The best resolution for the new year: In 2014, I will volunteer. Happily, here in Aurora there are many opportunities for you to offer your time, talent and skill.
• Volunteers of America will appreciate help in the food pantry or sorting and selling donated clothing, toys and housewares in the thrift shop. Stop in to see Sue Altman at 1063 N Aurora Road or call 330-562-2118.
• If sports are the skills you want to share, consider coaching for the city of Aurora’s teams. Contact Scott DeMarco, sports coordinator at 330-995-9153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• There’s more to theater than what’s on stage. No play comes to life without a small army of volunteers behind the scenes, and Aurora Community Theatre welcomes help with props and costumes, sound and lighting systems and the refreshment stand during intermission to benefit the scholarship fund. Call Marianne Paul at 330-562-9065.
• The AuroraReads program needs volunteers to donate a half hour one day a week to help Aurora’s youngest students improve their reading skills. Call Sue Mansell at 330-562-8648 for more information.
• Aurora Historical Society, Aurora schools, churches and groups like Kiwanis, the Masons and Rotary, plus all local senior residences — Anna Maria of Aurora, Independence Village and Aurora Manor — make life better for all of us through volunteers.
• Sometimes the best volunteer opportunities are right next door. Especially in snowy weather, neighbors are very grateful for shoveled sidewalks or mail brought in from the road. My husband Tim and I are especially thankful for our favorite neighborhood volunteers, Rich and Karen Gajewski, who do so much for us and so many others.
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January, the month of fresh beginnings, means it’s time to start planning your plantings. Residents who leased Aurora community garden plots in 2013 at the Margaret Harmon property on Page Road can renew their plots through Feb. 7 and sign up for additional plots Feb 10-21.
New plot owners can reserve space starting Feb. 24. Request forms are available at the parks and recreation office in the Walker Building, 129 W. Pioneer Trail or on the city’s website at www.auroraoh.com. Director Jim Kraus and his staff can answer your questions at 330-562-4333 or email@example.com.
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The year’s first meeting of Aurora Chamber of Commerce will feature a networking luncheon and roundtable discussion reflecting on past accomplishments as the group embarks on a new year.
Reservations for “State of the Chamber” on Jan. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Doogan’s are $20 for members and $30 for non-members, with a late fee of $5 after Jan. 10.
Reserve your space online at allaboutaurora.com, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 330-562-3355.
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“The Diary of Anne Frank” is the true story of a young teenage girl and the bravery, discipline and love it took for her and seven others — with the help of two courageous friends — to endure 25 months in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, Belgium.
Aurora Community Theatre presents this inspiring play on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from Jan. 31 to Feb. 22. Tickets at $16 for adults and $11 for age 18 and under are available at www.auroracommunitytheatre.com or 330-562-1818.
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January in Aurora may offer chilly, even bitter weather, but there’s still plenty of outdoor-focused fun available. Moebius Nature Center on East Mennonite Road will offer a workshop on bird feeding techniques and crafts Jan. 11 at 11 a.m.
The center will host a “Family Owl Prowl” hike and talk followed by refreshments Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., and a class on creating decorative botanical plates Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. Register at www.mymnc.org.
Moebius Nature Center is another great place to donate your time. Monthly meetings take place the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. Congratulations to Karen Piwonka, the 2013 volunteer of the year.