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Community Briefs

Lose Weight Sensibly

TOPS, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, meets every week on Mondays at 9 a.m. at Community United Methodist Church in Oakdale, 1480 Poplar. Visitors are always welcome and the first meeting is free. For more information, contact Audrey Oliver at 209-765-7838. TOPS is an affordable, nonprofit, weight-loss support and wellness education organization where members learn about nutrition, portion control, food planning, exercise, motivation and more. The next meeting will be Jan. 8.


Tax Volunteers Needed

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.


Sign Up For Classes

Modesto Institute for Continued Learning (MICL) will host registration on Thursday, Jan. 11 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for incoming students at the El Capitan Building of Modesto Junior College West Campus. MICL is a learning-in -retirement organization that offers classes, occasional trips and an exercise program. Those interested in learning more about the organization and its services are encouraged to attend. Classes are set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 16. Cost for the 15-week semester is $40. For additional information, visit


Toastmasters Meet

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, Jan. 3. For more information, call (209) 869-8200.


Color Run Slated

The Escalon Educational Foundation is planning for its second annual Color Run, including a 5k Run and one-mile run/walk. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10 starting at 8 a.m. with the start/finish line at El Portal Middle School, 805 First St., Escalon. Cost is $25 for the one mile fun run, $35 for the 5k. Register by Jan. 19, 2018 to guarantee a race shirt. You can register online at or at any Escalon Unified School office. Early packet and T-shirt pick up will be Friday, Feb. 9 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at D’Boni’s Pizza, 2249 Jackson Ave., Escalon. Race Day packet and T-shirt pick up will be from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at El Portal. For more information, contact Melanie McPherrin at 209-603-0172.


Weekly Dances

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.


Learn To Skate


Oak Park Ice Arena’s Try Skating For Free program is the perfect place to start for young aspiring skaters or hockey players at the beginner’s level. The free program is for kids 10 and under and teaches the most basic of skills – from getting up after a fall to skating in different directions. Rink staff will get skaters started with lessons to improve their skills. The next program runs on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10 and 17. Reserve your spot today. Oak Park Ice Arena is at 3545 Alvarado Ave., Stockton.