Summer reading club

ITALY - S.M. Dunlap Library’s summer reading club starts today at 2 p.m. The program will feature Pierre Bradshaw and his Birds of Prey program. A red tailed hawk, various kinds of owls, falcons and a young buzzard (raised in captivity) will be featured.

The Summer reading Club will continue through the month of June with programs at 2 p.m. Thursdays. Adults are welcome to attend.

Farmers Market

The Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and continues through Oct. 27. The market is located at the south end of the Ellis County Courthouse on Franklin Street between Rogers and College. Vendors have fresh vegetables and fruits, plants, crafts and wares for purchase. Smoothies and other refreshments are also available. Master Gardeners are on site every week to answer agricultural questions.

Relay for Life

The Ellis County Relay for Life will hold its team captain meeting on Thursday, May 31, in the Red Oak Municipal Building, 200 Lakeview Parkway, Red Oak. Captains may register, make changes or turn in donations from 6:30-7 p.m. The general meeting will begin at 7.

All team captains for the 2007 Relay are urged to be in attendance. Anyone interested in learning more about Relay is urged to attend.

This year’s theme is “Fairy Tales - Making Dreams Come True … One Cure at a Time.”

The 11th annual Ellis County Relay for Life is set for June 8-9 at the Maypearl High School football field.

Contact Mary Ruth Mitchell, event co-chair, at (972) 938-8559 for more information about Relay for Life. To learn more about registering a team, contact Suzanne Baty at (972) 351-9558.

Donations accepted

Donations are being accepted for a garage sale to benefit the Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center.

The sale will be held from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 2, in the Vintage Bank parking lot on Ferris Avenue.

All items, from furniture to clothing to household items, are being accepted. Clothes must be on a hangar.

For item pickup, call (972) 965-2470.

Garage sale

The fifth annual Historic Preston Street Garage Sale in Ennis will be held Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, rain or shine.

Call (972) 875-2696 for more information.

Relay For Life

There will be a garage sale benefiting the American Cancer Society on Saturday, June 2, in the Office Depot parking lot. Any donations will be appreciated.

Contact Perry Estepp at (972) 937-1016 or (972) 938-6748.

Water safety fair

The North Texas Water Safety Coalition will host a free water safety fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Lynn Creek Marina on Joe Pool Lake.

Sponsored by various organizations, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the event will feature a sinking boat exercise, boat entry and exit, free boat rides, life jacket fitting, a kids-fish-free tournament and free life jackets for children age 12 and younger while supplies last.

Pancake breakfast fly-in

The annual Mid-Way Regional Airport pancake breakfast fly-in will be held from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, June 2. Breakfast tickets are $5 and children younger than age 8 are free with each paying adult. Admission and parking are free.

The event will feature classic airplanes and fighters, plane rides/discovery flights, remote control model flyers, the Classic Swing Band, Midlothian Classic Wheels and other attractions.

For more information, call (972) 923-0080 or visit online at www.mid-wayregional.com.

Equine Youth Association

The Ellis County Equine Youth Association will host a youth fund-raiser horse show Saturday, June 2, at Flying Dollar Ranch in Italy. The show starts at 9 a.m. with books and arena opening at 8 a.m.

English, western, halter, speed, leadline and over fences classes will be offered. Prizes sponsored by local businesses will be given throughout the day by drawing of participants.

Call Julie Hinz at (972) 483-7774 for more information or look on the Web at www.elliscountyequine.org.

After Hours Improv workshop

After Hours Improv will host an adult improvisational workshop to includes three Saturday sessions: June 2, 9 and 16. The workshops will be from 9 a.m.-noon at the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, 102 YMCA Drive.

Participants must be age 18 or older. The fee is $50.

“Learn the skills, concepts and practice of performing in front of groups and thinking quick on your feet,” a spokesman said.

For more information or to register, call (972) 937-9839 or e-mail info@afterhoursimprov.com.

Scout Night

Special rate tickets are available for Scout Night at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo.

Enjoy live bull riding, bareback bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and more in the air-conditioned arena. Barbecue, petting zoo, shops, pony rides, autographs and souvenir photos also are offered.

Tickets are available for June 2 and Sept. 29 performances. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with the rodeo at 8.

To order tickets call Marshall Hervey at (972) 285-8777, ext. 2000, fax (972) 289-2999 or e-mail order to mhervey@mesquiterodeo.com.

Charmer officer leadership camp

The Cherokee Charmers officers only will have a camp from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 6-7 at Waxahachie High School.

Farmers Market

The Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and continues through Oct. 27. The market is located at the south end of the Ellis County Courthouse on Franklin Street between Rogers and College. Vendors have fresh vegetables and fruits, plants, crafts and wares for purchase. Smoothies and other refreshments are also available. Master Gardeners are on site every week to answer agricultural questions.

Paint Historic Waxahachie

Paint Historic Waxahachie will be held Saturday, June 2, around the courthouse square in coordination with the Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes. Paint Historic Waxahachie is an activity of the Ellis County Art Association. The event is free and spectators are welcome to observe and interact with the artists. A 90-minute “quick draw” competition will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. The artwork produced during the competition will be sold at the live auction at the courthouse immediately after. Proceeds will benefit the Ellis County Art Museum.

For an event schedule and list of artists, call (972) 937-3414, e-mail ecaa@sbcglobal.net or visit online at www.elliscountyart.net.

Arts and crafts

An arts and crafts fair will be held in coordination with the Gingerbread Trail, June 2-3, at Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie.

The arts and crafts fair will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, with artisans featuring unique, hand-crafted items for purchase.

Food, music and free parking will be available.

On Saturday, the Waxahachie Jazz Combo will play from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with Pig Ankle to perform from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Back to Blue will perform from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Children’s activities will include a single bungee jump, a covered obstacle course, the Mind Winder, pony rides, build-a-bear and games.

The event is sponsored by the Ellis County Museum Inc.

GED graduation

GED graduation ceremony will be held Friday, June 8, in the Dawson Auditorium at the Navarro College - Corsicana campus.

Bootbackers

campaign

The Cherokee Charmers will hold their Bootbacker campaign June 8. The entire team will meet at 10 a.m. in the Waxahachie High School front parking lot.

Relay fund-raiser

The Ellis County Relay for Life is sponsoring a fund-raiser with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

First prize is a $300 Visa gift card. Second prize includes four Texas Ranger baseball tickets with a parking pass. Third prize includes two Stars hockey tickets with a parking pass. Fourth, fifth and sixth prizes include a $100 gift card from Lowes, a $100 gift card from Belk’s and five hours of free limousine service donated by A Luxury Limo 4 U. Seventh prize is an appliance basket from H-E-B which includes a toaster, coffee maker, blender, coffee grinder and slow cooker. Eighth prize is an entertainment basket from Hastings. The basket includes a computer game, board game and gift certificate.

Tickets are $1 and are available from any committee or team member.

This year’s Ellis County Relay for Life will be June 8-9 at Maypearl High School football field.

Contact Mitchell at (972) 938-8559 for more information about this fund-raiser or further information about the Ellis County Relay for Life.

Farmers Market

The Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and continues through Oct. 27. The market is located at the south end of the Ellis County Courthouse on Franklin Street between Rogers and College. Vendors have fresh vegetables and fruits, plants, crafts and wares for purchase. Smoothies and other refreshments are also available. Master Gardeners are on site every week to answer agricultural questions.

Play day

The Wagon Wheel Saddle Club will hold a play day at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9, with a rain out day scheduled for Saturday, June 30. The cost is $2 per event and all ages are welcome.

The arena is located at 1806 Bear Creek in Cedar Hill.

For more information, visit www.freewebs.com/wagonwheel or call club president James Logan at (972) 223-6119.

Annual pond tour

The North Texas Water Garden Society presents its 16th annual Tour of Ponds, June 9-10. The two-day tour of private residential ponds all across the Metroplex is self-guided. Members have opened their backyards - with 42 ponds on the tour - for the general public to enjoy, ask questions and learn more.

Proceeds from the tour fund the society’s educational fund, which promotes the study and culture of aquatic plants, fish and ponds. The proceeds from last year’s tour were used to build two ponds with stream at two separate elementary schools as a hands-on tool for children to learn about science, biology and the environment.

For more information, visit www.ntwgs.org for a list of vendors who will sell the tour book, “The Modern Water Gardener.”

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.

Caribbean cruise

Reservations are being taken for a February 2008 Caribbean cruise to benefit the Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center. The cruise is sponsored by Blue Knights XXI, a law enforcement motorcycle club. The seven-day trip from Galveston will include stops in Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The community is invited to participate.

Book the cruise by calling (817) 283-2461 and asking for the Gingerbread House/Blue Knights XXI cruise.

Reading club

The A.H. Meadows Library in Midlothian will host a “Sail Away with Books” reading club for preschool through teens this summer from June 11-Aug. 11. The program will feature reading incentive prizes, guest speakers, free movies, crafts and story times.

For more information, call (972) 775-3417 or visit the library at 923 S. 9th St. in Midlothian.

Red Cross

training

American Red Cross - Corsicana Branch will host American Red Cross volunteer training June 11-13 at Fire Station 1 training facility in Midlothian, located at 235 8th St.

The classes are basic classes a new volunteer will need to help a disaster victim in their community. American Red Cross has helped more than 75 families in Ellis County in the last 10 months.

Training topics, dates and times are as follows:

9 a.m.-noon Monday, June 11 — class introduction to disaster and community services overview 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday, June 12 — fulfilling the ARC mission; translating compassion into community action 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 — disaster action team workshop.

Background checks will be required for all volunteers. All disaster training is free. For more information, contact Shelly Campbell at (903) 874-4551.

GED graduation

GED graduation ceremony will be held Friday, June 8, in the Dawson Auditorium at the Navarro College - Corsicana campus.

Christian Women’s Connection

Make reservations by Sunday, June 17, for the Wednesday, June 20, Christian Women’s Connection of Ellis County luncheon.

The “Summer Time Entertaining” luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Colonnade Restaurant located at the Waxahachie Country Club. The speaker for the month is Grace Pryor, who will speak on how circumstance changes with choices.

Debbie Brown, musician and singer, will present the feature “Cool Sounds.”

The cost of the luncheon is $13. Vouchers for nursery are available by asking when making reservations. For reservations, call (972) 923-1881 or (972) 937-9984.

Sign language class

Nicholas P. Sims Library will sponsor a sign language class from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, in the meeting room on the first floor of library. Beginners and experienced signers are invited to attend.

Sharon Brown, who has taught previous classes at the library, will be in charge of this class.

The class is for adults ages 18 and older. For more information or to sign up, call (972) 937-2671 or stop by the main desk.

GED graduation

GED graduation ceremony will be held Friday, June 8, in the Dawson Auditorium at the Navarro College - Corsicana campus.

Blood drive

The Waxahachie H-E-B will host a blood drive with Carter BloodCare from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, June 28, in the store parking lot. First-time donors must have a photo ID. For more information, call Linda Waisath at (972) 923-2283.

Venus Homecoming

The annual Venus Homecoming and Country Fair will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 30, on the square.

Activities include food, crafts, gift booths, children’s activities and more.

Prizes will be awarded in the car and tractor show at 2 p.m., with cook-off prizes awarded at 5 p.m. in five categories.

The parade is at 10 a.m., with prizes awarded afterward.

The event is sponsored by the Greater Venus Chamber of Commerce.

GED graduation

GED graduation ceremony will be held Friday, June 8, in the Dawson Auditorium at the Navarro College - Corsicana campus.

Charmer camp

The Cherokee Charmers will hold a choreography camp with American Dance Drill Team from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. July 30-Aug. 2 in Williams Gymnasium at Waxahachie High School. Officers participate from 8 a.m.-noon, with the entire team from 1-5 p.m. July 30. Everyone participates from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. July 31-Aug. 2.

Charmer home camp

The Cherokee Charmers will hold a home camp from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 6-9 in the little gym at Waxahachie High School. Team photographs will be taken Aug. 10.

Blood drive

The Waxahachie H-E-B will host a blood drive with Carter BloodCare from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, 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, 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.

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.

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 Cancun’s Amer-Mex Restaurant, located at 1585 U.S. Highway 77 North, Waxahachie. The dinner is Dutch treat and begins at 6:30 p.m. The meetings begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. and are held in the meeting room. All licensed radio amateurs, persons interested in amateur radio and the public are invited to attend.

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.