Senior dance tonight at 7

Waxahachie Senior Citizens Center will hold a dance from 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. Flashbacks will perform songs from the 1940s to the 1970s.

“Come out and dance to the ’50s, rock and roll, big band era and old country,” a spokesman said.

The cost is $4 per person.

Free financial seminar

Edward Jones is running a free financial seminar, “Leaving a Legacy,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Pappadeaux, 3520 Oak Lawn, Dallas. After the holidays, several other seminars will be planned.

This is part of a pilot program between Edward Jones and 100 Black Men of America Inc. to provide financial education and career opportunities for local residents.

Rotary blood drive

Waxahachie Rotary Club is sponsoring a blood drive through Carter BloodCare from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Waxahachie Civic Center parking lot at the Carter blood mobile. A photo ID will be required. Participants will be entered for a weekly chance to win an iPod Shuffle or new 8GB Apple iPhone grand prize. “Call Peggy Spalding at 972-938-7345 to sign up to give the most precious holiday gift of all, the gift of life,” a spokesman said. “Donors are urgently needed.”

For more information, call 1-800-DONATE-4.

Christmas celebration

Inspiration Inc. is inviting the community to “come celebrate the true meaning of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Ennis Public Library.

The nonprofit group will present its adaptation of the popular “Charlie Brown Christmas” followed by Christmas carols, praise dance and more.

Admission is free, with canned goods accepted as a donation for Helping Hands of Ennis. Seated is limited, so people are encouraged to come early.

Photos with Santa

Santa Claus is coming to Citizens Nation Bank of Texas. Come by the CNB Downtown location at 200 N. Elm from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 to have photographs taken with Santa Claus. The photos are free.

For more information, call 972-938-4300.

Book signing

Author Jennifer Jones-Bates will sign copies of her children’s book, “Caleb and Jack,” at an event at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Hastings Entertainment, 791 N. U.S. Highway 77.

Christmas Dinner at First United Methodist Church

The 11th annual Christmas meal will be held at First United Methodist Church on Dec. 25, with food available on a dine-in basis or for delivery to the homebound.

The meal will be served in the church’s Christian life center at from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Home deliveries will also begin at 11 a.m.

The number to call for carry-out deliveries or for further information is 972-937-4400.

A church spokesman said if there is no answer, callers are to leave their name and phone number and a church representative will return the call.

Menu will include traditional Christmas foods and desserts. Diabetic dishes will also be available.

Blood drive

The Waxahachie H-E-B will host a blood drive with Carter BloodCare from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, in the store parking lot. First-time donors must have a photo ID. For more information, call Linda Waisath at 972-923-2283.

Special education services

Ellis County Shared Services provides special education services to children with disabilities residing within the school district boundaries of Avalon, Ferris, Maypearl, Milford and Palmer.

Services are provided to children ages 3 through 21.

Children who have impaired vision or hearing can receive services from birth through age 21.

Services are also provided to students with disabilities attending a private school located within the boundaries of Ellis County Shared Services, regardless of the child’s place of residence, and to children attending a home school.

If you live in one of these school district zones or your child attends a private school in one of these school district zones, or is home schooled and you suspect your child has or might have a disability, contact the Ellis County Shared Services office at 972-544-2058.

“We will work with you to evaluate your child, determine if your child has a disability that qualifies under the law and provide educational services to your child if he or she does qualify for our help,” a spokesman said. “Our services are offered to your child free of charge.”

Anyone who has questions or who would like more information can contact the office at 972-544-2058.

Flu shots

Hope Clinic is offering flu shots to the public for $12 from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Shots for babies to adults are now available.

Flu shots also are available at the nurse’s office at Waxahachie Junior High School during school hours Monday-Friday. Shots are $20.

Master Gardener training

Applications are now available for the 2008 Master Gardener Training program. Texas Master Gardeners are trained members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens.

The time commitment is from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of February. Trainees also will be asked to complete 75 hours of volunteer service before graduating from the Master Gardener program.

Application forms are available on the Ellis County Master Gardener’s Web site at www.ECMGA.com or by calling 972-825-5175. Tuition for the program is $100.

Class size is limited and attendance is required at all sessions to complete the program. Deadline for application is Jan. 11.

Oversight committee

The Ellis County Bond Oversight Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in the second floor courtroom of the Ellis County Courthouse. The committee reviews progress on the county’s facilities projects, including the courts and administration building and the jail addition.

For more information, call 972-825-5000.

Nature Exchange Program

Pettigrew Academy will host the Dallas Zoo Nature Exchange Program from 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 12, at 806 E. Marvin Ave., Waxahachie.

The event is free and open to the public. Children are invited to bring their nature items to trade, such as rocks, fossils, pressed leaves, flowers or any other nature-related item.

“Get points for your items and start your own account,” a spokesman said. “Spend the points in your account to take home a new treasure from nature.”

The event will include special snowflake and ice activities, along with food, games and crafts.

Chili cook-off and dance

The seventh annual Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center chili cook-off and barn dance will be held Friday-Sunday, Feb. 1-3, at the Ellis County Expo Center.

The event features CASI-sanctioned chili cook-offs all three days, with junior, novice and bean competition also on Saturday. A celebrity mechanical bull-riding competition is Friday-Saturday, with a silent auction Saturday.

For more information about sponsorships, donations, judging and volunteer opportunities, contact the center at 972-937-1870.

Ennis Czech Music Festival

The Czech polka bands of Ennis invite the public to the annual Ennis Czech Music Festival from 2-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Sokol Activity Center, 2622 E. State Highway 34, Ennis.

“Listen and dance to five bands,” a spokesman said. “The kitchen will be open if you get hungry, so come on out and let’s party. This is a great way to extend your support and appreciation for Czech music and heritage.”

Bands and times include Ennis Czech Boys at 2 p.m., Jak Se Do at 4, Harvesters at 6, Jodie Mikula Orchestra at 8 and Czech and Then Some at 10.

The cost is $5 per person, with children ages 14 and younger admitted free.

Dress is casual, but Czech costumes (kroj) are welcome.

For more information, listen to the Sunday Morning Polka Show from 9-10:50 a.m. Sundays on KBEC 1390 or visit online at www.KBEC.com.

Meals-on-Wheels barbecue benefit

Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties will hold its annual barbecue benefit at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Loma Linda event pavilion in Rockett. Prizes, entertainment, food and fun will be offered. For more information, call 972-351-9943 or visit online at www.servingthechildrenofyesterday.org.