In the 1950s, a doctor took cells from a young woman named Henrietta Lacks. These cells, labeled as HeLa cells, grew and became a major medical phenomenon. Years later, after the woman died from cancer, her family and the world learned that HeLa stood for Henrietta Lacks.
Tonight, the K-State Book Network presents “A Conversation with the Lacks Family” featuring David Lacks, one of Henrietta’s sons, and Veronica Spencer, a great-granddaughter. The family members will take part in a moderated discussion at 7 p.m. in the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom. The program is part of the common reading program at K-State. This summer, all incoming students received a book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. Students were encouraged to read it, giving new students a shared experience.
It’s not too late to get in on the action. Grab a copy of “The Immortal Life” and head to Varsity Donuts for a free donut commemorating their first anniversary. Celebrate from 9:30-11 a.m. in Triangle Park with a giant donut cake, music, piñata, badminton and a group bike parade around the park.
Festivities will continue that evening with the grand opening of a late night donut truck. Participants will have free donuts from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. while they watch Saturday Night Live sketches featuring Seth Meyers, who is coming Saturday, September 29 to Bramlage Coliseum. For ticket information, visit www.k-state.edu/upc.
Here’s a look at other area events.
Artist Talks at the Beach: John Powers, 4:30 p.m. Beach Museum of Art.
K-State Theatre presents “In the Blood,” 7:30 p.m. through Saturday. Tickets: $4 students, $7 general public, plus applicable fees. Purchase at McCain Box Office 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., by phone at (785) 532-6428, or at k-state.edu/mccain. The Purple Masque, East Stadium.
Pianist Ilia Radoslavov, 7:30 p.m. All Faiths Chapel.
Reckless Kelly with John D. Hale Band, 10 p.m. Cost: $18 in advance, $20 day of show. Longhorn’s.
Opening Reception for “Animalia,” 5-8 p.m. Featuring Aaron Morgan Brown, Joel Dugan, Connie Ernatt, Barbara Waterman-Peters, Ann Piper and Kathleen Shanahan. Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery.
Inaugural CASA Comedy Club, 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Featuring Ken Rogerson, Brian Kiley and Frank Santorelli. Cost: $65 for dinner catered by Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill and show, $30 for late show. Wareham Opera House.
Manhattan High Indians Football vs. Highland Park, 7 p.m. The theme is “Togas.” Motorcycle riders are encouraged to rev their motors at 6:45 p.a. as the team takes the field. A BBQ dinner available for $5 before and during the first quarters of the game. Bishop Stadium, CiCo Park.
McCain Performance Series presents “The Intergalactic Nemesis” at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Star Wars” and the pulp serials of the 1930s, “Nemesis” creates a mash-up of radio drama with comic books. Three actors voice dozens of characters; a Foley artist creates hundreds of sound effects; a keyboardist performs a score; while on a two-story high screen are projected more than 1,250 full-color, handdrawn comic book images For tickets, visit www.k-state.edu/mccain or call the McCain Box Office at (785) 532-6428.
Junction City Little Theater presents “Fiddler on the Roof,” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $17, military $15.
Manhattan Arts Center BirdHouse fine acoustic music series presents the return of Italian acoustic guitarist Beppe Gambetta, 7:30 p.m. Gambetta delights his audiences with a fusion of the American roots music that he favors and the traditional style of his homeland. He is a dynamic solo performer who brings a unique, yet sophisticated blend of the music styles he has mastered during his tours of Europe and the United States. Birdhouse guests can now make a night of it as the Arts Center now offers light meals before Birdhouse performances. Tickets: $16 adults and $10 military, students and children 12 and under. Tickets are available at manhattanarts.org or by calling (785) 537-4420.
Truckstop Honeymoon, 8 p.m. Cost: $5. Auntie Mae’s.
UPC Film: “People Like Us,” 8 p.m. for $2. Also 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday for $3. Rated PG-13. K-State Student Union Forum Hall.
Flint Hills Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Staples/Hobby Lobby parking lot.
Downtown Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fifth and Humboldt.
Pancake Feed, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Prepared by Manhattan Kiwanis and co-sponsored by the Riley County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. For Warrior Transition Battalion, Medical Evaluation Board Soldiers and their families. Get your fill of sausage, juice, coffee, and pancakes. Soldier & Family Assistance Center, Fort Riley.
Flint Hills Discovery Center Family Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the communities and the cultures of Manhattan and Fort Riley during this family day. The event will engage guests in family oriented activities focusing on exploration of the communities in which we live and visit.
Fall Apple Days Festival, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Featuring apple pie sales, ATV rodeo, cavalry competition, community health experience, expo tent, fire and rescue display, food tent and picnic area, inflatables, K-9 demo, music and entertainment, obstacle course, paintball range, period re-enactors, petting zoo, rock wall, static displays, treasure hunt and more. Artillery Parade Field, Fort Riley.
Country Days at the Olsburg Festival, 3 p.m. parade. Featuring garage and bake sales, photo contest, ice cream social, street dance and more.
Little Apple Oktoberfest, 4-10 p.m. Best Oktoberfest Celebration in Kansas! We offer a traditional Oktoberfest celebration that rivals the best beer tents in Munich. Live music, great food, and one of the biggest selections of beer at a festival in Kansas. Cost: $15, ticket must be purchased. Next to Dick Edwards on Highway 24.
Dewayn Brothers/Loco Macheen Reunion, 9 p.m. Cost: $8. Auntie Mae’s.
Three of a Kind, 10:30 p.m. O’Malley’s Alley.
Jazz Brunch, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Bluestem Bistro.
Riley Co. Genealogical Society and Riley Co. Historical Society Lecture: “Hurrah, Frei Kansas! Germans Struggle Against Slavery in Kansas Territory, 1854-1861” by William D. Keel, professor of German and chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Kansas University, 2 p.m. Free. Manhattan Public Library.
KSU Movies on the Grass: “The Truth About Tigers,” film begins at dusk. The tiger, India’s National Animal, is disappearing at an alarming rate from our forests. Government estimates reveal that there may be fewer than 1,500 left. Why have India’s tigers declined so drastically? This is an educational documentary by award-winning wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Shekar Dattatri. A facilitated discussion will immediately follow the film. Free. In case of rain, 63 Seaton Hall. Coffman Commons, near Hale Library.
Wayne Goins Jazz Trio, 6-8 p.m. dellaVoce.