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POSTED December 5, 2017 10:31 a.m.
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A Community Blood Drive in neighboring Escalon is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Escalon Covenant Church, 1155 Escalon Ave. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Also, Blood Donation Centers in Modesto and Stockton are open on a regular basis for donations that are needed as we enter the holiday season. Modesto Blood Donation Center is at 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave., Modesto; while the North Stockton Blood Donation Center is at 2888 West March Lane, Stockton.


Dig out your ugly Christmas sweater and head to Modesto Junior College for a ridiculously funny night of improvisational theatre. MJC Theatre Department presents A Very Merry Christmas Improv directed by Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell, with performances Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 6 through 9 at 7 p.m. and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 in the Little Theatre of the Performing and Media Arts Center on East Campus. Tickets are $9 for students and seniors and $11 general admission, and $5 on the Preview Night of Wednesday, Dec. 6. Tickets are available in advance at the MJC Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, noon to5 p.m., or by calling (209) 575-6776 during these hours, or online at Tickets will also be available at the door 90 minutes prior to showtime.


Sierra Repertory Theatre’s ‘Another Night Before Christmas’ is playing at the East Sonora Theatre through Saturday, Dec. 23. Shows are on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.; Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission ranges from $20 for children 17 and under to $37 for general admission, with adult and senior prices varying depending on day and time of performance. For more information, call SRT’s Box Office at (209) 532-3120, or visit


Don’t forget to visit Christmas in Grandpa’s Barn, coming up this weekend through Lorina’s Edible Garden, offered at the Barn, 17693 Enterprise Road, Escalon. Holiday-themed vendors and festivities will be featured Friday through Sunday, Dec. 8 through 10. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m. The Christmas in Grandpa’s Barn features multiple vendors with a variety of products perfect for holiday gift giving, along with soaps, lotions, spa products, succulents and more from Lorina’s Edible Garden. There will also be food for purchase and s’mores kits to make the sweet treat over the fire pit on site.


The local REO Speechtrain Toastmasters Club gathers for regular meetings every Wednesday morning, 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., at Perko’s Cafe, Patterson and Oakdale roads, Riverbank. This is a fun way to learn the self-confidence and skills needed for public speaking. All are invited to come and check out the group. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 13. For more information, call (209) 869-8200.


Golden Agers weekly dances are open to those 50 and older from throughout the Central Valley at the Riverbank Community Center. Doors open Wednesdays at 9 a.m.; the center is at 3600 Santa Fe St., and first time guests are admitted free. The annual membership fee is $12 and each Wednesday members pay $5 and non-members can enjoy a few hours of music and dancing for $6.


A local non-profit organization is looking for volunteers who want to help with taxes this year. The Central Valley Community Resources in Riverbank is organizing the program locally, with Darlene Barber-Martinez as the contact person. Reach her at CVCR at 896-3055, ext. 700. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are looking for volunteers who are interested in sharing their skills, talent and knowledge. Volunteers prepare tax returns with thousands of other Americans giving back to their communities, according to Barber-Martinez. She said they need volunteers to serve as Site Coordinators and Tax Preparers. They also need Greeters/Screeners and Interpreters.

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