Democrats gather Feb. 16

ACME — Grand Traverse Democrats host the Winter Rally from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Grand Traverse Resort. The event includes speakers, a silent auction, food, a cash bar and live music. Donations support the Traverse City High School Food Pantry.

Water sermons Feb. 17

BENZONIA — The Benzie County Water Festival concludes with water sermons from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 17. Participating churches include St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Beulah, Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort and First Congregational Church in Frankfort and St. Andrews in Beulah.

Bee discussion

TRAVERSE CITY — MSU Extension Instructor Nate Walton discusses “Protecting Pollinators and Building Bee Hotels” at 3 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park. Donations support the venue. Registration: 231-935-4077. Questions: grow@thebotanicgarden.org.

Parents Night Out

TRAVERSE CITY — Parents Night Out starts at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Workshop Brewing Company. Everyone is welcome for the silent auction and live music by local band TC Celtic. Proceeds support the Long Lake Elementary PTO.

Chalk Finish Painting 101

BELLAIRE — The Chalk Finish Painting 101 session goes from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Flying Pig. Learn basic techniques. Take home a picture frame and paint for another project. Materials and snacks are provided. Registration: 231-313-1517.

Call for artists

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center calls for artists for its second annual “A World Without Abuse — Expanding the Circle” exhibition, which opens April 4. Artists of all skill levels may submit visual works of all media. Deliver pieces to 2000 Chartwell Drive, Suite 3 in Traverse City by March 15. More details: jdean@traversebaycac.org.

Local director visits Russia

BENZONIA — Grow Benzie Executive Director Josh Stoltz was chosen to visit Russia in February. Stoltz is one of four representatives from the International School of System Change. Altourism is hosting the Russian field project, which focuses on popular challenges facing rural villages. The team will speak on the topic “Rural Community Development and the Role of Social Entrepreneurs” at the Moscow School of Management. Previously, Stoltz was one of 22 global participants in the Basecamp #5 program, funded by the Traverse City Rotary Charities Changemaker Fellowship grant. He traveled to London for this in January.

Local organization fills food pantries

TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwest Food Coalition can purchase $71,350 worth of food from Meijer for food pantries in the five-county area through the store’s holiday Simply Give hunger relief initiative.

The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry.