- You likely are aware that lately it's been frigid outdoors, with bitter winds and brutal cold—and chances are you have a home and shelter. There are people not as fortunate as you. They have no shelter and no protection from the elements or from the many illnesses that can and do result from being forced to remain outside. Aubrey's Spread the Warmth Blanket Drive is a local effort to keep homeless people safe and warm this winter. The drive is the brainchild of altruistic Hopatcong High School freshman Aubrey McCarrick, who says you folks with homes can show gratitude for your blessings by helping people who face real danger if the dangerous arctic chill arrives as forecast Monday afternoon. To help, bring clean, gently used or new blankets to donate starting Monday and through Jan. 17 to the Hopatcong High School main office. HHS is at 2A Windsor Ave.
- It's a new year and time to work toward a new you. If you've resolved to get in shape, Ronnie's Dance Studio wants to help. Every Monday in January, the studio presents Dance For Your Life, a class that offers a total workout covering medium-high impact aerobics, toning and more. The cost for the four-week program is $35. Call Ronnie's at 973-398-0098 to see if spots are still available. The class begins at 6:45 p.m. Ronnie's Dance Studio is at 393 Maxim Drive.
- Tuesday's Hopatcong Mayor-Council meeting will be two gatherings in one: A sine die meeting will handle regular business, including a resolution to approve revised recreation fees as recommended by the Recreation Commission. The reorganization, which follows, will include the swearing-in of newly elected council members Michael Francis and Richard Hoer. The council will also select a new president and vice president. Tuesday's meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall, 111 River Styx Road.
- The Hopatcong Women's Club gathers for its first monthly meeting of 2014. The group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the lower level of the Senior Center, 32 Lakeside Blvd.
- It's meeting time for the Hopatcong Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization. The group gathers in the school cafeteria at 7 p.m. On the agenda is last-minute arrangements for Friday's middle school Snowball Dance. HMS is at 1 David Road.
- The Sparta Township Board of Education meets for its first session of 2014. The gathering will feature the school board's annual reorganization, which includes administrative tasks; the installation of newly elected members Brenda Beebe, Kelly McEvoy and James Todd Muth; and the selection of a president and vice president. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the Mohawk Avenue School auditorium, 18 Mohawk Ave.
- The Hopatcong High Sports Booster Club holds its January meeting Tuesday night at the school. The gathering starts at 7:30 p.m. in room C-5.
- Back to the subject of fitness: The Sussex County YMCA, in partnership with Newton Medical Center's Community Health Department, presents Free Nutrition Workshops Wednesday morning. Registered dietitians will be on hand to share information about health and diet in keeping with the day's theme, "Weight Loss Tips and Setting Goals." The YMCA is at 15 Wits End Road in Hardyston. The event runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is free.
- On Friday, the Sussex County YMCA presents another offering, Kids Night Out. Children from four through 12 are invited to come and enjoy friends, games, crafts, fun in the pool and more. Admission is $15 for one child, $10 for each additional sibling, and pre-registration is required. Pizza will be available at $2 a slice.
- Nineties hitmaker Edwin McCain brings his melodic Southern-tinged songs to the area Friday when he headlines at the Newton Theatre. The artist describes his show as "people coming together and sharing a [special] moment"; we've seen him and his assessment is accurate. Feel the love and sing along with soulful hits like "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More" at the Newton Theatre at 234 Spring St. in Newton. The show is Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $27-$37 and may be purchased online.
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