JOIN NEXT HURRICANE HOOPLA: Tickets and sponsorships are available for the Arc Nature Coast's Luna Fusion Hurricane Hoopla, which will be from 7:30 to 11 p.m. April 12 at the Arc's Education Center and Regional Hurricane Evacuation Shelter, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.
Tickets are $35. Sponsorships range from $250 to $5,000.
This is the Arc's signature fundraising event. The Arc is a nonprofit organization that provides services and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
For tickets, sponsorship details or information, call (352) 544-2322, ext. 109, or visit thearc-naturecoast.org.
CELEBRATING ART: The Hernando County Arts Council will host the 30th annual Art in the Park festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 16 at Tom Varn Park, 306 Darby Lane, Brooksville.
The event will include more than 100 local, state and national arts and crafts exhibitors, as well as continuous entertainment, children's activities and food vendors.
Entertainment will include the Spring Hill Acoustic Guitar Club, Shazadi and Jewels of the Desert belly dance troupe; ensembles from the Hernando Jazz Society, the Hernando Symphony Orchestra and the Hole Project jazz guitar group; the Alan Breithaup Combo, a string quartet from the Hernando Youth Orchestra; the Suzuki Strings, and Jayne's Dance Studio.
Admission is free; parking is $3. For information, visit www.hernandoarts.org or call Denzi at (813) 494-3058.
LIGHTHOUSE OPEN HOUSE: Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind will host "Enhanced Vision/Low Vision Technology" open houses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 17 at its Hernando County office at 6492 California St., south of Brooksville, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 18 at its Pasco County office at 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey.
The open houses will include a seminar about low vision, video magnification and devices that increase access to visual information. To RSVP for one of the open houses, call Darlene at (727) 815-0303.
RADIO-CONTROLLED AIRPLANE RACES: The Hernando Aero Modelers will host their Florida Club 40 Pylon Race and Gremlin Combat Event on March 15 at 16301 Ponce De Leon Blvd., north of Brooksville. Another event is scheduled for April 19.
Gates open at 7 a.m.; registration will be at 8:30 a.m. There will be a pilots meeting at 9:15 a.m., and racing starts at 9:30 a.m.
Spectators may watch the wing-to-wing pylon racing action, followed by the combat event. Combat Gremlins will be available for purchase.
Entry fees are $10 for the pylon race, $5 for the combat or $13 for both. Spectators pay $3 per carload. For information, call (352) 346-9948.
WILDLIFE FEST: The annual "Wildlife Adventures" Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 22 at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville.
The event will include a variety of activities and programs: nature journaling, learning about Florida panthers and black bears, detecting animal signs and tracks and meeting wildlife biologists.
Admission is $5; free for ages 16 and younger.
The following talks are also scheduled in conjunction with the festival:
• From 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 20 at the nature center, Tampa Bay Times writer and author Jeff Klinkenberg will speak about his newest book, Alligators in B-Flat. Klinkenberg will sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase after the presentation. The cost is $15 per person.
• From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at the nature center, Mark Kiser will discuss Florida's bats. Participants will then watch Chinsegut's Brazilian free-tailed bats leave their roost. The cost is $5 per person.
• "An Evening with Greg Miller" will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. March 22 at the Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, Spring Hill. An avid birder, Miller will discuss his experiences as he traveled more than 130,000 miles to pass the 700-species mark — all while holding a full-time job. His quests, along with two other birders, Sandy Komito and Al Levantin, were documented in the 2004 book The Big Year, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mark Obmascik. Those who have a copy of the book may bring it to be signed by Miller. Tickets to the event are $45 and include dinner.
Space is limited for each of the talks. To register, visit naturecoastbirdingfestival.com.
ZOO MANAGEMENT, VETERINARY ASSISTANT COURSE: The Florida International Teaching Zoo is offering a one-year zoo animal management program with veterinary assistant certification starting March 30.
The program includes lectures coupled with hands-on experience with the teaching animals. Lectures will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays at the zoo, 4258 SW 52nd Terrace, Bushnell. Lab times will be a minimum of one day a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be one weekend public tour day each month.
The cost is $1,000 per term (four terms per year). Monthly payment plans may be requested for $350 per month.
Class size is limited to 15 students. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Due to the nature of work with the animals, certain handicap situations are not permissible.
For information, call (352) 867-7788, visit the Florida International Teaching Zoo on Facebook, email [email protected] or visit the website at floridazooschool.org.
BOOKS, VOLUNTEERS WANTED FOR LITERACY PROGRAM: Goodwill's annual drive to collect books for its BookWorks preschool literacy program continues through March 15. The program is seeking volunteers and donations of new or like-new books for children ages 2 to 5.
The purpose of the program is to promote literacy by putting books into the hands of children from low-income families. Goodwill volunteers read to children at Head Start centers and other sites, then present each child with a personalized book to take home.
This year, the program will expand to provide books to first- and second-graders. Donations of books should include a note indicating they are "for BookWorks." They may be dropped off at any Goodwill-Suncoast store or donation site in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk or Marion counties. The local Goodwill is at 4750 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. For other sites, visit goodwill-suncoast.org or call toll-free 1-888-279-1988; those interested in volunteering may call (727) 523-1512, ext. 1976.
PRESCHOOL SCREENINGS: The Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System will offer preschool screenings for children ages 3 to 5 who are not in kindergarten and who might have problems with speech, language, hearing, vision, concepts or motor coordination.
Screenings will be at the Exceptional Student Education Center, 900 Emerson Road, Brooksville, on the following days: March 5 and 26 and April 9 and 23. The free screenings are by appointment only; early registration is suggested. Call Linda Kaszuba at (352) 797-7021.