WINE COUNTRY EVENING: The Modesto Kiwanis Club will present its Wine Country Evening on Thursday at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Proceeds will benefit children in the area, organizers said. For more information, contact Pat at 578-4636 or Plaza611@sbcglobal.net, or Terry at 604-2417 or Terrymcgrt@aol.com.
CHOCOLATE BALL: The Oakdale District Chamber of Commerce has scheduled "An Evening in Paris" at its 17th annual Oakdale Chocolate Ball to be held Nov. 3 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second St. The Chocolate Ball will feature prime rib, salmon or vegetarian lasagna prepared by Medlen's House of Beef, champagne and a chocolate lover's buffet with a variety of chocolates, bakery offerings and a chocolate fountain. Dance to the music of the JMZ Band. There will be a drawing for a door prize and a silent auction. The event is black-tie optional. Tickets are available at the chamber office, 590 N. Yosemite Ave. The cost is $65 per person, and tickets must be purchased in advance. For tickets or more information, call 847-2244.
AN OPEN HOUSE FOR MOMS: The MOMS Club of Ripon-Salida will hold an open house Friday at Stouffer Park from 10 a.m. to noon. If you are a stay-at-home mom or spend most of the day with your children, organizers said, this is the group for you. Members participate in play dates, field trips and tune time. For more information, call 577-8464.
AARP SAFE DRIVER PROGRAM FOR SENIORS: Calvary Church will host an AARP Safe Driver course for people ages 55 and older. The two-day course will be held Nov. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $10. Participants who complete the class will be awarded a certificate that may qualify them for a discount on auto insurance. For a registration form, contact Carol at the church office at 599-4294.
BOOT CAMP CHALLENGE: Are you up for the challenge? Join the Recreation Department on Saturday for a fun family challenge. Check-in begins at 10 a.m., with a start time between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m. Participants will take part in fitness challenge stations such as cardio drills, strength training and flexibility. Upon completing the challenge, participants will receive a prize, goodie bag and refreshments. The challenge will take about 30 minutes and will be held at Donnelly Park, Area F (near the wooden play structure). Challenges begin every 10 minutes, and families can start the challenge at any time. The event is free -- bring a comfortable pair of shoes! A Fall Funtastic Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. at the same location. For more information, call the Recreation office at 668-5594.
UNIVERSITY WOMEN MEET: The Turlock branch of the American Association of University Women will host speaker Nancy Jewett at Thursday's general meeting. She will discuss water issues in the Central Valley. Jewett, who teaches science in Stanislaus County, earned a bachelor's degree in cellular and molecular biology from San Francisco State University and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Delaware. The 7 p.m. meeting in the Raley's Event Center on Geer Road is free and open to the public.
HAUNTED HALLOWEEN HAYRIDE: The city will be having a Haunted Halloween Hayride at Jacob Myers Park on Friday and Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Organizers promise creepy creatures, scary sights and things that will make your skin crawl. Admission is $6, $4 for children 4 to 12 and free for children under 3. For more information, call 869-7124 or 869-7010. Stanislaus County
POETRY SUBMISSIONS: Poetry submissions for the Winter Issue of "Song of the San Joaquin" will be accepted through Dec. 15. For more information, call 543-1776 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Joaquin County
CACTUS ENTHUSIASTS MEET: The Stockton Cactus and Succulent Society will meet Thursday at 7:30 p.m., at the San Joaquin County Building, 2707 Transworld Drive. Mark Muradian, from the Fresno Cactus and Succulent Society, will show slides and speak on his trip to Bolivia, where he studied cacti. He is a potter as well as a cactus enthusiast and will bring a large selection of pottery. Nonmembers are welcome. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Roelyn Poot 599-7241.
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