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Plethora Of Poinsettias Greet Luncheon Attendees
Womens Club President Marilyn McRitchie welcomes attendees to the Fifth Annual Holiday Luncheon at the Riverbank Community Center on Saturday morning. The room hosted nearly 150 hungry women, and a couple of men, who marveled at the highly decorated tables in a seasonal theme. They filled the hall with 18 differently themed tables and place settings.News Photos By Ric McGinnis

A crowd of poinsettias, along with other brightly colored decorations, greeted attendees at the weekend’s Fifth Annual Holiday Luncheon, put on by the Riverbank Federated Women’s Club. The festivities were hosted at the Riverbank Community Center.

The annual soiree features richly decorated tables, with 18 set up in the Community Center, ranging from relatively simple topics to much more lavish designs. Nearly 150 diners participated.

The tables are hosted by individuals, who then undertake to decorate them in a particular style. Then they gather a group of eight to buy tickets and join the crowd for lunch.

The purchase of the tickets, added to the tickets purchased for the various prize drawings, go toward supporting the Women’s Club in its scholarship and educational programs with students from the Riverbank area.

Club President Marilyn McRitchie noted that, during the five years the group has managed the event, more than $10,000 has been earned for the scholarships. The program was originated by a past group, Riverbank Women of Action, organized by former mayor Sandra Benitez.

The raffle prizes were donated by a large group of local companies and individuals. The group included Landon’s Menswear, Round Table Pizza, O’Brien’s Market, Tammy’s Nails, Pizza Plus, Les Schwab Tires, Rodin Farms, Nifty’s Diner and Baskin-Robbins. Also donated were items from M.J. Designs Jewelry, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Riverbank Quilts, Morris Nursery, Designs by Karen Florist, Queen Bee Nails and Art by Roxe.

The grand prize, a huge holiday centerpiece, came from Mulberry Lane in Modesto.

Other program sponsors included Saputo Foods, Ciccarelli Farms, E. & J. Gallo, City Signs and SaveMart Supermarkets. The food was provided by Arnold’s BBQ & Catering of Escalon. The RHS music group was under direction of Joey Aguilar, who played bass clarinet.

Girl Scout Troops 3433 and 3509 provided help with keeping beverage glasses full and serving dessert while also selling some of the raffle tickets.

The Venerable Ani-La Tenzin Lhadron, PhD, provided a blessing on the food.

The table hostesses included council members Leanne Jones-Cruz and Jeanine Tucker; Cindy Ingle; Diana McGinnis and Kathleen Rawe; Kristina Bridges; Gail Marganelli, AAUW; Christine Facella, RUSD; Hope Galvez; Darlene Malcom; Mary Wolgamot and Marilyn McRitchie; council member Darlene Barber-Martinez; Julie Boos, Christian Food Sharing; Chris Holmer and Marina Campbell; and Marie Schubin.