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Sip And Stroll Success
Local residents sampled wine in the evening's setting sun, nibbled on hors d'oeuvres and listened to music in the park as they enjoyed a Sip And Stroll in the downtown area on Thursday, April 22.

Sponsored by the Riverbank Rotarians, the first time event was put on as a fundraiser for the local Relay For Life. That 24-hour signature American Cancer Society fundraising event is set for Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23 at the Riverbank High School sports stadium.

"It was very successful and a good promotion for the business owners," said Rotary president Carla Strong. "The weather cooperated, although it waited until the last moment to stop threatening rain. Everybody had a good time and seemed happy."

Karen Bickford of Designs by Karen, one of the participating stores, agreed.

"We got lots of nice compliments. It went off very well," she said.

Serendipity Day Spa & Wellness Center, owned by Debbie Libhart, was serving edible goodies and Landon's Clothing run by Richard Landon next door was offering wine samples. Meanwhile, Yari's beauty salon across the street had doughnuts to offer and Riverbank High's culinary class had a table of delicacies protected by a tent.

While jazz singer Mary Elizabeth Boutte of Modesto and her group made music on the Plaza del Rio stage, Eva Williams and other artists of the Valley Art Association displayed their work on the edges of the park.

Rotary member Chris Elswick said Monday the funds raised had not yet been totaled, "but we did make money so it will undoubtedly be staged again next year."

The Rotary members are also putting final plans in place for the upcoming Relay For Life. Neighboring Oakdale hosted its Relay this past weekend, raising over $220,000 for cancer education, research and patient services. Among the participants was Riverbank's 'Otter Bob' Bob Eden, who provided the sound system and all equipment necessary for the entertainment portion of the Oakdale event. Eden will also coordinate the various musical groups and performers to entertain in Riverbank next month. Teams and volunteers can also still take part in the event.