South Charlotte

Community calendar

Please submit your event information online. Go to events.charlotteobserver.com and click on "add to our listings." Email photos to stories@newsofsouthcharlotte.com. The print deadline is two weeks in advance of the event date.

Feb. 5

Orchid Spectacular:

For more than 100 years orchid hunters have faced tropical diseases, wild animals, cannibalistic tribes, floods and often fierce competition from each other all in the quest for exotic gems. Begin your exploration of this most elusive plant this winter, in the warmth of the Orchid Conservatory at The Garden. 9 a.m. through Feb. 19. $12. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont. 704-825-4490. www.dsbg.org.

CBCC Pint for Pounds:

Join the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas for its Fourth Annual 'Pint for Pounds' campaign to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. CBCC will donate six pounds of food for every blood donation through Feb. 29. Donate blood at one of CBCC's four donor centers or at a community blood drive (www.cbcc.us/donate). Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. www.cbcc.us.

Chinese Lantern Festival:

Discover the Chinese Lantern Festival, presented by Con-Ning Yen, as part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award Project. 11:45 a.m. Holy Trinity Middle School, 3100 Park Road, Charlotte.

Feb. 6

The Ethel Waters exhibit: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow":

One of the most influential African American women in history, Ethel Waters (1896-1977) began her career as a jazz singer and went on to become an award-winning vocalist and star of stage and screen. In 1957, she began touring with the Billy Graham Crusades. The Ethel Waters Exhibit will feature memorabilia from her remarkable career and showcase photos from her years on the Billy Graham Crusade team. 9:30 a.m. Free. Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte. 704-401-3200. www.billygraham.org.

CBCC Pint for Pounds:

Join the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas for its Fourth Annual 'Pint for Pounds' campaign to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. CBCC will donate six pounds of food for every blood donation through Feb. 29. Donate blood at one of CBCC's four donor centers or at a community blood drive (www.cbcc.us/donate). Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. www.cbcc.us.

Thomas McNickle and William Partridge Burpee:

Alongside watercolors by Thomas McNickle, the gallery is featuring pastels and paintings by William Partridge Burpee (1846-1940), a great American Impressionist landscape painter. Through Feb. 22. Free. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

Parenting seminar:

This parenting seminar is most appropriate for parents and child-care providers of children between the ages of 1 and 6 years. 6 p.m. York County Library at Baxter Village, 1818 2nd Baxter Crossing, Fort Mill.

Poetry Pickin's:

Join N.C. Humanities Road Scholar Elisha Minter as she compares the messages and methods of Harlem Renaissance poets with those of rap and spoken-word artists of today. Poetry selections and guided discussion will be used to show artists of today and the past reflect real life situations in their work. 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Monroe Library, Union County Public Library, 316 E. Windsor St., Monroe. 704-283-8184. www.union.lib.nc.us.

Savvy Social Security:

Seminar covers the basics of Social Security and reveals strategies for maximizing your benefits and minimizes taxes. Attend this session to learn how to obtain the most out of Social Security. 7 p.m. Matthews Woman's Club, 208 S. Trade St., Matthews. 704-849-5063. www.matthewswomen.org.

Feb. 7

Senior Chair Yoga:

Senior Chair Yoga hosted by Friends for Seniors every Tuesday. 9:30 a.m. Free. Union United Methodist Church, New Town Road, Wesley Chapel. 704-843-1603. www.unionumc.net.

The Ethel Waters Exhibit: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow":

One of the most influential African American women in history, Ethel Waters (1896-1977) began her career as a jazz singer and went on to become an award-winning vocalist and star of stage and screen. In 1957, she began touring with the Billy Graham Crusades. The Ethel Waters Exhibit will feature memorabilia from her remarkable career and showcase photos from her years on the Billy Graham Crusade team. 9:30 a.m. Free. Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte. 704-401-3200. www.billygraham.org.

A healthier Japanese maple:

This class will cover many important topics and shed light on poor gardening practices that, when corrected, are sure to result in a healthier, more beautiful Japanese maple. Please register. 9:30 a.m. $35. Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Kindermusik:

This is a four-week course for children 6 months to 5 years, and their parents. You will learn music and games together. The $35 fee includes the materials. Classes are at 9:30 a.m. for 45 minutes Tuesdays or Wednesdays. 9:30 a.m. Pineville United Methodist Church, 110 S. Polk St., Pineville. 704-889-2022. www.pinevilleumc.org.

Tai Chi with Rob Bruce at the Lawrence House:

Tai Chi is commonly practiced today as a moving meditation for health benefits. $60 for 5-week session. The Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden at Wing Haven, 348 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Internet and email basics:

This class will teach participants how to surf the Web using Internet Explorer 8 browser. 10 a.m. Union West Regional Library, 123 Unionville Indian Trail Road W., Indian Trail. 704-821-7475. www.union.lib.nc.us.

CBCC Pint for Pounds:

Join the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas for its Fourth Annual 'Pint for Pounds' campaign to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. CBCC will donate six pounds of food for every blood donation through Feb. 29. Donate blood at one of CBCC's four donor centers or at a community blood drive (www.cbcc.us/donate). Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, 4447 South Blvd., Charlotte. www.cbcc.us.

Thomas McNickle and William Partridge Burpee:

Alongside watercolors by Thomas McNickle, the gallery is featuring pastels and paintings by William Partridge Burpee (1846-1940), a great American Impressionist landscape painter. Through Feb. 22. Free. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

Palisades luncheon:

Thom Tillis, N.C. Speaker of the House, will speak at The Palisades Country Club. 11:30 a.m. Palisades Country Club, 13704 Grand Palisades Parkway, Charlotte.

South Mecklenburg Alliance Responsible Taxpayers Meeting:

Critical action meeting for all South Mecklenburg taxpayers, neighbors and other friends of SMART. Meeting will address actions and updates regarding: Schools, CMS, LIFT; Town of South Mecklenburg; HOA involvement; Getting out the Vote; and, overcoming city/county neglect. 6:30 p.m. Free. Raintree Country Club, 8600 Raintree Lane, Charlotte. 704-541-0906.

Passport to Retirement:

This course will help you learn more about planning for a comfortable retirement. It is designed to give you the tools necessary to make more informed decisions regarding your financial future. 6:30 p.m. www.queens.edu/passport-retirement. Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Ave., Charlotte. 704-688-2838. www.queens.edu/passport-retirement.

Understanding the "A,B,C,D" of Medicare:

Learn the basics of Medicare- Parts A, B, C, and D. This presentation will address common questions and concerns about Medicare such as costs, coverage, differences in parts, advantage and supplemental plans and how to detect fraud and abuse. 7 p.m. Free. 704-708-5001. Matthews Women Club, 208 S. Trade St., Matthews. 704-849-5063. www.matthewswomen.org.

Sex in the Garden with Dr. Larry Mellichamp:

Flowers are carrying on strange-but-natural sex acts in your garden with the aid of various insects and hummingbirds. Here you will learn more about why flowers look and behave the way they do and why pollinating animals make the choices they do. Please register. Part of Wing Haven's 2012 Winter Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m. $15. Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Feb. 8

Kindermusik:

This is a four-week course for children 6 months to 5 years and their parents. You will learn music and games together. The $35 fee includes the materials. Classes are held at 9:30 a.m. for 45 minutes, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. 9:30 a.m. Pineville United Methodist Church, 110 S. Polk St., Pineville. 704-889-2022. www.pinevilleumc.org.

Thomas McNickle and William Partridge Burpee:

Alongside watercolors by Thomas McNickle, the gallery is featuring pastels and paintings by William Partridge Burpee (1846-1940), a great American Impressionist landscape painter. Through Feb. 22. Free. Jerald Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte. 704-365-3000. www.jeraldmelberg.com.

Elderly Tax Relief Program:

Tiffany Pettit, CNCA will thoroughly explain the Elderly or Disabled Exclusion, Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment and Disabled Veteran Exclusion programs and guide you with the completion of the application process. The deadline to submit this application is June 1 each year. Call the Tyvola Senior Center to register. 11 a.m. Free. Tyvola Senior Center, 2225 Tyvola Road, Charlotte. 704-522-6222. www.cmseniorcenters.org.

Newcomers Club of York County:

Newcomers Club of York County, a women's social and civic-minded organization, meets the second Wednesday each month. This month, Dr. Justin Haynie from Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute will discuss steps to a healthy heart. For reservation and menu choice, please call or email long.marys@gmail.com. 11:30 a.m. $10 plus tax, tip. The Fish Market at Baxter Village, 990 Market St., Fort Mill.

GMAT Info Session & Practice Test:

6 p.m. Free. Queens Sports Complex & Conference Center, 2229 Tyvola Road, Charlotte. 704-688-2838. www.queens.edu/test-prep.

Maximizing Retirement Income & Protecting Your Money:

If your retirement financial goals include maximizing income for life, safety of principle, growth, liquidity, tax-advantages, and control of your money, don't miss this session. 7 p.m. Free. 704-708-5001. Matthews Women Club, 208 S. Trade St., Matthews. 704-849-5063. www.matthewswomen.org.

"Children Of Eden":

Freely based on the story of Genesis, "Children Of Eden" is a heartfelt and humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. 7 p.m. Various dates through Feb. 12. $10-$17. Matthews Playhouse, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-846-8343. www.matthewsplayhouse.com.

Feb. 9

A centerpiece from the grocery store:

Let Jeff and Andrea show you how to pick up a few flowers at the grocery store, add a few things from your own garden and create an arrangement suitable for the dining room table or entry hall. Registration required. 9:30 a.m. $40. Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Chocoholic Frolic:

Literacy Council of Union County is holding a Chocoholic Frolic. 20-30 restaurateurs, caterers, private chefs, bakers, and wine merchants from Union and surrounding counties will offer delectable samplings of specialty chocolate sweets, beverages, and savory items. Proceeds benefit the Literacy Council of Union County, a United Way agency. www.LiteracyUnion.org. 6 p.m. $25 (advance), $30 (at the door), $50 (patron, early entry). Dale Jarrett Ford, 88 Dale Jarrett Blvd., Indian Trail. -226-1425. www.literacyunion.org.

ASC Cultural Plan Community Forum:

Want a hand in guiding Charlotte's cultural future? The Arts & Science Council invites you to attend a community meeting to give input on future plans for arts, science, history and heritage programs and facilities in Charlotte-Mecklenburg for ASC's current cultural planning process. 7 p.m. Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-321-7275. www.matthewsnc.com. www/artsandscience.org.

"Children Of Eden":

Freely based on the story of Genesis, "Children Of Eden" is a heartfelt and humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. 7 p.m. Through Feb. 12. $10 - $17. Matthews Playhouse, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-846-8343. www.matthewsplayhouse.com.

Clog Dancing Class:

A five-week class on Thursday nights in traditional step clog dancing. 8 p.m. $20. Championz Cheer and Dance, 3744 Pleasant Plains Road, Matthews. 704-821-2409. www.ChampionzCheerAndDance.com.

Feb. 10

Rain Gardening in the South with Helen Kraus:

Rain gardens are great ways to clean up pollution generated by storm water. Learn why every home should have a rain garden in the landscape and how to build and plant a beautiful one. Please register. 9:30 a.m. $20. Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com.

Girls' Night Out at the Gallery:

Each night a different creative outlet while sipping wine, courtesy of Friends of CFA. Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, 7510 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. 704-541-0741. www.CharlotteFineArt.com.

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