Around Town: Good morning MHS

Larry Lopez, activities director at Merced High School, challenges everyone in the community to "Shape Up MHS" with faculty, staff, students and their families by jumping into a new healthy lifestyle.

The six-week program is a team-based contest that challenges teams to accumulate daily activity points in a variety of fitness and recreation pursuits. "Shape up MHS" is open to the entire MHS community free of charge.

The winners receive the best prize of all: a healthier life. Signups are in the student body office at the MHS campus, 205 W. Olive Ave. For more information, call (209) 385-6488, ext. 1030.


Looking for pros

In line with its mission to develop the next generation of Hispanic professionals, the Hispanic College Fund (HCF) will open applications for its 2009 scholarships today. Scholarships will be available for undergraduate and graduate students who are seeking cutting-edge careers as engineers, pharmacists, nurses, doctors, hotel executives, chief financial officers and much more.

Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000, and most are renewable. Students can apply at www.hispanicfund



Make Santa smile

Enjoy classic airplanes decorated with holiday cheer at Castle Air Museum's, Christmas Plane Lane, 5050 Santa Fe Drive. Santa will smile for the camera among decorated displays and festive grounds from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Dec. 22.

Hot cocoa and treats are found at the Flight of Fancy Cafe. Entrance fee is $3.


Talk to soldiers

The Merced County Office of Education and Cell Phones for Soldiers are working together to give soldiers more time to talk with their loved ones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect more than 50,000 cell phones, which are exchanged for calling cards, to help keep troops connected with their families.

Local residents can support the collection drive by donating their phones at the Merced County Office of Education, 632 W. 13th St., in Building K. For more information, call Cyndie Bray, career educator for the Merced County Office of Education, at (209) 381-5926.


Share food

Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club and Merced County Food Bank are asking for food donations to feed the needy, elderly and shut-ins during the Christmas holiday season.

Canned and nonperishable food item can be taken to In-Shape City, 2159 G St.; the chamber office, 360 E. Yosemite Ave., and Rent-A-Writer, 580 Seminole Drive. Donations are to be placed in the green and white Food Bank barrels found there.

Around Town items must be e-mailed to bhale@mercedsun-star.com or delivered to the Merced Sun-Star office, 3033 G St., at least one week in advance of the event.