Time To Donate
Local residents can take advantage of upcoming opportunities to give blood in the next couple of weeks. The Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California St., Escalon has a Tuesday, June 11 drive planned from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Modesto Junior College, 2201 Blue Gum Ave, Modesto will have a drive on June 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale, will be host site for a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. The need for blood increases during the summer; all prospective donors are asked to make time to give the gift of life.
The first of the summer theater productions at Hutton’s Hamlet is getting ready to take the stage. A musical comedy, Princess Whatsername, is scheduled on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 8 with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are now on sale in the Hutton’s Hamlet music store at 149 Church Ave., Oakdale. Call 209-848-1216 for more information. Full of mystery and adventure with a rocking musical score, the production will appeal to audiences of all ages.
The Escalon-Farmington Garden Club, open to anyone interested in learning more about gardening, will have its final session for this season on Thursday, June 6 at 1 p.m. at the Farmington United Methodist Church on Elm Street, with two guest speakers planned. Then the club will ‘go dark’ for July and August, resuming meetings in September.
A ‘Complimentary Tea Tasting’ is being planned in the McHenry Visitor Center/Gift Store on Wednesday, June 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; all are invited to attend. McHenry Visitor Center is at 924 15th St., downtown Modesto.
The Central California Art Association at Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto is planning the Fourth Annual Autumn Art Festival. This is the CCAA’s members-only juried art show and fundraiser at the Mistlin Gallery from Aug. 13 through Oct. 4. It is a great time for artists to join the organization, meet their peers and compete for cash prizes. Look online or visit the gallery for membership information. Artist prospectus/entries are due at the gallery by Saturday, July 27. For more information go to www.ccaagallery.org or call Mistlin Gallery at 209-529-3369.
All are invited to the weekly meetings of TOPS, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, 1034 that gathers each Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 1480 Poplar Ave., Oakdale. The group features help with weight loss in a supportive setting. Residents of Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon and beyond are welcome to attend. Call Audrey Oliver at 209-765-7838 for information. You can also visit www.tops.org.
Learn To Kayak
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area will host kayak tours this summer. The three-hour tours will take visitors on a paddling adventure through the waters of Los Banos Reservoir. Led by California State Parks staff, visitors will learn about the flowers and wildlife of the area throughout the tour. After a shoreline safety talk and demo, participants will board a tandem or single kayak and head out on the water. Tours will stay near the shore so visitors can search for animals. Binoculars and identification cards will be provided. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. and will run on Fridays, June 7 and 28; July 5 and Aug. 9; along with Saturdays, June 8, 22 and 29. Reservations are required as space is limited and can be made by calling (209) 826-1197. Tours are $20 for adults and $10 for children 8-to-18. Price includes admission to the park and all equipment needed. Special group discounts are available. No experience is necessary.
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, June 12. For more information, call (209) 869-8200.
Golden Agers weekly dances are open to those 50 and older from throughout the Central Valley and are now hosted at St. Frances of Rome Church, 2827 Topeka St., Riverbank. 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. The Golden Agers meet from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Vietnam Veterans of America will host their third annual bike and car show for 2019 in conjunction with the Columbia Airport Father’s Day Fly-in later this month. This two-day event provides something for the whole family: cars, bikes, airplanes, food, music and more. Bring your car/bike, your shade and chair and join in the fun. Registration includes admission to the airshow. New this year will be the Saturday night hangar dance from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to the dance is free, donations will be accepted. The public is welcome. Registration forms and more information on www.vietnamveterans391.org.