Vendor registration has begun for Midlothian Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fall Festival.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, on George Hopper Road and will include arts and crafts, food, live entertainment and martial arts demonstrations.

Other events include the chamber’s 5K race.

Vendor booths are available for $50 without electricity and $100 with electricity and water for chamber members and nonprofit organizations. Others can reserve a booth for $60 without electricity and $110 with electricity and water.

Booth space is on a first-come, first-served basis with payment received and only one vendor per booth is permitted.

For more information, call the chamber at (972) 723-8600 or e-mail info@midlothianchamber.org. Applications can also be downloaded at www.midlothianchamber.org.

College Day

High school students and their parents are invited to attend College Day at Palmer High School from 9-11 a.m. Sept. 17. Several universities, colleges and tech schools from across the United States will be in attendance.

For more information, call school counselors Jackie Ivison-Minchew and Rhonda Gradberg at (972) 449-3487.

Oktoberfest

The fourth annual St. Joseph Catholic School Oktoberfest will be Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Ellis County Youth Expo, located at 2300 W. U.S. Highway 287 Bypass in Waxahachie.

The event will kick-off with the second annual 5K and Fun Run, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. Game and vendor booths will open at 10 a.m., with performances and entertainment throughout the day. Events include a karaoke contest, washer tournament, bake-off, silent auction and drawings.

All proceeds benefit St. Joseph Catholic School.

To enter the 5K and Fun Run, karaoke contest, bake off, to reserve a booth or for more information, visit www.oktoberfestwaxahachie.com.

Waxahachie Bridal Extravaganza

The fourth annual Waxahachie Bridal Extravaganza will be held from noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. Vendor applications are now being accepted. For more information, call April Ortiz or Jeanee Smiles at (972) 938-3434.

Freedom Fund Banquet

The Waxahachie branch of NAACP will hold its 23rd annual Freedom Fund Banquet at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth age 13 and younger.

For more information, call (972) 937-2077.

Annual chamber auction

The 2007 Waxahachie Annual Chamber Auction will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

For more information, call (972) 937-2390.

Midlothian Fall Festival

The Midlothian Fall Festival will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, on George Hopper Road. Activities include arts and crafts, food, live entertainment and martial arts demonstrations.

Other events include the chamber’s 5K race.

For more information, call the chamber at (972) 723-8600 or e-mail info@midlothianchamber.org.

Blood drive

The Waxahachie H-E-B will host a blood drive with Carter BloodCare from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the store parking lot. First-time donors must have a photo ID. For more information, call Linda Waisath at (972) 923-2283.

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.

Texas 42

A Texas 42 group plays from 7-9:30 p.m. Mondays in the life center at First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie. The community is invited; beginners will be taught how to play.

Food stamp/Medicaid benefit outreach

A food stamp outreach coordinator with the North Texas Food Bank will conduct intake for food stamps and Medicaid the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Helping Hands of Ennis, 604 N.E. Main St., Ennis.

For more information, call (972) 875-0218.

GED and ESL classes

A.H. Meadows Library in Midlothian is offering free GED and ESL classes, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call Navarro Adult Basic Education or visit online at http://www.navarrocollege.edu.

Obituary research

Nicholas P. Sims Library offers obituary research for patrons who cannot visit the library in person. The library charges $5 per name and 20 cents per page for copies of obituaries or newspaper articles. The library cannot guarantee successful results, refund payment nor send research prior to payment.

For more information, call (972) 937-2671.

Mothers’ milk bank

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas has opened its fifth Metroplex location for donating milk at Outreach Health Services, 110 Amanda Lane, Waxahachie.

“There is a growing need for healthy breast-feeding women who want to share their excess milk,” a spokesman said. “This is due to the demand from hospitals and fragile infants for donor human milk.”

Donors undergo a screening process before donating the milk, which is pasteurized and stored in the Fort Worth milk bank. The milk is used in the care of premature and seriously ill babies across North Texas.

For more information, contact Amy Vickers at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas at (817) 810-0071 or Paula Livingston at Outreach Health Services at (972) 937-4777.

Clients needed for Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs of Texas, a local, nonprofit organization, is now accepting applications from people who could benefit from a service dog. Dogs are trained to complete various tasks such as alerting to sounds, assisting in balance, opening doors and retrieval of items such as canes, phones and other objects, among others. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

For more information, call Cindy Roberts at (972) 617-3136 or e-mail bcrockett1@worldnet.att.net.

English as a second language

Navarro College is offering free English as a second language courses during the 2006-2007 school year. Students may start at any time. Classes are offered from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Ennis High School, 1405 Lake Bardwell Drive, and from 5-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday at Waxahachie High School, 1000 N. U.S. Highway 77. For more information, call (903) 875-7464 or 1-800-NAVARRO. Visit online at http://www.navarrocollege.edu/abe.

Waxahachie branch of NAACP

Waxahachie branch of NAACP meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month at 206 U.S. Highway 77 S. for the monthly meeting. Call (972) 937-2077.

Ombudsmen needed

The Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas Ombudsman Program has an immediate need for volunteers to help elderly and disabled residents throughout Ellis County. Volunteer ombudsmen advocate for the rights of residents in nursing and assisted living facilities. Volunteers also help identify and resolve complaints for, or on behalf of, residents or their families.

For more information, call Lisa Walker at 1-800-272-3921, ext. 1172, or e-mail Pat Borgfeldt at ppborgfeldt@aol.com.

Experience Works

Experience Works is a nonprofit organization that provides paid job training and free employment services to low-income older workers.

Experience Works is recruiting job-seeking individuals in the community who are 55 and older with limited income and who want to work an average of 20 hours a week.

For more information, visit the Web site at www.experienceworks.org or call (972) 230-7010 or toll free 1-877-781-9953.

Art association meeting

The Ellis County Art Association meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Ellis County Fine Arts Museum, 501 W. Main St., Waxahachie. Visitors are welcome.

Write On

Write On, a critique group for writers in all genres, meets from 7-9 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in the anteroom of the Medical Building located at 201 Ferris, where Ferris meets Water Street.

For more information, call Pat Pratt at (972) 935-9685 or Wynette Green at (972) 723-3931.

Volunteers needed

Family First Hospice is calling for volunteers in the areas of Ovilla, Red Oak, DeSoto, Duncanville, South Dallas, Ferris, Ennis, Waxahachie, Midlothian, Venus, Kaufman, Corsicana, Blooming Grove and Cedar Hill.

Volunteers offer a variety of services including sitting with patients while a caregiver is out of the house or running errands for patients or caregivers. First Family Hospice needs men, women and teens who can speak English and Spanish.

For more information, contact Margie Norum at (972) 878-2273.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian-based organization that has completed several homes in the Ellis County community for people who otherwise would not be able to afford a home of their own. Habitat for Humanity works every Saturday throughout the year (lunch is provided), and new volunteers are always welcome. For more information on contributing to Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County, visit the Web site at www.ellishabitat.org or call the local office at (972) 937-2797.

Preservation program

The Waxahachie Heritage Council meets at 7 p.m. the fifth Tuesday of each month at the fire station training room, 704 Water St. in Waxahachie.

For more information, e-mail oharrington@ci.duncanville.tx.us.

Volunteers needed

Waxahachie Resale is a nonprofit thrift store supporting the Women’s Resource Centers of Ellis County. If interested in volunteering, call Melanie Moore at (972) 923-2680. The store’s hours are from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. It is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays.

The shop is located at 1204 E. Ferris Ave. in Waxahachie.

Medical power of attorney forms

Blank forms and instructions for their completion for medical power of attorney for out of hospital DNR (do not resuscitate) are available at no cost at Pleasant Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center, 3650 S. Interstate 35E.

“Help your family by completing the forms and providing a copy to your physician,” a spokesman said. “Help your family to know your health care and end of life wishes by putting them in writing.”

For rent

The Ellis County Woman’s Building, located at 407 W. Jefferson, is available to rent for weddings, meetings, family reunions, etc. For more information or to make a reservation, call (972) 937-6845.

Free testing

The Women’s Resource Center of Waxahachie offers free pregnancy tests on a regular basis. No appointment is necessary.

Operating hours for the center are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. The center is located at 1204 Ferris Ave., No. E, Waxahachie. For more information, call (972) 938-7900.

Early Childhood PTA to meet

Mothers and caregivers of children from ages birth to 5 are invited to join the Early Childhood PTA at its meeting the second Wednesday of every month from 9:30-11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 505 W. Marvin, Waxahachie.

In addition to monthly meetings, the group schedules playgroups, children’s outings, family outings, mom’s night outs and dad’s night outs. Refreshments are provided and childcare is available.

For more information call (972) 923-2494 or email ecpta@ev1.net.

55 Plus Alive Group

The 55 Plus Alive Group of the Greater New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church meets at 500 Wyatt St., each first and third Thursday at 10 a.m.

There are field trips and different activities that people can organize and participate in.

For more information, call Johnnie B. Miller, president, at (972) 937-4975 or Minnie B. Grisby, secretary, at (972) 937-8345.

Volunteers needed

The Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center is seeking volunteers to serve as family greeters for the center. The family greeter volunteer will assist the center’s forensic interviewer in greeting each family. Each volunteer must complete a required volunteer application and background check. For additional information and questions, contact (972) 937-1870.

NAMI support group to meet

The NAMI Ellis County peer support group meets every Friday at 2 p.m. at Adapt in Waxahachie. Call (469) 337-7697 for more information.

Food and clothes closet

The food and clothes closet of the Lee Turner Ministries Life of Victory Global Outreach Center Inc. is open from 9-11 a.m. Monday-Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday. The center is located at 1521 E. Main St.; the telephone is (972) 937-0323.

For additional information, call (972) 938-9013 or (972) 937-8345.

Toastmasters meetings

Toastmasters of Waxahachie meets at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Baylorworx in Northgate Plaza. Anyone interested in improving his or her public speaking skills is invited.

Ellis County Amateur Radio Club

The Ellis County Amateur Radio Club meets each third Thursday evening at the Waxahachie Fire Department central station, 407 Water St. The meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. All licensed radio amateurs, people interested in amateur radio and the public are invited to attend.

The Ellis County Amateur Radio Club participates in yearly field day operations and other Ham related activities. The club is associated with the Ellis County RACES organization, which assists in emergency communications around the county. The monthly RACES training nets are on this same frequency at 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month.

Call Robert Crosby at (972) 617-5815 for more information.

Ellis County Cruising meeting

Owners of 1970 or older automobiles are invited to join the Ellis County Cruising Association at its meetings, the first Tuesday of every month, from 7-9 p.m. at the Red Oak Whataburger, located at Ovilla Road and Interstate 35. No dues are required - just show up!

For more information, contact Bobby Page at (469) 323-2536 or e-mail truckerpage@sbcglobal.net.

Bridge group

Duplicate bridge is played every Monday at 7 p.m. in the gathering room of the Waxahachie First United Methodist Church and is open to all who want to play bridge. This is ACBL-sanctioned and is sponsored by the Covenant Sunday School class.

For more information, call (972) 937-5896.

Indian Princess, Indian Guide programs

The YMCA Indian Princess and Indian Guide programs are seeking fathers that have been or are interested in being involved with the program and would like to join an advisory committee to come up with ideas for marketing and promoting the programs. Call the YMCA at (972) 937-9622.

Cherokee information

The sovereign Cherokee Nation Tejas is seeking Native American people and others with Native American ancestors. Anyone who is interested in joining is asked to contact the administrative office, 105 Mount Vernon St., Mabank. The mailing address is P.O. Box 5266, Mabank, TX 75147; the telephone is (903) 887-9500. Business hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Donations needed

Ellis County Community Achieving Real-life Empowerment Skills, a nonprofit organization, is gathering items for local women and children in need, such as maternity, baby, children and adult clothing and for office space, including, furniture, office equipment and office setup, with location for offices to be donated in Ellis County.

For more information, call Dalaine Fletcher at (214) 773-7191 or Denise Gibbons at (214) 773-2761.