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Heather Jalbert and Liz Lenke are the co-chairs of this year's Holiday Tree Festival benefiting Akron Children's Hospital. The 36th annual event takes place Saturday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 26, at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. Admission is free to the festival, which is a grand holiday tradition for about 400,000 people every year. Also, attendees have a chance to buy beautifully decorated trees and other holiday decorations. Liz and Heather say that there's a great need for volunteers, especially for doing set-up before the start of the festival and coordinating the delivery of the trees afterward. If you're interested, call the volunteer office at 330.543.8424. Speaking of holiday decor, individuals and companies still have time to sign up to donate a decorated tree, wreath, or mantel or table display. There's no cost to participate, but the deadline is Sept. 30. Visit the website for more information about donating a tree, or about attending the invitation-only gala or the festival in general. Finally, anyone who wants to be an underwriter for the festival can call the foundation office at 330.543.0325. It's a great opportunity for companies, for instance, to reach loads of people while helping the young patients at Akron Children's.

Glass PumpkinsJack Baker, owner of Akron Glass Works and Architectural Greenery, has been a judge for the Holiday Tree Festival and is planning to donate a tree this year that will be decorated with glass ornaments made at his studio. His place is located at 421 Spicer St. in the former Presbyterian church near the Don Drumm Studios & Gallery. Akron Glass Works holds workshops throughout the year for people who want to make their own glass-blown art. Novices are more than welcome. Coming up soon: glass pumpkin workshops that start Sept. 9 and continue to the second week of November. Each participant will come away from each two-hour workshop with a beautiful glass pumpkin suitable for display on a shelf or tabletop. For more information, call 330.253.5888 Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturday from 10 to 5 or visit Jack's website.  

Speaking of Jack's friend, Don Drumm, the first shipment of Don's aluminum dog and cat ornaments has arrived at One of A Kind Pets. All proceeds from the sale of these popular ornaments go toward helping the furry wards of One of A Kind, 1929 W. Market St.

Carli Molinelli, events and marketing coordinator for the Akron Zoo, talked about the zoo's first-ever Wild for Wine event happening next Saturday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. There are only 90 tickets left. They cost $50 per wine drinker or $30 for each designated driver; if you're a member of the zoo, the tickets cost $45 and $25. They include beverages, appetizers, live entertainment and -- here's something you don't see every day -- animals that paint! Attendees will have the chance to see Pickpocket the giant snake, Perry the opossum, Pandora the box turtle and Daisy the armadillo express themselves artistically. There will be four raffle winners who will be able to choose the paint colors for Pickpocket, Perry, Pandora and Daisy to use, and take the paintings home. For tickets or more information, visit the website.  

Quick reminders: Casino Royale, benefiting the Autism Society of Greater Akron's Swimming with Autism scholarship program, will be Aug. 26 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Rosemont Country Club in Fairlawn. Swimming lessons are important because drowning is the leading cause of death for children and adults with autism. For tickets to the event, visit the organization's website.  Also, Green the Scene, the major fundraising event for Keep Akron Beautiful, takes place Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum. Keep Akron Beautiful creates all the flowerscapes throughout Akron and does many other things to beautify the city. Buy tickets online by Aug. 29 by visiting the Keep Akron Beautiful website.




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