Community briefs, Feb. 20: YMCA sets fundraising goal for 120th year

YMCA sets fundraising goal for 120th year

WATSONVILLE — For its 120th anniversary this year, the Watsonville YMCA has set a $60,000 fundraising goal for its Annual Campaign.

The Annual Campaign supports the Financial Assistance program at the Watsonville YMCA.

“In 2017, we provided more than $84,729.26 in financial assistance for kids, adults and families in the Watsonville community,” said Robert Wollenzien, district executive director at the Watsonville YMCA. “Without this campaign, our Financial Assistance program would disappear, closing the doors of this essential community center to the thousands of people who need assistance to belong and achieve a healthy spirit, mind and body.”

The Annual Campaign Kickoff will be held Thursday at the Watsonville YMCA, 27 Sudden St. The community is invited to attend and learn more about the mission of the YMCA and how the funds raised will be invested into the Watsonville and Pajaro communities.

Financial assistance opens doors to Summer Camp, Diabetes Prevention Program, membership and more.

For information, call Wollenzien at 728-9622 or visit


Soul food on deck for Cooking Club

WATSONVILLE — The newly-formed Cooking Club potluck at the Watsonville Public Library on Main Street will take place Thursday evening on the second floor of the library.

Headed up by Dolores Wiemers, adult program librarian, the theme for Thursday’s gathering will be soul food. The free, informal, greet and eat event begins at 5:30 p.m.

A guest speaker, to be announced, is scheduled to talk about her soul food experiences growing up in Atlanta, Ga.

Next month, Mexican food will take center stage.


PVUSD Parent Conference set

WATSONVILLE — Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s annual Parent Conference, “Keeping the Connection,” will take place on Saturday at Watsonville High School from 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The conference is organized by the PVUSD Educational Services Division, in partnership with PVUSD Migrant Education Region 11.

The conference aims to provide parents and guardians with information to become advocates and active participants in their children’s academic lives. Parents will have the opportunity to participate in three different workshops.

Through the donation from OmiPro of San Francisco, PVUSD will raffle seven Chromebooks during the conference. Participants will receive a raffle ticket upon registration and the seven winners will be announced during the Community Resource Fair between 2-3 p.m.

A free continental breakfast will be offered. Free childcare for children 3-11 years old is also available. Register your child in the morning at Linscott School, 220 Elm St. Space is limited.

For information, call PVUSD Parent Ed. Specialists at 786-2365.


LGBTQ+ open mic at The Ugly Mug

SOQUEL — The Ugly Mug coffeehouse in Soquel will host a special Open Mic night on Feb. 28.

Members of the transgender, non-binary and other LGBTQ+ communities are invited to come participate in this safe, inclusive environment.

Performers are encouraged to share poetry, spoken word, musical acts and relay personal experiences. Giveaways, pastries and refreshments will also be offered.

The open mic will be held from 6-9 p.m. at The Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive. Sign-ups begin at 5 p.m. For information, contact [email protected]


Art walks to begin at Capitola Mall

CAPITOLA — First Thursday Art Walks at the Capitola Mall will begin March 1.

From 5:30-8 p.m., guests can view the works of local artists, listen to music by Next Stage Productions and support the Santa Cruz SPCA.

Each month local music groups are invited to perform and feature a local charity. A portion of the participation fee goes to the featured charity.

The recent town hall meeting hosted by mall owner Merlone Geier Partners was well attended. The mall management shared their vision of making the mall a destination location, from changing the inside arrangements of the food court, making use of open spaces into social hubs and more.

Showcasing independent, budding artists once a month was a concept of an employee of Art of Santa Cruz, located in the Capitola Mall, in 2014. Merlone Geier Partners has joined with Art of Santa Cruz to continue with this tradition.

Hours are spent reaching out to local artists to offer a place and a way to test new creations and to expose the general public to their work. Monterey Bay Area, according to the 2010 Census, is the fifth largest concentration of professional artists in the United States.


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