Community news: Trail of Lights opens Saturday


The Junior League of Austin will distribute more than 34,000 coats to children in need Saturday.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will hold a community blood drive Saturday in San Marcos.



Trail of Lights opens Saturday

The Austin Trail of Lights will have its grand opening at 7 p.m. Saturday in Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road.

General admission will open at 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. through Dec. 23. The entrance fee for children 12 and younger is free; a general admission fee will be charged for adults on seven of the 14 nights of the event. Early entry, VIP, parking and shuttle passes are available for purchase on select nights. A close-in parking lot at Zilker Park is available only with a pre-paid parking pass.

Visitors also can help feed the hungry by bringing a can of food to the Trail of Lights. Organizers are trying to collect more than 25,000 meals for the Central Texas Food Bank.

For a full schedule of events:

— American-Statesman staff


Junior League to distribute coats

The Junior League of Austin and community partners will distribute more than 34,000 coats to Central Texas children in need at an event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. A second distribution will be at Del Valle Elementary School, 5400 Ross Road.

Coats for Kids is an annual community event through which new and gently-worn warm winter coats are collected and distributed to economically disadvantaged youths in Central Texas.

In addition to coats, the expanded Warm Bodies, Healthy Hearts Community Fair will be at the Palmer location that includes the distribution of books, flu shots and dental exams, along with other valuable information from community fair participants. Families who make less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible to receive a coat and have the opportunity to visit the community fair.

Donations are being accepted. For more information:

— American-Statesman staff


Overpass inspection to begin

Crews hired by the city of Austin Public Works Department will begin an inspection and testing of the railroad overpass next week on William Cannon Drive between Woodhue and Cannonleague drives in preparation for upgrading the structure.

Traffic on William Cannon Drive may be temporarily reduced to one lane in each direction during the day from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Motorists are encouraged to follow traffic signs and drive cautiously through the work zone.

The capital renewal project is funded by the 2016 Mobility Bond, which allocated $137 million to local mobility projects.

— American-Statesman staff


Holiday tree donations sought

The Hyatt Regency Austin, at 208 Barton Springs Road, is seeking donations for its holiday tree to benefit the SAFE Alliance, which stands for Stop Abuse For Everyone, a merger of the Austin Children’s Shelter and Safe Place.

Guests of the hotel and local residents can select an ornament from the tree, which includes gift requests from children and families supported by the SAFE Alliance, ranging from coats and pajamas to toys and games. Donations and gifts must be unwrapped and delivered to the hotel’s front desk by Monday.

Donations may be made at the front desk or by dropping it off with a valet attendant.

— American-Statesman staff



HeartSaver course offered

Williamson County Emergency Medical Services will offer American Heart Association CPR and first aid classes from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 16

Classes will be offered at the Williamson County EMS Clinical Practices Building, 321 W. Eighth St.

The early class, on first aid for adults, costs $30. The later class, on learning CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, costs $35. Classes together cost $45.

To register for one or both classes: To find the appropriate class, enter “Georgetown, TX” for the location, then enter the class date for start and end time.

For more information: 512-943-3736;

— American-Statesman staff


Library hosts craft crawl

The Georgetown Public Library, at 402 W. Eighth St., will host the Adultish Holiday Craft Crawl from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15.

The event will include do-it-yourself crafts and gifts such as painting wine glasses, making bath salts and sugar scrubs, compiling hot chocolate kits and crafting bookmarks.

The free event is for ages 18 and older.

— American-Statesman staff



Blood drive on Saturday

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will hold a community blood drive from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Sam’s Club, 1350 Leah Ave.

Donors will receive a wellness checkup and T-shirt.

To register: 214-552-2937;

— American-Statesman staff

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