Christmas tree lighting will be Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., at the gazebo downtown.

For information on these exciting OBA events, visit www.oneontabusinessassoc iation.com.

COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY EXERCISE CLASSES will be Friday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m., at the Frank Green Building auditorium. Exercises are approved by the American Arthritis Association and the class is free to attend. Phone Sonya at 625-6079 with questions.

PICTURE MAKERS PHOTO CLUB meets at 6:30 p.m., on the last Thursday of each month at the Cleveland Fire Department. Those with an interest in photography and any skill level are invited. Phone 559-2203 or 274-8608 for more information.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE meets on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., at Main Street Coffee, adjacent to Miller’s Soda Shoppe. A light supper will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed by casual conversation about the real-life topic of the week. Visit www.aplaceatthetableoneonta.com to learn more. No charge.

BLOUNT COUNTY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION meets every fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Resource Center in Cleveland. Phone Charlene Makofsky at 999- 8948 or Hal Hendrix at 243-8424 for more information.

MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART Chapter 2213 meets the first Tuesday of each month at The Smokin Grill, 85 Purple Heart Blvd., Springville, at 6 p.m. for dinner and 7 p.m. meeting. Guest speakers address subjects of interest to veterans. Contact Chaplain Cmdr. Lonnie Wadsworth at 790-1141 or email lonnie.wadsworth@windstream.net for more information.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS The Blount County group meets Mondays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 8 a.m. Alanon meets Mondays at noon. Both groups meet in Allgood. For information and directions to the meetings, phone 274- 7780 or 274-0596.

BLOUNT COUNTY DULCIMER GROUP The group holds jam sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., at the Amilea Porter Building at Palisades Park.

BLOUNT COUNTY MEMORIAL MUSEUM The museum is sponsoring a photography contest and is seeking photos of historical interest in Blount County. Photos should be 4×6 or 5×7 for ages 17 and up and should include the item, location, and date of the photo on the back. Supply photographer information on a separate sheet of paper. Deadline to submit a photo is Feb. 15, 2018. The photo could be on next year’s museum Christmas ornament.

The museum invites middle and high school students to submit an essay about a historical and/or cultural aspect of life in Blount County, e.g., hometown sports, farming, family heritage, bridges, caverns and caves.

Visit www.blountmuseum.org or phone curator Amy Rhudy at 685-6905 for details on all events. Museum hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

STRAIGHT MOUNTAIN FIRE DEPARTMENT announces that recycling services have been discontinued. The department asks that the public refrain from leaving recyclables or trash on the ground at the unmanned station. Phone John Storey at 515-4090 with questions.

WEST BLOUNT FIRE and Emergency Medical Services District dues are being accepted. The mandatory tax-deductible dues are $150 and may be sent to WBF&EMSD, P.O. Box 229, Hayden, AL 35079. Those under financial hardships may complete an application for reduced or monthly payments. Assistance with applications and notary service is available one hour before the board meeting, held the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

BLOUNTSVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY Library hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Phone 429- 3156 or visit www.blountsvillepubliclibrary. info for more information.

ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS The Blount County office is now open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

STRAIGHT MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEER FIRE AND RESCUE is seeking volunteer firefighters for the area. Business meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., Station #1 at 4201 County Road 29. Training is held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Phone Jeremy at 965- 6616 with questions.

BLOUNT COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT Firearms Training Course is currently being offered, teaching gun safety, handling, and care of a handgun. The free course is open to the public, but individuals must have their own handgun and ammunition. For more information or to register, contact Lt. Russ Claburn or operations officer Tim Kent at 625-4127, or email rclaburn422@yahoo.com.

BLOUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT will sponsor a women’s self defense class ‘Refuse to be a victim’ held at Blountsville Town Hall on the second Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Learn self-defense techniques and bolster confidence with the free classes.

THE CRISIS CENTER serves individuals who have experienced sexual assault and offers medical exams, counseling, and advocacy. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., with additional hours provided as needed. Individuals who have experienced sexual assault may reach the Crisis Center at any time via the Rape Response hotline at 323-7273, or during business hours at 202 2nd Avenue West, Oneonta.

ALACARE HOME HEALTH Breakfast Club is for adults experiencing the loss of a loved one and meets the second Thursday of each month from 9 a.m until 10 a.m. at 1409 2nd Avenue East (across from Sonic). Phone 274-9188 to register or for more information.

LITERACY COUNCIL READING TUTORS Know an adult who wants to learn to read? The Blount County Literacy Council has trained volunteer reading tutors and the service is free to Blount County residents.

Phone 256-615-5614 for more information. DIVORCECARE BLOUNT COUNTY has sessions at First Baptist Church Oneonta, 300 3rd Avenue East. Separation and divorce can be a difficult time for families, especially children. DivorceCare 4 Kids, geared toward ages 5-12, whose parents are separated or divorced, is also offered. Phone Dawn King-Smith at 283-3357, email dking8669@yahoo. com, or visit DivorceCare.org for more information and times.

BLOUNT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT To find out if you meet income and nutrition guidelines to qualify for WIC, phone 274-2120. WIC is an equal opportunity provider.

DISABILITY RIGHTS AND RESOURCES is located in the Family Services Center. The group enables people with disabilities to fully participate in the community. Services include independent living skills training, employment assistance, and home modification. Questions? Phone 274-0174 to make an appointment or visit www.ilrgb.org.

‘FIX YOUR MAMA’ is a spay/neuter program with Crossing Paths Animal Rescue for Blount County residents who need financial assistance to fix female dogs or cats and male pit bulls or pit mixes. A $25 fee covers the surgery and a rabies vaccination. There are a limited number of appointments. Donations are needed to keep the program going and may mailed to PO Box 262, Cleveland, AL 35049. Phone 559-7007 for more information or to make an appointment.

DOG FOSTER FAMILIES NEEDED Crossing Paths Animal Rescue finds homes for hundreds of Blount County dogs every year. Dogs can be saved if there are foster homes to house them for a short time. Contact Mary Ellen at 559- 7648 if you are interested in being foster parents to a homeless dog. All food and medical care is provided while the dog is in foster care.

BLOUNT COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER Hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon until 4:30 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., phone 625-6026.

BLOUNT COUNTY AND ONEONTA CITY SCHOOLS CHILD FIND is an effort to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities from birth to age 21. Children with disabilities such as hearing or vision impairment, developmental, or other impairments will benefit from the program, which works to plan appropriate services and link families to services for students . Phone the Blount County Board of Education at 625-4102, the Oneonta Board of Education at 625-4106, or 800-543-3098 for more information.

HOPE HOUSE THRIFT STORE is in need of gently used furniture, appliances, apparel, and household items. Please donate clean items in working condition. This allows the organization to provide items to needy Blount County residents at a low cost. All donations are tax deductible. Donations accepted 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. The address is 1000 Lincoln Avenue, Oneonta, phone 625-4673.