Plaza Optical to open Monroe site Monroe Plaza Optical will open a 2,300-square-foot office at the Monroe ShopRite Plaza on Route 17M. Centro Properties Group is the owner of Monroe ShopRite Plaza. Officials have not yet provided a time frame as to when Plaza Optical will open. Free tix to Forest of Fear for blood donation TUXEDO PARK Community Blood Services will hold blood drives on Friday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 29, at The Forest of Fear Halloween attraction, located across the street from The New York Renaissance Faire grounds at 600 Route 17A. Anyone who donates blood at either drive between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. will receive one free admission to The Forest of Fear’s Slaughterhouse and The Slaughterhouse Sideshow. Whole blood donors must be 17-75 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also receive complimentary non-fasting cholesterol, non-fasting glucose, hemoglobin and blood pressure screenings. Support program for developmentally disabled and families Florida Ikan, Inc., a not-for-profit serving people with developmental disabilities, will start a new family support program, called Family Day Out, on Saturday, Oct. 16. The goal of Family Day Out is to provide fun recreation activities to the person with a developmental disability while providing support to the rest of the family with a sibling support and parent support group. The individuals with the developmental disability must live with their family in Orange County. All applicants must provide documentation of eligibility to participate as well as proof of residency. The fall session is for individuals diagnosed with autism and the spring session will be for people diagnosed with any other developmental disability besides autism. Ikan is located at 1 Warwick Place, in Florida. For more information call 508-6298 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ALS Walk will benefit clinics Poughkeepsie A band of walkers will traverse the Walkway Over the Hudson on Sunday Oct. 17 in an effort to battle ALS. For the second consecutive year, the Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley will host the ALS Walk, in memory of board member Gus Raspitha, who died last year from what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal disease that progressively destroys motor neurons, which control voluntary muscle movement. Eventually, muscles cease to function and control of nearly all movement is lost. The disease affects up to two out of 100,000 people a year, including approximately 600 people in the Hudson Valley and Greater New York area. Raspitha was a longtime member of the Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley. He earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. After he died, the club scrambled to put together the walk, and in less than two months, the club raised $5,000 for the ALS Association’s Greater New York Chapter. The money raised from the walk will be used to support the chapter’s three clinics. Money raised also funds transportation and medical equipment for patients, as well as national ALS research efforts. The 2.6 or 3.5 mile walk, beginning at the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway Over the Hudson, will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants, who will receive a T-shirt, can sign up between noon and 1 p.m. There will be lunch and refreshments. Register for the walk, as an individual or as part of a team, online at www.ALSWALKS.org. Mocktails and a movie for expectant mothers Newburgh The Maternal Infant Services Network will host its first “Oh, Baby!” event for expectant mothers on Saturday, Oct. 23 from noon to 5 p.m., at Mount St. Mary College’s Aquinas Hall Atrium in Newburgh. The event will include a Healthy Cheer Contest, featuring bartenders from local restaurants. Participants will judge who makes the best looking and best tasting non-alcoholic “mocktail.” The fun continues with free demos from local Zumba®, belly dancing and yoga instructors. There will be a special benefit screening of Ricki Lake’s film, “The Business of Being Born,” which takes a probing look at childbirth and the history of obstetrics and midwifery in America. The afternoon will conclude with a panel of local birth experts for a question and answer session with audience members. Cost: $15 per person or $10 with student ID. Register online at www.misn-ny.org or call 928-7448, ext. 307. Meeting for lesbians 60 and older Kingston All lesbians 60 and over are invited to join Old Lesbians Organizing for Change on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center at 300 Wall St., in Kingston. Beginning in October the organization has switched to winter hours and will meet on the third Thursday afternoon of each month. Bring a dish to share for a potluck luncheon at the center, followed by a discussion or program. For more information email email@example.com or call the center at 331-5300. Workshops will focus on buying a home Middletown A “Buying a Home” workshop will run for four weeks at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 18 Seward Ave., Community Campus, Middletown, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., beginning Wednesday, Oct. 20, and continuing Wednesday, Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10. The program is free of charge but participants must register to reserve a spot, as space is limited to the first 36 people. Light refreshments and materials will be provided. For questions ask for Stefanie Hubert or to register ask for Christina, both at 344-1234. Jumpstart Program offered for businesses FISHKILL The Hudson Valley Technology Development Center is once again partnering with Cornell University’s Cornell Center for Materials Research Small Business Outreach Program to provide information and outreach services to Hudson Valley businesses. The not-for-profit technology resource center helps small to mid-sized manufacturers, technology-based companies, inventors, entrepreneurs and other businesses in the Hudson Valley. The Jumpstart Program of the Cornell Center for Materials research is designed to help small businesses solve concrete problems related to materials through collaborations with university research centers. The program provides a one-semester project utilizing university expertise and an opportunity to build a relationship with university faculty and facilities. It also provides up to $5,000 in matching NYSTAR funds. The application period for spring 2011 is available now. To apply visit www.ccmr.cornell.edu/industry/jumpstart/apply.html. The deadline is Friday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. For information visit www.ccmr.cornell.edu. Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church participating in Operation Christmas child Sugar Loaf The Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church will be collecting shoe boxes as part of the Operation Christmas Child program developed by Samaritan’s Purse. Organizers said the shoe boxes go a long way toward providing Christmas gifts to underprivileged children around the world. Samaritan’s Purse plans to hand-deliver more than eight million shoe box gifts to hurting children in more than 100 countries on six continents. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has hand-delivered more than 77 million shoe box gifts to needy children around the world. To participate, use an empty shoe box or small plastic container. Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl and indicate the child’s age category on the label which can be downloaded from www.samaritanspurse.org. Fill the box with a variety of gifts. Recommended shoe box gifts include school supplies, small toys, hygiene items, hard candy/gum/mints (enclosed in zip lock bag), T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, flashlights (with batteries). Affix the label to the lid of the box. Include a donation of $7 with your shoebox to cover the costs of shipping. Filled shoe boxes can be dropped off at the church on any Sunday between the hours of 9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. until Sunday, Nov. 14. Call Charlotte Mifsud at 469-8605 for more information.