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Sunday briefs

COUNTRY DANCE: Tickets are on sale for the annual country concert and dance to benefit the Good Samaritan House, a homeless shelter for women and children.

The concert will feature Chris Krause with an appearance by Crystal Breeze. The guest emcee will be Ashlee Jay, DJ with KZNN 105.3.

The concert will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Knights of Columbus, 4225 Old Alton Road, Granite City.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.

For information, call 876-0607.

FOOD DRIVE: The first Metro East Food Drive sponsored by Servpro, CRDN (a Jim's Formal Wear company) and Christ the King Apostolic Church is underway.

Donations can be dropped off at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Food Pantry in East St. Louis, at the Collinsville Area Ministeria Alliance Food Pantry in Collinsville or at Community Interfaith Food Pantry of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Belleville.

Bag distribution day will be Sept. 12 ; food pick up day is Sept. 19.

A food drive wrap-up and barbecue for volunteers will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19.

AUTHOR SPEAKS: Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel will be the speaker Thursday to benefit the West County Charitable Endowment.

The evening begins with an informal "Meet and Greet Reception" at 6 p.m. followed by a sit-down dinner and presentation at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for the meet and greet and $60 per person for the dinner and presentation.

Strobel will share a bend of insights and Biblical truth. He is a former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is a New York Times best-selling author of more than 20 books.

Tickets are available through or by calling 800-965-9324.

TALENT CONTEST: Forty-seven children and adults competed in the three divisions of the St. Clair County Fair talent contest.

Junior Division: Nicole Warnecke, 11, of New Athens, played the banjo, first place; Brittany Houston, 10, of O'Fallon, dance, second place; Cheyenne Groom, 12, of Belleville, dance, third place.

Senior Division: Christopher Allmon, 19, of Belleville, gymnastics, first place; Richie Watkins, 16, of Smithton, stand up comedy, second place.

Open Division: Timothy Anders of Collinsville, juggling, first place; Patricia Lane Trent of Belleville, singing, second place; Irish dancers Fallon Sykes, Allyson McCamm, Dylan Kroder and Caitlin Morrison, of Collinsville, third place.

The first place winners of the Junior and Senior divisions will represent St. Clair County in the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs statewide talent contest in Springfield on Jan. 16, 2010.

HEALTHY COMMUNITY: Southern Illinois Chiropractic Center of Maryville, along with the Maryville Community Improvement Board, will host Healthy Community Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Maryville Senior Center, 500 E. Division St., Maryville.

The day is designed to educate the community about living a healthy lifestyle and benefits of diet and exercise. The event is free.

For information, call 288-7991.

BLOOD DRIVES: Central Illinois Community Blood Center blood drives will be:

*3-7 p.m. Monday, St. Jacob Lion's Club, 108 Douglas St., St. Jacob, in the hall.

* 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, Heartland Baptist Church, main floor, 4500 Humbert Road, Alton.

*11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Cedarhurst Assisted Living of Collinsville, 1207 Vandalia, Collinsville, on the blood mobile.

* 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Maryville Senior Building, 500 E. Division St., Maryville. Sponsored by Southern Illinois Chiropractic Center, on the blood mobile.

SUPPORT GROUP: St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese will host an Alzheimer's Association support group at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Senior Renewal area of the hospital's HealthPlex.

Sessions are open to anyone caring for a person with dementia at home or in a nursing home or who has a family member or friend with Alzheimer's or similar disease.

For information, call 526-5699 or e-mail

BIKE RIDE: The Illinois Center for Autism's first Bike-at-Dawn will be today in Fairview Heights.

Registration is available from 5 to 6 a.m. and the ride begins at 6 a.m. The rides begin and end at the center.

Routes of eight or 15 miles are offered. The cost is $15 per person or $25 per family of four.

MS GROUP: The Metro East MS Treatment TALK MS Group will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at LINC, Inc., 120 E. A St., Belleville.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Jerry Kennedy on "How a Drug-Free Methodist Can Help MS Patients: A Closer look at Upper Cervical Care."

This is a self-help group of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Gateway Chapter.

For information, contact Diane Earhart at 235-8823 or e-mail

MEMORY WALK: The Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk 2009 will be Sept. 26.

The Illinois Memory Walk will begin with registration at 8 a.m. on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The walk begins at 9 a.m.

Visit or call 314-801-0440 to register.

ASTRONAUT SPEAKS: Astronaut Sandra Magnus will give a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the sanctuary of the First United Presbyterian Church, corner of Royal Heights Road and Route 161, Belleville.

Her visit is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Council and Boy Scouts of America.

SUPPORT GROUP: The Alzheimer's Association "In the Moment" support group will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the classroom at Oak Hill, 623 Hamacher, Waterloo.

The film, "Caregivers," from the HBO special "The Alzheimer's Project," will be shown. Refreshments will be served.

For information, call Julia at 939-3488, ext. 1248.

CHORALE REHEARSALS: The Metro East Community Chorale is beginning rehearsals for their Christmas concert.

Rehearsals are from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays, beginning Monday, at first United Presbyterian Church, Royal Heights Road and Route 161, Belleville.

New members are being sought for the chorale. No auditions are required.

For information, call Onnie at 398-1587.