FROM STAFF REPORTS
NEW YORK —
Sneak peek of play
Petoskey — Visitors can get a sneak peek at Little Traverse Civic Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol" at 6 and 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Crooked Tree Arts Center's open house. There also will be refreshments and caroling by Purity Ring Drama singers. All activities are free and open to the public.
Health Clinic benefit
Traverse City — "The Mission is Giving," a holiday art and craft sale, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Black Star Farms on Old Mission Peninsula, will benefit Traverse Health Clinic Women's Services. In addition Black Star Farms will participate in the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula's Day of Giving by donating a portion of the day's winery sales to the Traverse Health Clinic. For details, call 935-0412.
Mancelona — Mancelona Free Methodist Church will sponsor a free Kids' Craft Day and a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Children can make and then wrap holiday gifts and decorate a Christmas cookie from 10 a.m. to noon, while parents shop for gift items at the bazaar, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children's activities are free and all materials are provided.
The church is located at 10725 Darragh Road. For details, call 587-5284 and ask for Ellen.
Raven Hill holidays
East Jordan — Raven Hill Discovery Center has scheduled holiday events and special holiday hours.
Special days in December include the last FREE (Families Reaching for Educational Excellence) Second Saturday for 2012 on Saturday, Dec. 8; Winter Solstice from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21; a Holiday Open House noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28; and a New Year's Eve overnight for children from 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.
General admission is $8 per person. The overnight is $100 per child and reservations are due Monday, Dec. 24. For details or New Year's Eve overnight reservations, call 536-3369.
Visit ceramics studio
Traverse City — Local artist Benjamin Maier will host his third annual ceramics open house Saturday, Dec. 8.
The event will be held 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at his studio, 10201 S. Center Highway. Visitors can see how pottery is created and fired, crawl inside the 35-foot wood kiln and explore firing processes. New pieces from the most recent firings will be available for purchase, with 30 percent of the proceeds from sales benefiting the Pathfinder School.
For details, visit www.benjaminmaier.com.
Traverse City — Richard Trevae and Rob Simpson will visit Horizon Books on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Trevae will sign copies of his book "The Secret Templar Alliance" from noon to 2 p.m. Rob Simpson, author of "The Winged Wheel: A Half Century of The Detroit Red Wings in Photography," will sign his book from 2 to 4 p.m.
The book store is located at 243 E. Front St. For details, visit www.horizonbooks.com.
Cadillac — The Fonda Starr Band will provide music for country and square dancing from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9116 E. 13th St., next to Kiley Chiropractic. Donations will be accepted.
Help Bikes for Tikes
Peshawbestown — A country concert at Leelanau Sands Casino Showroom will benefit Bikes for Tikes, a program that buys bikes for area children for Christmas.
The fundraiser will be held from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. It will star Brian Glenn Nolf, formerly with Marty Stuart, the Lonesome Fugitive Band with guest Ruby John and Nashville recording artist Shelagh Brown. A cash bar also will be available.
Admission is $10 at the door.
Traverse City — The public is invited to an opening reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave., for "Marks: Revealing, Concealing, Unveiling," an exhibit of art by Cherri Correll and Adam VanHouten. Visit www.tadl.org to learn more.
Traverse City — Area bakers can register to have their cookies judged in a Christmas Cookie Contest sponsored by Bay Pointe Church. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Cookies must be creative and homemade. Bakers should bring at least six dozen cookies to be judged on best flavor, most festive and most creative. First through third prizes will be awarded. For details or to register, contact Karan Josephus, 929-1620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cookies then will be offered for sale at a cookie walk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the church, 6880 Secor Road. Proceeds will support Steve Josephus on a mission trip to Haiti through Bright Hope Ministries.
Suttons Bay — Tom Kelly, executive director of the Inland Seas Education Association, will give a free seminar at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the ISEA Education Center.
Kelly's talk will focus on the work of the Schoolship Inland Seas and the current ecological status of Grand Traverse Bay. For details, call 271-3077 or visit www.schoolship.org.
Traverse City — Tim Keenan of Veterans for Peace Northern Michigan will give a presentation Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse, 6726 Center Road.
Keenan will talk about the history and mission of Veterans for Peace and answer questions at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. for $4 per person. For details, call 947-3117.
Winfrey picks novel
Add another book for possible holiday gifts: Oprah Winfrey's latest "2.0" selection.
Winfrey announced Wednesday that she has chosen a debut novel for her book club, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," by Ayana Mathis. An author interview will be aired Feb. 3 on Winfrey's OWN network. In a statement, Winfrey likened Mathis' book to the fiction of Toni Morrison. Published this week by Alfred A. Knopf, "Twelve Tribes" tells of a teenager's journey from Mississippi to Philadelphia in the 1920s and the large family she ends up raising.
Winfrey revived her club, now called Oprah's Book Club 2.0, earlier this year with Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild."
Dozens of books over the past 20 years have become best-sellers, thanks to the talk-show host's endorsements.