PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Items can be sent to What’s Happening by e-mailing dmcardle@thevalleydispatch.com or by regular mail to: What’s Happening, The Valley Dispatch, c/o David McArdle, P.O. Box 1477, Lowell, Mass., 01853.

ACTIVITIES

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Dec. 17, 8-11 a.m., American Legion, Broadway Road, Dracut; all-you-can-eat breakfast; admission: adults $5, children and seniors $3, families $10; pictures with Santa available; you may bring your own camera.

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE: Dec. 16, 2-8 p.m., Dec. 17, 1-6 p.m., Tenney Gatehouse, 37 Pleasant St., Methuen; sponsored by the Methuen Historical Society; free admission, refreshments available.

COUNTRY KICKIN’ DANCING: Fridays, 7-11 p.m., Acacia Club, 247 Sladen St., Dracut; featuring White Buffalo DJ Nick Diamond; $5 per person; singles always welcome; for more information, call 978-957-3209.

REY NUNS THRIFT SHOP CHRISTMAS SALE: Dec. 13-Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday; Grey Nuns Thrift Shop, 25 Marshall St., Nashua; Christmas sweaters, decorations toys and gifts; everything is on sale at half price; all men’s, women’s and children’s green-and-yellow tagged clothing is also 50 percent off.

PET ADOPTION/SANTA PHOTOS DAY: Dec. 16, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., First Congregational Church, Main Street, Pelham; photos with Santa to benefit homeless animals’ veterinary costs; sponsored by the Animal Rescue Network of New England; public welcome to visit with animals and their rescuers, view photos of pets looking for homes and to learn about how everyone can help these wonderful dogs, cats, birds, and bunnies; you can also bring your own pets for photos with Santa; pets must be current on vaccines; proof of rabies vaccine is required; check our Web site — http://www.ARNNE.org — for information about specific pets and other upcoming events.

VNA HEALTH SCREENINGS: The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Lowell provides senior healh clinics at various locations during December. A registered nurse will conduct the clinics and no appointments are needed and no fee charged for those 60 and older. For more information, call the VNA at 978-805-2641. The clinics will be held on the following dates and times:

* Dec. 18, noon-4 p.m., Council On Aging, 951 Mammoth Road, Dracut.

GROUPS

ARTS INSTITUTE GROUP OF THE MERRIMACK VALLEY: Meetings held on the third Thursday of the month in April, May, June, September, October and November; held at the Nevins Home Adult Day Health Center, Methuen; meetings focus on art demonstration and art-related subjects; for more information, contact Silvana Siudut, president/founder, at silart@comcast.net or at 978-682-1352.

GREATER LOWELL LEAGUE OF CATHOLIC WOMEN: Any Catholic woman 18 and older is eligible to join; for more information, call chairwoman Bonni Dinneen at 978-937-7933.

DRACUT AMERICAN LEGION POST 315: Meets the third Saturday of the month, 1 p.m., Broadway Road; new members welcome.

DRACUT COUNCIL ON AGING: Meets first and third Wednesday of the month (except July, August), 1 p.m., 951 Mammoth Road; coffee hour with the director, fourth Tuesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; poetry class, Mondays, 9:30 a.m.; art class, Tuesdays, 1 p.m.; call 978-957-2611.

DRACUT GARDEN CLUB: Meets second Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m., April through December; Dracut Historical Society, Lakeview Avenue; for more information, call 978-957-1289.

DRACUT LIONS CLUB: Meets second and fourth Wednesday of the month; 6:30 p.m., Dracut House of Pizza,1067 Lakeview Ave.; new members are always welcome; for more information, call Sandi at 978-454-8829 or e-mail kc6813@comcast.net.

DRACUT VFW: Post 9307 meets the third Saturday of the month, 11:30 a.m., Dracut American Legion Post 315, Broadway Road; new members welcome.

DRACUT EXCHANGE CLUB: Meets first and third Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., Dracut House of Pizza, 1067 Lakeview Ave.; active in the prevention of child abuse and promotion of patriotism and student of the month in local schools; guests welcome; for more information, call 978-934-6990.

DREAM FACTORY OF THE MERRIMACK VALLEY: The Dream Factory provides grant wishes to area children ages 3 to 18 with chronic or permanently life-altering conditions who haven’t previously been granted a wish from any other foundation; for more information, call Anne Winn at 978-685-9561.

METHUEN LADIES AUXILIARY: Arnold Greenwood VFW Post 8349, 26 River St., Methuen; meets second Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.; bean suppers first Saturday of the month (adults $6, children $2); meat raffles every Saturday, 2 p.m.; 45s tournament every Sunday, 5 p.m., partners luck of the draw, $5 per person; new members welcome; for more information, call Nancy at 978-687-9465.

METHUEN GARDEN CLUB: Meets first Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., Nevins Memorial Library, lower garden room, 305 Broadway; new members and guests welcome; for more information, call Linda at 978-687-9892 or visit www.methuengardenclub.org.

METHUEN MUSIC HALL SCHOLARSHIPS: The trustees of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall are seeking applicants for two $1,000 scholarships; applicants must be graduating high-school seniors from the Merrimack Valley area who are accepted to college for the next year and are planning to major in music; to apply, send name, address, telephone number, history of your education and transcript of grades, outline of musical studies and activities, college plans, a statement from one or two music teachers, an essay of your goals, and how your plans for music fit in to Mr. Richard Ouellette, 39 Everett St., Beverly Farms, MA, 01915-2111 by May 15.

NEW GREELEY SINGERS: Seeking new members for the upcoming season under the direction of Peter Bedrosian and accompanist, Jeanne Bedrosian; rehearsals are on Sunday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Main Street, Pelham; for further information, call Peter at 603-893-6717 or Sandra at 978-970-5343.

PELHAM VFW: John H. Hargreaves Memorial Post 10722, 6 Main St., Pelham; meets first Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.

RED HAT SOCIETY: Meets second Tuesday of each month, 1:30 p.m., Pelham Senior Center, 8 Nashua Road.

SPINDLE CITY SINGERS OF LOWELL: Accepting new members; no auditions required; for more information, call Heidi at 978-957-0802.

NIGHTSPOTS

THE BREWERY EXCHANGE: 201 Cabot St., Lowell (978-937-2690, fax: 978-934-0097).

BREW’D AWAKENING COFFEEHOUSE: 61 Market St., Lowell (978-454-2739, www.brewdawakening.com); no cover; all ages welcome.

PROGRAMS

BLOOD DONOR PROGRAM: Saints Memorial Medical Center; helps support the transfusion needs of its patients. To donate blood, call 978-934-8584.

MATURE WORKERS PROGRAM: Job opportunities available for those 55 and over; a variety of jobs at area nonprofits and/or town government offices. For a listing of available jobs contact Eileen at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., 800-892-0890, ext. 463.

TRANSPLANT SUPPORT: Group meets first Wednesday of the month; 7-8:30 p.m., Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua; contact Ron Rioux at 603-889-1775 for location.

VOLUNTEERS

AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICES: Seeking volunteers to assist from three to six hours at area blood drives in the registration or canteen. Transportation necessary. Call Georgia, 978-794-5625, ext. 14.

DRACUT FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: Need volunteers to sort books, prepare quarterly newsletter, help with advertising, fundraising. Call 978-446-0703.

ELDER SERVICES OF THE MERRIMACK VALLEY: Seeking Volunteers for a number of activities related to helping elders; volunteer drivers are needed to drive elders to medical appointments and to work as companions for elders living alone who may need help with day-to-day tasks; mileage reimbursement is available; orientation, training and ongoing support provided; more than 20,000 elders throughout the 23 cities and towns of the Merrimack Valley annually receive assistance from the programs offered by Elder Services; for further information, call 800-892-0890, ext. 380.

GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY CONVENTION & VISITOR BUREAU: Knowledgeable, friendly volunteers to work at the Massachusetts Tourist Information Center on Interstate 495, Chelmsford. Should enjoy working with people, know the Greater Lowell area and be able to give directions. Call 978-250-9704.

LOWELL ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND: Serving the needs of the blind and visually impaired of the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, seeks volunteers to read local newspapers on the radio for the LAB/Talking Information Center, 174 Central St., Lowell. Other volunteer opportunities available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 978-454-5704.

VNA CARE HOSPICE: Vistiting Nurses Association Care Hospice, an affiliate of VNA Care Network, is seeking volunteers to provide practical and emotional support to terminally ill patients and their families in the Merrimack Valley. Training provided. For information, call 888-663-3688, ext. 3471, or 978-777-6100, ext. 3471.

YMCA ESL/GED PROGRAM: Volunteers are needed for the Lawrence branch’s program offered ‘Y’ residents. What started out as a program to assist 20 to 30 adults has grown in less than a year to more than 100 participants. Volunteers would assist in teaching multiple levels of ESL/GED classes. Classes are held mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends. If you are able to help or would like to would like to refer someone to volunteer, contact Kathy Walton or Luz Wheatly at 978-686-6191. The Lawrence Branch of the Merrimack Valley YMCA is located at 40 Lawrence St.