The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donors. Severe winter weather has more than doubled the number of cancelled blood drives and the resulting blood and platelet donation shortfall. In South Carolina, winter weather conditions during the month of January have led to 25 blood drives being cancelled. Schedule your donation appointment by using the free Blood Donor App, by visiting www.redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Help save a life by participating in one of the following American Red Cross blood donation opportunities: 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today at YMCA of Sumter, 510 Miller Road; and 8:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, Lakewood High School, 350 Old Manning Road.
Free income tax filing services and FAFSA application assistance will be provided on a walk-in basis from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays at 640 Broad St. (the Anything Paper building). Services include e-file and direct deposit 2017 tax year and processing taxes from three years back (2016, 2015 and 2014). Call (803) 883-5483 for information.
The Sumter AARP Tax-Aide Foundation will offer free tax assistance and preparation on a first come, first served basis on Mondays and Wednesdays through April 17 at the Lincoln Historical Center (former home of the Shepherd's Center), 26 Council St. On Saturday, Feb. 17, assistance will be available on an appointment basis only. Call Lula King at (803) 316-0772 for information.
The Vision in Progress group will meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the James Clyburn Transportation Center. Holly Chase, community advocate for Sumter Family Health Center, will speak. Call Patty Wilson at (803) 491-4910.
Hillcrest High School Class of 1978 will hold a 40th class reunion meeting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, at High Hill Baptist Church Meeting House Road, Dalzell. Call Mable Butler at (803) 565-1225 or Mary Roach at (803) 464-7664.
The Sumter SPCA Valentine Dance will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Elaine D. Korn Memorial Center, 1100 S. Guignard Drive. Music will be provided by Terence Lonon & the Untouchables. Cost is $25 per person (must be 21 years or older). All proceeds benefit the SPCA. Call (803) 773-9292.
The One Sumter Community group will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. "Law Enforcement and gun violence: Prevention and Intervention" will be presented by Chief Deputy Hampton Gardner of the Sumter County Sheriff's Office and Deputy Chief Alvin Holston of the Sumter Police Department. Call the Rev. Joshua Dupree Jr. at (803) 795-3600.
The Sumter Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Shiloh-Randolph Manor, 125 W. Bartlette St. Rebecca Sears, director, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Sumter Senior Services, will speak. Contact Debra Canty, chapter president, at (803) 775-5792 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sumter Branch NAACP will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at Eastern Community Center, 5400 E. Brewington Road, regarding the potential permanent closing of Mayewood Middle School.
Sumter High School Class of 1978 will hold a 40th class reunion planning meeting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Sumter County Library, 111 N. Harvin St. All classmates are encouraged to attend. For additional information regarding the meeting or the Oct. 12 class reunion, visit Sumter High Class of 1978 on Facebook or email email@example.com.
The Sumter Branch NAACP will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at Rafting Creek Community Center, 4050 N. Kings Highway, Rembert, regarding the potential permanent closing of Rafting Creek Elementary School.
The Sumter Litter Alliance will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, at the Swan Lake Visitors Center. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the mission of the group, to address concerns from the public, and to invite attendees to get involved with their efforts.
The 18th Annual Cavalier Pride Auction will be held on Saturday, March 17, at Robert E. Lee Academy in Bishopville. Food will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Bidding will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the first table closing at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.