List of dances and other events

• The Las Cruces Ukes will perform at the Branigan Cultural Center Saturday, February 4, at noon as part of For the Love of Art Month. The free performance is fun for all ages.

• The Cruces Apple User Group (CAUG) group will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, at the Administration Building of DACC, on the corner of South Espina and Gregg Streets, Room 114 (Parking on Gregg Street). This month’s agenda includes a “What’s New With Apple” discussion and a tutorial on “Pages and Calendar.” The meeting will end with time for tech support for user questions.

CAUG welcomes anyone interested in learning and sharing information about their Apple Products. If you have questions or you’re looking to talk with other MAC users, please come. CAUG meets on the second Saturday of each month.

Presentations and tutorials are part of the group’s activities. Additional information at cauglc.org. and/or contact Louise Foster at louisefoster@mac.com

• The Mesilla Valley Audubon Society has monthly meetings on a variety of topics. On February 15, Dr. Kathryn Stoner, Department Head of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology at NMSU, will discuss the amazing lives of bats. Learn about the importance of the nectarivorous bats and their role in pollination in our region. Meetings are held at the Southwest Environmental Center, 275 Downtown Mall. Meetings kick off with a social time from 6:30 to 7, with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m.

• The Doña Ana County Senior Olympics will conduct it’s 39th Annual Kick-Off and Registration on Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event will be held at Trails West clubhouse, 1450 Avenida de Mesilla. Coffee and refreshments will be served. Between the hours of 11 and 11:30 a.m., they will present the Dee Harris Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards, as well as the J. Mack Adams Award.

Senior Olympics conducts friendly and safe competition in 26 sports and activities throughout Las Cruces during March and April, but you must register in advance. Games are open to individuals age 50 and over and are organized in five-year age groups. Beginners as well as experienced athletes are encouraged to participate. For information check donaanaseniors.com, email dacsolascruces@gmail.com, or call the office at 649-3167 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

• Storytellers of Las Cruces celebrate their 90-year anniversary and present their annual Jennie Curry Story Fest on Saturday, February 25, at 2 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room at Branigan Library, 200 E. Picacho. The event is free to the public. Program includes music and stories for all ages. Children receive a coupon with $2 value to use at COAS Book Store. For more information, call 640-6867.

• The Mesilla Valley Audubon Society hosts free beginning bird walks at Tellbrook Park on the third Wednesday of each month, guided by a member of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society. Observe the ever-changing birdlife that lives and visits here. The birding will be done from the paved path that winds through the park; however, if there is interest, they may also make a short (optional) excursion into the surrounding desert.

Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the entrance to Tellbrook Park at 4290 E. Winchester Rd. in the Las Alturas area. Bird walks will last about an hour. These walks are appropriate for beginners. You do not need prior experience to enjoy it. Although not necessary, a pair of binoculars will greatly improve how well you see the birds. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinking water. For more information, e-mail way1mike@yahoo.com.

• Desert Writers, a program open to Doña Ana County writers age 55 and older, meets Wednesday mornings from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite Street. They are seeking new members who write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Each week authors share work in progress, followed by comments from writer mentors and other group members, who include both published and unpublished writers. Visitors are always welcome. There is no cost to participate. For more information, contact: kingorry@comcast.net.

• The Las Cruces Ukes, a community group of ukulele enthusiasts, invites ukulele players of any skill level to their Thursday practices. A “strum for fun” session takes place from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. and the performance group prepares for upcoming performances from 6:30 – 8 p.m. There is no charge to be part of the group. They practice at Good Samaritan — Las Cruces Village, 3011 Buena Vida Circle, in the Social Center’s Creative Arts Room. More information at lascrucesukes.blogspot.com or by e-mailing lascrucesukes@gmail.com.

• The Breast Cancer Support Group of the Community Foundation meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Medical Center Annex Building, 2450 S. Telshor, located on the west side of the main entrance (look for signage). Each month’s speaker and topic varies. Meetings are free, no registration is required, and they are open to all who are interested in health and wellness. For more information, call 524-4373.

• El Caldito Soup Kitchen is in need of volunteer gleaners to assist in food collection. The organization has a van that is used daily, as well as a group of regular volunteers who have organized routes and times to pick up food from various businesses. They are specifically in need of a pair of gleaner volunteers on Saturdays, but other days are also in need of replacement assistance as regular volunteers go out of town or become unable to help. The hours are approximately 7:30 – 10 a.m. and they would be trained by current volunteers who do the route. Gabe Chavez, president emeritus, is the contact person and he can be reached at 644-8737.

kitten

• Project Save a Kitten is preparing for its March 2017 fundraiser. This year’s “cat-chy” event will be a jewelry sale. Many of us have lovely jewelry pieces that we never wear — this is an opportunity to donate them for a good cause. They also would like donations of jewelry boxes, small decorative items, lace and linens, and other small treasures.

If you have items to donate, contact them for pick up or drop off at Better Life Pet Foods at 365 Avenida de Mesilla through February. If you don’t have any treasures to donate, but still want to help, they will accept cash for the kitty as well.

To donate or for more information, contact Jackye at Project Save a Kitten at 323-0903 or gardens@zianet.com.

• The Las Cruces Ukes, a non-profit organization, will host the Las Cruces UkeFest May 19 – 21, 2017. The festival will include professional instructors including Jim Beloff, author of the Daily Ukulele and many other music books; Heidi Swedberg, an in-demand instructor and performer; Daniel Ward, who will teach techniques that will help your fingers fly on the fretboard; and Danielle Ate the Sandwich, a indy-folk performer/instructor from Colorado. The groups Chief Musical Officer, Bob Hull, will also present workshops. The festival will take place at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, kicking off with a concert Friday evening, workshops all day Saturday and Sunday morning, and a jam session Saturday evening at their host hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn.

The Friday evening concert will include a few songs by the Las Cruces Ukes and then highlight the instructor/performers, including Jim Beloff ’s wife and co-author, Liz. The Saturday and Sunday workshops will provide attendees the opportunity to learn skills at a variety of levels, from beginner to more advanced. The Saturday evening jam session, under the guidance of Jim Beloff, will be a fun way for everyone to play songs together.

Loaner ukuleles will be available for those who are just beginning their ukulele journey. There will also be a stand-along kids’ workshop Saturday afternoon.

More information about the festival can be found at lascrucesukefest.com and the event Facebook page, facebook.com/lascrucesukefest.

• Volunteers are needed at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces to lead tours of school children. Assisting in helping the children learn about our state’s unique and rich history of farming, ranching and rural life is rewarding. The museum offers free training for volunteers, and a background in agriculture isn’t necessary. Contact Carol Noones, the museum’s volunteer coordinator, at 522-4100.

• Book lovers who visit Barnes & Noble at the Mesilla Valley Mall Friday through Sunday, February 24 – 26, will be welcomed by the Friends of the Branigan Library who are staging a special event book fair at the store. A portion of each purchase will become a donation to the Friends and directly support our local library.

Hours for the Book Fair are Friday, February 24, 4 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, February 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday, February 26, 1 – 4 p.m. Anyone who can’t attend the book fair can visit bn.com/bookfairs. Enter ID 12065983 at checkout from February 24 through March 5 to benefit the Branigan Library.