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Call to Writers: The Rogue Valley Genealogical Society, Inc. will host a writing contest in January. People interested are asked to weave a story about a favorite antiquity or share a family story. All stories must be submitted between Monday, Jan. 4, and Friday, Jan. 15. For a list of the rules and an entry form see www.rvgsociety.org and click on "News" and then on "Writing Contest" or stop by the genealogical library, 95 Houston Road, Phoenix.

Friday, Dec. 4

Giving Tree: Hang new gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and even socks on the 2009 Giving Tree at the Ashland library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd. The library will be accepting the winter items until Saturday, Dec. 5. This year the donations will be presented to about 150 children attending Ashland's two Head Start programs. The children range in sizes and ages, so a variety of sizes and styles of gifts will be appreciated. Call 774-6995.

CHILDREN'S COMMUNITY PLAY GROUP: Living Earth Circle sponsors a baby and young children's play group from 10 a.m. to noon on the first and third Friday of every month at Pioneer Hall, next door to the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way, Ashland. Performers, teachers and families share in activities such as music, dance, puppet shows and crafts. Admission is $8 for one child with an accompanying adult, $4 for each additional family member or friend. Three-month sessions are available for $35 for families with one child attending, $50 for families with more than one child attending. See livingearthcircle.org for information. Call 488-5340 to register.

Holiday Book Sale: The Friends of the Talent Library will host a Holiday Book and Gift Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, at the Talent library, 101 Home St. Gently-used books and gift items will be available for those looking to reduce Holiday spending. Call 535-4163.

Christmas festival: The Farm will host a Christmas Festival and Winter Wonderland fundraiser for Kids & Critters, Inc from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Christmas at The Farm, 51 South Stage Road, Medford. The wonderland features a warm and cozy petting farm, Ag-venture play land, pony rides, kiddy carnival games and a build-your-own-wreath station. Tickets are sold individually for each activity. Activities require between one and three tickets — 10 tickets cost $8 and 20 tickets cost $15. The Farm also will sell a variety of Noble, Douglas and Nordman fir Christmas Trees. The Christmas tree lot is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 535-1316 or see www.visitthefarm.org.

senior savor: The Senior Savor will offer a day full of activities on Fridays at the Talent Community Center, on the corner of Main Street and Talent Avenue, Talent. Activities include a coffee and tea chat time at 10 a.m., gentle stretching at 10:30 a.m., musical entertainment at 11 a.m., a subject discussion at 11:30 a.m., a brown bag lunch break (bring your own) at 12:30 p.m. and pinochle, bridge and other games from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Call 535-9827.

NATURE STORY TIME: Kids of all ages can enjoy stories about bugs, bears, birds, jungles and other nature subjects at 10:30 a.m. Fridays at the Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland. Admission is free. Call 482-3241.

Ice rink: The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will be operational, depending on the weather, from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 5:30 to 10 p.m. through Feb. 28. The outdoor rink is located in downtown Ashland across from Lithia Park. Skate rentals are available for toddler size 9 to adult size 13. Hot chocolate, coffee and water are available for purchase. Call 488-9189 or 488-9189.

Discovery island: ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum will host a grand opening party for its newest exhibit, Discovery Island, from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the museum, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland. The event will give children and adults the opportunity to participate in hands-on science and art activities, learn more about the Preschool Family Network and explore the new healthy play environment designed for children 5 years and older. Refreshments will be provided. Call 482-6767.

Chili Bowl Fundraiser: Pasta Piatti is sponsoring the second annual "souper" Chili Bowl Fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, under canopy tents on the Ashland Plaza. Pasta Piatti chefs will be serving hearty bowls of hot turkey chili with cornbread. A suggested donation of $5 per bowl is appreciated. Soup is free for children under 12 years. All proceeds will go toward the completion of the Ashland Peace Wall, a piece of community artwork located in front of the Ashland library.

Saturday, Dec. 5

CONTRA DANCE: The Ashland Folk Music Club will sponsor a dance with caller Ruth Lowengart and live music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Rogue Valley Square Dance Center, 3377 Table Rock Road, Medford. Beginning dance instruction will be at 7 p.m. Admission is $8, $6 for members, $5 for high school students and free for middle school students, young children and watchers. Call 552-1039.

Winterfest: Pinehurst School Foundation will host its annual Winterfest fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Greensprings Inn, 11470 Highway 66, east of Ashland. Sale items featured include Christmas trees, local and student made crafts, Christmas wreaths and food. Local merchants also have donated 100 items for a raffle. Tree sales begin at 9 a.m., craft sales at 10 a.m. and the raffle at 1 p.m. Pinehurst School is a small rural public school comprising 25 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The fundraiser will benefit the school library, music program and field trips. Call 482-1910.

ANIMAL SHELTER TOUR: The Friends of the Animal Shelter offers free tours of the Jackson County Animal Shelter, 5595 S. Pacific Highway, Phoenix, from noon to 12:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month. Children are welcome with parental supervision. Call 774-6646.

Sunday, Dec. 6

Holiday Breakfast: The Talent Lions Club will host a holiday breakfast fundraiser from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Talent Community Center, 206 E. Main St. The cost is $5 for adults and $2 for children and includes pancakes, ham, eggs and beverages. Proceed from the breakfast will assist residents of the Talent area. Call 535-5579.

Musicians swap meet: Buy, sell and trade for new, used and vintage music gear at the 12th annual Musicians Swap Meet from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Bellview Grange Hall, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland. Sellers can reserve a small table for $12 and a large table for $20. Admission is $1 for adults and free for children under 12 years old. Call 482-4830.

Monday, Dec. 7

BOOK EXCHANGE: A free book exchange is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Santo Community Center, 701 N. Columbus Ave., Medford. Call 774-2400.

Kid time! discovery experience: Kid Time! is offering discounted scholarship memberships for qualifying families. Stop by the activity center and see if your family qualifies for a special membership. Youngsters and their parents or caregivers will find activities that educate and entertain at the nonprofit play space, 226 N. Ross Lane, Medford. Kid Time! offers interactive exhibits such as the grocery store, café, construction zone, into the woods, water works, medical center, art space, toddler town and the outdoor space, along with a café serving espresso and snacks from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Various crafts, activities and storytelling also are offered. Kid Time! hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for children, $3 for adults. A three-month family membership costs $40. See www.kid-time.org or call 772-9922.

SENIOR SINGERS: The Central Point Senior Singers will meet at 11 a.m. Mondays at the Central Point Senior Center, 123 N. Second St., Central Point. Call 664-4933.

Puppet theater: One Potato, Two Potato Puppet Theater with Karen Hardman will be presented from 11 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, in the community meeting room of the Central Point library, 116 S. Third St. The program is open to all ages and features shadow puppets, stories and an opportunity to make your own puppet. Call 664-3228.

BABIES IN THE LIBRARY: Jackson County Library Services will continue to offer programs for pre-walking babies (0-12 months) and for wobblers (12-36 months) accompanied by a parent or caregiver through Monday, Dec. 14. The 30-minute sessions will focus on early literacy skills such as rhyming, repetition, reading aloud and oral language with stories, bounces and reading, and will be followed by a half-hour of play time. The Babies' program will run from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays, and the Wobblers' program will run from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at the Medford library, 205 S. Central Ave. Call 774-6995.

Storytime: The Bugs-R-Us Storytime Presentation will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at the Gold Hill library, 202 Dardanelles St. The storytime will feature live, safe and touchable insects. Call 855-1994.

Will Hornyak: Storyteller Will Hornyak will present to children and adults at 4 p.m. and to adults only at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at the Ashland library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd. Hornyak's children's performance, "Lifting up the Sky: Stories for People Working Together," will weave together Native American myths, Scottish legends, Persian fables and participation stories. In his evening performance, "The Bawdy Raconteur: Deliciously Ribald Tales," Hornyak will explore the roots of the oldest versions of folk tales and reveal what was not included in the sanitized books and fairy tale collections available today. Call 774-6995.

Tom ward: Tom Ward will lecture on the ecological constraints and opportunities in the Bear Creek Basin at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland. Ward will use information about the local limits of soil, water, agricultural space and air-shed as well as the history of ecological managements and its long-term effects. Call 482-6767.

Tuesday, Dec. 8

Birthday Book Program: The Friends of the Shady Cove Library sponsor a book gift program for children living in Shady Cove, Trail and surrounding areas. Children ages 2 through 5 are eligible to receive a free book on their birthdays. Registration is available from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the library, 22477 Highway 62, Shady Cove. Parents will receive information to help spark their child's interest in reading. Call 878-2270 for more information.

Book discussion group: The Medford library Book Discussion Group will meet to discuss "Water For Elephants," written by Sara Gruen, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the Carpenter Room of the Medford library, 205 S. Central Ave. Call 774-6443.

Juggling Club: The Talent Juggling Club meets from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the gymnasium at Talent Elementary School, 307 W. Wagner Creek Road, Talent. All jugglers, beginning to advanced, are welcome. Call 535-1163.

SWEET ADELINES: The Southern Oregon Sound chapter of Sweet Adelines International, an a cappella chorus for women, meets from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Rogue Valley Christian Church, 1440 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford. The four-part chorus, directed by Martha Segura, is a nonprofit music education association and offers lessons on vocal technique, musical accuracy and showmanship. Segura is the lead singer for Razzcals, an international award-winning quartet. The Southern Oregon chapter of Sweet Adelines performs locally and in an annual regional competition. Women interested in singing with the chorus are invited to attend. See www.sweetadelinesos.org or call 774-9606.

Rock Garden society: The North American Rock Garden Society, Siskiyou Chapter will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Medford Congregational Church, 1801 E. Jackson St., Medford. Members will present pictures of personal gardens and plants or picture of places and gardens they have visited. Call 664-5934.

Wednesday, Dec. 9

PLAY WITH SCIENCE: Year-round exhibits at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland, explore energy, anatomy, chemistry, perception, motion, engineering and more. Visitors can play with soap bubbles in the Bubble-ology Room; pedal a bike to send power to an electric train; challenge their senses in the Hall of Illusions; and explore their creativity in Einstein's Art Studio. There also are crazy mirrors, big blocks and a climbing structure in the Kids Space. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $7.50, $5 for children ages 2 to 12 and seniors older than 65. See www.scienceworksmuseum.org or call 482-6767.

WOMEN'S LUNCHEON: The Rogue Valley Women's Connection will host a buffet luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood Drive, Medford. Jan Mathers will present a monologue on the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the Cascade Christian High School Carole will provide a music program. Cost is $15. Free child care is available. Call 245-1652 or 855-7695 for reservations.

SPELLING BEE: A spelling contest will be held at 7 p.m. every Wednesday at Louie's Bar and Grill, 41 N. Main St., Ashland. Admission is $1. Children are welcome to participate but must be out of Louie's by 10 p.m. The winning contestant will take the pot plus a dollar-for-dollar match by Louie's. Call 482-9677.

Thursday, Dec. 10

COMMUNITY CHORUS: A community chorus will meet from 1:30 to 3:20 p.m. on Thursdays in the new Rogue Community College presentation hall, corner of Riverside Avenue and Eighth Street, Medford. All ages are welcome. Call 779-2796.

MEN'S BARBERSHOP SINGING: Men interested in four-part harmony are invited to attend the Rogue Valley Harmonizers Chapter of the Barbershop Society meetings at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the First Presbyterian Church, 85 S. Holly St., Medford. Men interested in four-part harmony are invited. Call 779-7118.

Call To Poets: Poets of all types may sign up for an open-mic session to be held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at the Downtowne Coffee House, 200 Talent Ave., Talent. Sign-ups will be at 6:30 p.m. Call 512-1007.

Friday, Dec. 11

Central point christmas: Central Point will hold its 23rd annual Community Christmas and Tree Lighting event from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the Central Point Grange Hall, on the corner of East Pine and South Fifth streets. Starting at 4 p.m. at the Grange Hall, children age 5 through fifth grade can visit with Santa, get their faces painted, pick up a potentially lucky number to a wrapped gift, participate in crafts, enjoy refreshments and choose a book from the Kiwanis book giveaway. Youngsters also can have pictures taken with Santa at the Chamber of Commerce office, 150 Manzanita St., and decorate cookies at the Senior Center, 123 N. Second St. Hay rides and double-decker bus rides will be offered. The evening culminates with the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in the PremierWest Bank parking lot, 300 E. Pine St. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. The tree this year has been donated by Dale and Janet Miller. Call 664-5301.

DROP IN AND DRAW: The Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St., Medford, will offer supervised art workshops for children ages 6 and older from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on days that the Medford School District has no scheduled classes. Children ages 4 to 6 may attend the workshops if accompanied by an adult. Cost is $3 per hour per child and includes art supplies. No registration is required. Projects include weaving, sculpting, drawing, watercolor and others. The next workshop will be held Monday, Dec. 14. Children ages 6 to 12 may preregister for Drop In and Draw sessions to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. Registration is required, and the cost is $15 per child. Call 772-8118.

Saturday, Dec. 12

Puppet Theatre: The North Mountain Park Nature Center will host a Preschool Puppet Theatre for Kindergartners (age 3-5) from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the nature center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. The session will begin with a brief lesson, followed by a puppet show with Bucky Beaver and his friends, a snack and a related craft or activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations only are guaranteed until 10:30 a.m. Please arrive early; there will be no late seating. Admission is $5 per child. To register, see http://ashlandparks.recware.com.

Santa Claus: Santa Claus will be available at Blackbird for photographs and wish lists from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the store 1810 W. Main St., Medford. Photographs with Santa are free. Call 890-8196.

Holiday wine event: Four Upper Rogue wineries will host a holiday wine event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Agate Ridge Vineyard, 1098 Nick Young Road, Eagle Point, Crater Lake Cellars, 21882 Highway 62, Shady Cove, Folin Cellars, 9200 Ramsey Road, Sam's Valley; and Del Rio Vineyards, 52 N. River Road, Gold Hill. The wineries will offer complimentary wines and feature an ugly sweater contest and a wrapped elephant gift exchange. This event is organized by the Upper Rogue Wine and Farm Tour. Call 878-4200.

LEATHER CRAFTS: The Rogue Valley Leather Guild meets from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Saturday of every month at the Central Point Senior Center, 123 N. Second St., Central Point. The hobbyist group teaches and shares ideas about tooling leather and saddle-stitching. Call 826-3177 or 899-3663.

Sunday, Dec. 13

Monday, Dec. 14

Holiday sing-along: The White City library will host a holiday song-along and storytelling from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the library, 3143 Avenue C, Talent. Music will be led by members of the Rogue Valley Youth Choruses, and refreshments will be provided. Call 864-8880.

Friday, Dec. 18

Luminaries: Perl Funeral Home and Siskiyou Memorial Park will place more than 4,000 luminary candles around the park from dusk Friday, Dec. 18, till dawn Saturday, Dec. 19, at the park, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford. Community members are invited to drive or walk through the park, enjoy the beauty of the lights and remember a loved one. Please enter the park at the Siskiyou Boulevard Chapel and business office entrance and park in the main lot in front of the chapel. Call 772-5488.

Saturday, Dec. 19

BREAKFAST: A breakfast of biscuits and gravy, omelets, scrambled eggs, ham, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, fruit, juice and coffee will be offered from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Medford Masonic Center, 975 N. Phoenix Road, Medford. The cost is $6.

HISTORIC WALKING TOURS: Ben Truwe will unlock the secrets of the past during his "Haunted Brothels and Opium Dens of Medford" walking tours offered at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month. Find out where Medford residents "lynched the knocker and burned the hammer." The free tours last about two hours and are suitable for all ages. Participants should dress for the weather and meet at the Southern Oregon Historical Society's History Center, 106 N. Central Ave., Medford. Call 773-8369 for reservations.

SOUTHERN OREGON STITCHERS: Needleworkers and embroiderers are invited to join the Southern Oregon Stitchers, the local chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild of America. The group will meet at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the First Presbyterian Church, 456 W. Pine St., Central Point. During this meeting, group members and guests will be taught to make a beaded Christmas tree. See www.sosega.com or call 472-1216.

Chess club: The Medford library's teen Chess Club will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month in the teen library, 205 S. Central Ave., Medford. All levels of players are welcome. Basic instruction will be offered. Call 774-6413.

Sunday, Dec. 20

SOUTHERN OREGON WOOD TURNERS: Learn how to turn wood on a lathe at 2 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month with the Southern Oregon Wood Turners Club. The group meets at 175 Royal Lane, Rogue River, and anyone interested is invited to attend. Call 956-5958 or 476-6137.

Saturday, Dec. 26

Breakfast: An all-you-can-eat breakfast will be offered from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26, at the Warren Lodge, 135 Oregon St., Jacksonville. The menu will include sausage, ham, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, coffee and juice for $6. Call 899-1463.

Monday, Dec. 28

ACCORDION CLUB: The Medford Accordion Club meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every month at the Central Point Senior Center, 123 N. Second St., Central Point. Anyone interested in playing or listening is invited to attend. Admission is $1. Call 488-7777.