Sumter Friends of NRA Dinner tonight

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The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now and save lives. Schedule your blood donation appointment by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Help save a life by donating blood during one of the following American Red Cross blood donation opportunities: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at Palmetto Health Tuomey, 129 N. Washington St.; noon-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, 155 Wall St.; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, Lakewood Baptist Church, 3140 Nazarene Church Road; and 2-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, Grace Baptist Church, 219 W. Calhoun St.

The Sumter Friends of NRA Annual Event and Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. today at the American Legion, 31 Artillery Drive. Tickets are $45 each or $80 per couple. A table for eight can be purchased for $320. Tickets are available at Strong Arms, 5641 Broad St., or purchase online at www.friendsofnra.org/SC/events.

A back-to-school bash will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, at CareSouth Carolina, 545 Sumter Highway, Bishopville. Free backpacks and school supplies will be given to the first 250 participants. A parent or guardian must be present with child to receive the supplies. There will be free food, school supplies, health screenings, games and more. In case of severe rain, the event will be held at Lee Central High School cafeteria, 1800 Wisacky Highway, Bishopville.

The Sumter Police Department's Annual Back-to-School Bash will be held 9 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at Crosswell Park. There will be food, balloon artists, face painting, free haircuts, a water park, music and more. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult 18 years of age or older.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be held 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, at the South Carolina Cotton Museum, 121 W. Cedar Lane, Bishopville. Donors who register their blood drive appointment online using an email address will receive a $5 Target e-gift card. To schedule an appointment, contact Sandra Snipes at sbsnipes@ftc-i.net or visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code "Cottonmuseum."

The Lincoln High School Alumni Association will hold a dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, at the Lincoln High School cafeteria, 22 Council St. Cost is $9 per person and the menu will consist of fried fish or turkey wing, red rice, coleslaw, dessert, roll and a drink. Dine in or take out. Call (803) 968-4173.

A back-to-school bash, sponsored by Save the Children and the Summerton Literacy Council, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Clarendon One Community Resource Center Gym, 1154 Fourth St., Summerton. Call (803) 485-2043.

Distinguished Gentlemen Middle Passage for Boys Program of Clarendon County will host a meet and greet at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Just Because Resource Center, 313 N. Depot St., Manning. Topics of discussion: life skills and coaching; social and moral education; mentor/tutorship; school visitations; financial literacy; group and panel summits; etiquette training; and enrichment/enhancements trips.

The Lincoln High School Alumni Association will hold a shoe rally and wine sip at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Lincoln High School cafeteria, 22 Council St. Women and men are invited to model different selections of shoes. There will be food, entertainment and music. Call (803) 773-6700.

Sumter's Total Eclipse Watch Party will be held noon-4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, at Dillon Park. This free event will feature kids games, music, complimentary commemorative glasses to watch the eclipse (while supplies last), and more. There will be food, ice cream and beverages available for purchase. Call (803) 436-2640.

The Sumter County Library's Forrest Ray 5K will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, beginning at 8 a.m. at the library. Visit www.sumtercountylibrary.org

The Sumter Combat Veterans Group will hold its annual golf tournament on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Crystal Lakes Golf Course, 1305 Clara Louise Kellogg Drive. There will be a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Registration fee is $50 per golfer limited to the first 20 teams. Fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, souvenirs, cart, green fees, refreshments during play and door prizes. Team format will be Captain's Choice Four-Person Team. There will be first and second place prizes for men's and women's teams. Call Earnest Roland at (803) 840-0935 or Dutch Holland at (910) 973-3223.