UT Lake Erie Center invites volunteers to help keep Maumee Bay State Park beach barefoot friendly

The somewhat ticklish, exfoliating feel of toes in the sand is one of the joys of a Great Lakes summer escape.

To preserve the beauty and health of a northwest Ohio shoreline frequently visited by families, The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center is inviting the public to help pick up litter on Maumee Bay State Park’s public beach at 4 p.m. Friday, June 3 in Oregon.

The clean up is in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes which holds more than a dozen Adopt-a-Beach events throughout the region each year sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly.

Last year, nearly 15,000 Adopt-a-Beach volunteers – enough to fill 207 school buses – removed 37,581 pounds of trash at 348 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“It’s important that people throughout our entire community take care of our Lake Erie beaches,” said Rachel Lohner, education program manager at the UT Lake Erie Center. “Keeping them tidy will help inspire a new generation of Great Lakes lovers with a lifelong respect for their value to our ecosystem and economy.”

For more information or to register online, visit greatlakesadopt.org.

Stargazers invited to view Mars at its best at UT’s newly-renovated Brooks Observatory

After Memorial Day weekend, The University of Toledo Ritter Planetarium is opening the doors to its newly-renovated Brooks Observatory for Mars Watch 2016.

The public is invited from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 31-June 2, to view the Red Planet through the UT telescope as Mars marks its closest approach to Earth in more than a decade.

“There is a window every two and a half years when the views of Mars are exceptional because the planet comes into what is called opposition – the point when Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth,” Alex Mak, associate director of UT Ritter Planetarium, said. “Each year is a little bit different.  This year is one of the better ones.”

The event is free and dependent on clear skies.

“This opportunity to see Mars at its best will be fascinating for people of all ages,” Mak said. “Mars is probably everybody’s favorite planet besides Earth. The zillion dollar question is whether there is life on Mars. We don’t know yet. It’s going to be the first planet we ever travel to. As far as conditions, it’s the one that is most like Earth.”

Visitors are invited to meet in the lobby of McMaster Hall where they will be guided up to Brooks Observatory.

Be a foster parent

Are you someone who loves kids and wants to make a difference in a child’s life? If so, consider becoming a foster parent through Lucas County Children Services (LCCS).  LCCS needs all kinds of individuals to care for all kinds of children, but has a particular need right now for families able to care for groups of brothers and sisters, and for caregivers experienced in working with children with developmental and behavioral challenges. To learn more about becoming a foster parent, call LCCS foster care recruiter Celine Woods at 419-213-3336.

Find Your Getaway with the 2016 Ohio Travel Guide

The 2016 Ohio Travel Guide is now available for digital download or as a print magazine. The 2016 guide has been modernized to better reflect the new Ohio. Find It Here. brand and create a more engaging and inspiring resource for travelers.

The 2016 Ohio Travel Guide and Spring/Summer Ohio Calendar of Events are available in print, free of charge, by visiting Ohio.org or calling 1-800-BUCKEYE. The digital edition of the guide (including the calendar) is available for download from Ohio.org

Thunderbirds are coming!

The release of the United States Air Force Thunderbird’s 2016 schedule that includes an appearance at the Toledo Air Show. The event, a joint venture of the community and the 180th Fighter Wing, will take place at the Toledo Express Airport on July 16-17.  Click here for more information.

Holy Toledo LaughFest set for October

It's no joke, Toledo: get ready to laugh till your sides hurt during the first-ever Holy Toledo LaughFest. The month-long celebration of comedy includes acts at multiple venues across the Glass City. This community-wide festival will feature a diverse lineup of comedy heavyweights, stand-up geniuses, improvisational groups, local comedians and more!
>Participating venues include Stranahan Theater and Great Hall, Hensville, The Valentine Theatre, and Toledo Repertoire Theatre. The Holy Toledo LaughFest planning committee is made up of representatives from many local organizations and attractions and will be announcing more venues and shows in the coming months.

Here's the punch lineup card of the first acts to join the LaughFest:

  1. Chad Daniels • Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at The Armory at Hensville
  2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) • September 30, October 1, 6, 7, 8 at 8 p.m.; October 2 and 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre
  3. Al Jackson • Saturday, October 1 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at The Armory at Hensville
  4. Jackie Kashian • Friday, October 7 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Top of Nine at Hensville
  5. Jerry Seinfeld • Friday, October 7 at 7 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater
  6. Bobcat Goldthwait • Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Top of Nine at Hensville
  7. David Sedaris • Monday, October 10 at the Stranahan Theater
  8.  'A Night of Improv' at The Toledo Rep • Friday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m. at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre • Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m. at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre
  9.  'Improv for Kids' Workshop • Saturday, October 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre

Check out the new Holy Toledo Laugh Fest website (www.holytoledolaughfest.com) for the full list of festival shows and ticket information.