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Another fundraiser set for ill schoolteacher

Friends of Walker Middle School gym teacher Darin Hartley have organized another fundraiser for the 27-year-old educator, who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant for his recurrent leukemia.

Tickets went on sale this week for the dinner event, which is being catered by Olive Garden between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on March 21. People who buy the $10 tickets can eat at the school or take their dinners home, friend and organizer Selina Perez said.

"We're going to have the band playing here and everything," she said.

Hartley, a popular teacher who is married with two young daughters, underwent chemotherapy in late 2001 and his cancer was in remission until several months ago. He is now back in St. Louis, where he is receiving experimental medication to strengthen his body after the bone marrow transplant cured the leukemia but began damaging his organs, Perez said.

For more information, call Perez at 631-4726.

Learn about new YMCA at Wal-Mart event

TOWN 'N COUNTRY _ The Northwest Hillsborough YMCA is hosting an event at Town 'N Country's Wal-Mart, 7011 W Waters Avenue, Saturday. The 10 a.m.-1 p.m. event will have a carnival atmosphere complete with face painters and twirling Hula Hoops. But its purpose is to give potential members a chance to see the layout of the Y, set to open in the spring, meet the staff and learn about various membership plans.

The Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA on Waters Avenue will feature a rock climbing wall, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, indoor gymnasium, family fun pool, group fitness studio, playground and more.

The Y also will offer daytime summer programs including swimming lessons, teen activities, group fitness, youth sports and adult sports.

For more information, call (813) 792-7838.

Absentee ballots available at schools

TAMPA PALMS _ New Tampa schools will have absentee ballots for the March 25 mayoral runoff.

Hunter's Green resident Lois Haas said area principals have agreed to put ballots in their school's main offices.

In preparation for the election, there will be a New Tampa mayoral debate in the auditorium of Freedom High and Liberty Middle schools.

The March 19 debate is being sponsored by the New Tampa Community Council, New Tampa Votes! and the Freedom High PTSA. It will begin at 7 p.m. For information, call 907-8188.

_ JOHN BALZ, JACKIE RIPLEY and JOSH ZIMMER

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