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By The Staff

Big Red Bus stops

in the Corridor It’s motorcycle weather in the Sunshine State and supplies are dangerously low at Florida’s Blood Centers, with O types being most needed. All donors at the downtown branch only will receive $10 Darden restaurant gift cards. Donors at the Big Red Bus bloodmobiles will receive a specialty T-shirt this month. Florida’s Blood Center bloodmobiles conveniently visit the Corridor and its communities each month. Donate blood at a “bus stop” near you.   Sunday, March 15 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 at Lowes on State Road 200 from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 at Marion Landing from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Palm Cay from 8 a.m. to noon. Thursday, March 19 at Cherrywood Estates from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 at West Marion Community Hospital from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Florida’s Blood Centers-Marion County office is near the downtown hospitals at 1051 S.W. 1st Ave. Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.   March events at Silver River Park March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy “Stargazing” with the Ocala Astronomy Club. They bring telescopes and knowledge; you bring a lawn chair or blanket and insect repellant. Weather permitting, $4 per car park entry. March 21 at 9 a.m. Coffee with the Birds. Join an experienced birder for a walk through beautiful woodlands identifying birds by sight and sound. Bring a coffee cup, field guide, binoculars, and insect repellant. No pets please. Weather permitting, $4 per car park entry fee. March 21 at 7 p.m. Golden Stories at Silver River is a storytelling session on the third Saturday of the month January to May. The March theme is “Animal Stories.” Dueling storytellers will compete for the favor of the audience and to win the “Golden Log of Story.” This is a joint effort of Friends of Silver River and Ocali Storytelling Guild. March 28 at 3 p.m. Take the guided Cracker Village Tour through the replica Cracker Village and learn about Central Florida lifestyles in the 1800s. This is one of the few times that the Cracker Village is open for public viewing. Park entry fee of $4 per car applies. For more information about park events, call 352-236-7148 or e-mail Deborah.Wilson@dep.state.fl.us.   ‘Clash of Cultures’ coming to Fine Art on Broadway Fine Art on Broadway will present its Marion Clash of Cultures show through March 31, at Brick City for the Arts, 23 S.W. Broadway, Tuesdays to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call Paul Martin Brown at 861-0650.   Flu shots available at Health Department With the report of widespread influenza prominent throughout Florida, the Marion County Health Department is offering flu shots to the community at its main facility, 1801 S.E. 32nd Ave. Flu shots are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost for flu vaccine is $30 and pneumonia vaccine is $45. Residents with Medicare Part B will receive the flu and/or pneumonia shot at no cost. For more information, call the Health Department at 629-0137, ext. 2017.   Honor Flight sending WW II vets to memorial Honor Flight of Marion is partnering with the Florida VFW to send WW II veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. A charter flight will cost $40,000 to $50,000 and the local group is hoping to make the trip this spring. Donations are needed to fly 172 veterans and their guardians to D.C., visit the memorial, have lunch and return to Ocala International Airport. Veterans may not pay their way but must apply for the flight. Terminally ill veterans will be given priority. Checks may be made to Department of Florida VFW, with “Honor Flight Marion” on the memo line, and mailed to Florida Department of VFW, P.O. Box 1630, Ocala FL 34478. For veteran’s application forms or more information, call Rose Clements at 352-789-6878 or e-mail ocalahonorflight@gmail.com.   Upcoming events at VFW Post 4781 Life Line Screening will be at VFW Post 4781 on Tuesday, March 24. Pre-registration is required, call 1-800-324-1851. Stroke, vascular disease, heart rhythm and osteoporosis screening will be available. The March general membership meeting has been changed to Monday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. We will nominate new officers and a vote to make the Canteen smoking or non-smoking. We’re having a St. Patrick’s Day party March 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. Corn beef, cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots. Entertainment by Don Conroy. Tickets available in the Canteen for $8. Bingo is played every Monday and Thursday in a smoke-free environment. Games begin at 11:30 a.m. Veterans, call the Service Officer of VFW Post 4781, George Smith, at 854-2700 if you have any Veterans Affairs questions.   Time for the Master Gardeners’ spring fest The Marion County Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival will take place Saturday, March 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, March 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion Complex behind Extension Services on Jacksonville Road. Local plant and gardening vendors will feature plants, flowers, garden decor, pond accessories, trees and palms. Seminars and garden talks will take place throughout the event. An educational tent will feature the Camelia, Rose and Bonsai societies; Extension Service, 4-H Youth Development, and Master Gardener questions and answers.   Ocala Open returns with $100,000 purse Candler Hills Golf Club will host the third annual Ocala Open Golf Tournament from Wednesday, March 24 to Saturday March 28. A Pro-Am scheduled for Tuesday. This year’s purse will be $100,000. The tournament will benefit Interfaith Emergency Services and Go Red for Women. For sponsorship opportunities and more information, visit www.OcalaOpen.com. To see the complete story, visit smcitizen.com and click on Sports.   Ocala Jazz jams at VFW Post 4781 This month, Ocala Jazz Society will jam for Hospice of Marion County at VFW Post 4781 on S.W. 110th St. on a different date, Sunday, March 22. Local musicians will entertain you from 2 to 5 p.m. for a $2 donation. Food and drinks are available at the Post Canteen and dancing is encouraged. It’s a swingin’ time on the Corridor. Bring your musical instrument because the group welcomes musicians who want to sit in for a session or two. For more information, call Dennis at 352-746-5694.   Must-see British farce coming to Ocala stage “No Sex Please, We’re British” had one of the longest comedy runs in the history of London’s West End, and is coming to the Ocala Civic Theatre stage Thursday, March 19, through Sunday, April 12. Curtain times are 8 p.m. for evening performances and 2 p.m. for matinees. General tickets go on sale March 9, at $20 adults and $10 full-time students. For reservations, call 236-2274 or visit www.ocalacivictheatre.com. Ocala Civic Theatre is at 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd. in the Appleton Cultural Center.   Student auditions for upcoming kid’s play Ocala Civic Theatre will have open auditions for its upcoming production of “The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs” on March 28 at 9 a.m. There are 16 roles for students in grades 2 to 12. The play combines three classic fairy tales of animal trios; pigs, goats and bears with some modern twists to “happily ever after” endings. No preparation is necessary. Students will read scenes from the play and perform a few improvised scenes. No preparation is necessary. Students will read scenes from the play and perform a few improvised scenes. Class will meet Monday to Friday, April 6 to May 7, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuition for the class is $165. Financial aid is available to students who demonstrate financial need. Performances will be on the outdoor stage Friday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and Sunday, May 10, at 3 p.m. The theatre is at 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd. in Appleton Cultural Center.   Apply for performing arts scholarships Ocala Civic Theatre is proud to support the future of the performing arts through its scholarship program. Scholarships are awarded in the fields of Theatre Arts (acting, play writing, directing, technical), Music (voice and instrumental), and Dance. Students fill out an application, write an essay, offer references, attend an interview and present their talent in an audition. The award amount varies, but is a minimum of $500 per student. Applications are available and may be picked up at the theatre. To receive one by mail, call 236-2274. Forms are also available in the guidance office at area high schools. The application deadline is Friday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m.   Civic Theater benefit golf tourney at Candler Hills The annual golf tournament to benefit Ocala Civic Theatre will be Friday, April 17, at Candler Hills Golf Club on S.W. 80th Avenue. The format will be best-ball Florida scramble in flights. There will be hole-in-one prizes on all par-3 holes. The top prize is a new car. Each player will have the opportunity to win one of more than 50 on-course, door prizes, and cash prizes for golfers in winning flights. The tournament will have a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Register as early as 11:30 a.m. and warm up with range balls. Entry fee is $75 per person, and includes dinner, on-course beverages, range balls, greens fees, cart, a goodie bag with golf balls, and more. Make up your own foursome or we will assist you. Mixed and ladies foursomes are invited. Sorry, no professionals. A barbeque buffet for golfers will follow tournament play. For more information or an entry form, call the theatre box office at 236-2274 or downloading a form at www.ocalacivictheatre.com.   Dance with the stars to benefit Ocala Civic Theatre Dancing with Ocala’s Stars is moving the theatre this season, with the competition on stage Saturday, April 25. Begin the evening with hors d’oeuvres, wine and champagne. There will be open dancing for everyone on stage and special showcase performances. Star couples will begin with the foxtrot. Then the audience will break for dessert and “voting” for their favorite celebrity. Votes are $1 each. Each couple will return for their solo dance and judges will select a male and female celebrity winner and an award for the star who receives the most “votes.” General admission tickets are $100 each and reserved seating is $125. VIP on stage tickets are $175. each and include some special extras. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 30. For reservations and information, call the Ocala Civic Theatre box office at 236-2851.   Get set for CFCC Taste of Ocala Mark your calendars for the Central Florida Community College Foundation Taste of Ocala 2009. The 21st annual scholarship fundraiser will be Sunday, April 19, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ocala campus. Sample dishes from the area’s finest restaurants as they support a worthy cause and explore the campus. For more information, call Phyllis Marino at 873-5808 or e-mail marinop@cf.edu.     ‘The Art of Uncle Monday’ at CFCC The Webber Center Gallery at Central Florida Community College will present The Art of Uncle Monday through March 28, offered in conjunction with Florida Heritage Month to provide recognition for our state’s historical and cultural heritage. The drawings and watercolors in this exhibit illustrate Dr. Kristin G. Congdon’s book of traditional tales, which explores more than 100 years of Florida’s history and folklore. Kitty Kitson Petterson is the artist. The exhibition will also highlight the accomplishments of Florida folk singer Will McLean, with selected personal and professional items on display. Visitors will be able to listen to McLean songs and recordings, including the story “Acrefoot Johnson,” which is also a featured artwork in the exhibit. The exhibit will be open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 873-5809.   CFCC offers basic rider motorcycle course The CF Institute at CFCC is accepting registration for the Basic Rider Motorcycle course, which is required for anyone seeking a motorcycle endorsement regardless of age or experience. The course is offered weekly at the Ocala campus, rain or shine. The fee is $235 and includes the use of a motorcycle, helmet and gloves. Students may use their personal scooters, in good condition and 250 cc or smaller engine. A valid driver’s license is required. Register online any at www.CFCCtraining.com or call 873-5804.   St. Paul African Church to host Heritage banquet St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on Tucker Hill will host a celebration of ancestry, history and community at its annual Heritage Banquet on Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 3600 S.W. 38th Ave. The black tie event features speakers the Rev. McKinley Young and Florida Highwayman artist Isaac Knight. Entertainment will include the African Dance Troupe and Spoken Word artists. For more information, call 622-8921.   Methodist Men to serve their ‘famous breakfast’ The United Methodist Men of Ocala West United Methodist Church, 9330 S.W. 105th St., will serve their famous breakfast Saturday, March 14, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Our menu of all-you-can-eat consists of wide variety of great food and at the price of $5.   March meetings at Joy Lutheran Church Joy Lutheran will host a Lenten Visitation on Friday, March 13 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. On Saturday, March 28 the women of Joy will host the spring gathering of the Pinelands Conference. This full-day conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and costs $12 per person. Guest speakers are Pastors Ashley Nicolls and Anna Figueiro. The topic is “Water” from the book of Amos. Joy Lutheran Church is at 7045 S.W. 83rd Place an S.R. 200. For more information, call 854-4509 ext 221.   K of C to host St. Patrick’s Day dinner dance On Saturday, March 14, from 6 to 7 p.m. the Knights of Columbus will have a St. Patrick’s Day dinner dance with music by Night Wind at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Traditional corn beef, potatoes, cabbage and carrots, dessert, and beverages. Cost is $15 per person at the door. For tickets call 352-489-6221.   Seminar on diabetes and the diabetic diet Nancy Gal, extension agent with the University of Florida/IFAS and Marion County Extension will present a free seminar on Diabetes and the Diabetic Diet on Tuesday, March 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Swenson Hall at Joy Lutheran Church. For more information and to register call 854-4509, ext. 221. The church is at 7045 S.W. 83rd Place on S.R. 200.