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Soroptimists Hosting Festive Cowgirl Christmas Event
Models will once again be on hand for the annual Soroptimist International of Oakdale holiday luncheon and fashion show, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the Bianchi Community Center. Photo Contributed

Service clubs are once again getting back into full swing doing what they do and Soroptimist International of Oakdale is no different.

On Wednesday, Dec. 1 the longtime women’s based service club will host its annual luncheon at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale. The event is open to the public and will be hosted from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be served at noon and a fashion show will be included. Tickets are $30 per person.

Lunch will be catered by Rolling Smoke Barbecue and the Oakdale Country Club will provide a Naughty or Nice beverage option for ticket holders.

“It’s typically been the holiday luncheon at the Bianchi Center, usually the first Wednesday in December,” event coordinator Pam Benziger said. “We wanted to come up with kind of a fun new theme. This year we came up with the Cowgirl Christmas theme and thought it would be fun.”

She added that this is always a favorite event for many attendees.

“It’s been going on for years,” she continued of the luncheon, noting that a few years ago, the fashion show put on through Kristine’s Designer Clothing boutique was added.

Benziger shared the 2020 event year looked a little different due to the pandemic shutdown. Rather than a sit down lunch, a drive thru was held at Bloomingcamp Ranch, which didn’t seem to hinder community generosity.

“We still raised over $4,000 and it was awesome,” she said.

Benziger also said the return of the indoor luncheon and fashion show has been well received thus far. A total of 25 tables have been sponsored, as well as a number of items donated for the silent auction as well as the raffle.

“We’re quite not at our goal,” she said of total ticket sales of 300, adding that individual tickets are still available for pre-sale.

“The organization is all about women and girls,” Benziger stated, noting the SIO Mission Statement which reads:

“A global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.”

Proceeds from the event annual benefit a number of causes and SIO hosted projects including: Dream programs; Distinguished Young Women; S Club and scholarship opportunities.

“If we get a few last minute ticket sales, we’ll take ‘em,” the event chair said, mentioning that donations of raffle items, as well as silent auction items are still being accepted as well.

Community members interested in purchasing tickets can call 209-493-8497 or 209-737-9954. Raffle and silent auction item donations may be done by calling Susan Merchant at 209-845-1056.