Around the Region


BE A YOUNG IDOL: Attention, singers. Ever dream of performing at the Gallo Center for the Arts? You could get your chance, thanks to the Modesto Symphony Orchestra's Young Idol 2007 competition. The symphony, along with Vintage Faire Mall and The Bee, will hold auditions for young people who want to perform with the symphony at the new downtown venue. The hopefuls will audition Sept. 15 at the mall's center court. Judges will call back the most promising performers and select finalists, who will record a demo at Modesto's Celestial Sounds Recording Studio. Then, the recordings, along with performance videos and short bios, will be placed online at www.modbee.com/youngidol. Readers will vote for who they think is the best, and the winner will be announced Nov. 17. In addition to singing at the symphony's Holiday Pops performance at the Gallo center in December, the winner will receive:

Limo service the night of the concert

Dinner for four at Bacchus restaurant

Complimentary concert tickets for family members

A spa package/makeover

A $100 gift card to Vintage Faire Mall

The chance to record his or her own CD for free

Participants must be younger than 18. Singers cannot take part if they have talent representation or a recording contract. Though singers can simply show up and audition (on a first-come basis), advance registration is appreciated. Go to www.modestosymphony.org or www.modbee.com/youngidol. Deadline for advance registration is 5 p.m. Sept. 12. For more information, call the symphony at 523-4156.

CIVIL WAR MEETING: The Stanislaus Civil War Association will meet at 7 tonight in the fellowship hall behind St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Oakdale Road and Briggsmore Avenue. The speaker will be David Paul Davenport on "The Election of 1864." For more information, call Douglas Chadwick at 524-3066.

PROSTATE SCREENING: Memorial Medical Center's Cancer Services will hold a free prostate cancer screening Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Memorial's radiation therapy department, 1700 Coffee Road. The screenings are open to all men age 50 or older; African-American men age 45 or older; and men age 45 or older with a family history of prostate cancer. A prostate-specific antigen blood test will be available to eligible men. To confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment for a free screening, call 569-7789.

OPEN HOUSE: Sierra Vista Child and Family Services will hold an open house at the newly opened North Modesto Family Resource Center on Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The North Modesto Family Resource Center is at 2020 Standiford Ave, Suite C1, east of Prescott Road. This will be the second Family Resource Center operated exclusively by Sierra Vista in Stanislaus County. Sierra Vista Child & Family Services is a partner in the Hughson Family Resource Center and in The Bridge, which is a Family Resource Center for the Southeast Asian community. Family Resource Centers provide outreach and support services, child and family counseling, parent education, domestic violence services, and neighborhood support and activity planning. Refreshments and soft drinks will be available. For more information, call 523-4573.

GO BACK TO THE '40S: The Commemorative Air Force Flying Museum is turning back the clock for its annual 1940s USO Dinner-Dance on Saturday. Organizers are encouraging period dress, including World War II uniforms. Those attending the dance will be serenaded by Knight Sounds, an 18-piece ensemble playing favorites from the Big Band era. The $40-per-person price includes choice of barbecue tri-tip or chicken dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 and dancing at 8. There will be dance and dress contests while partygoers get a chance to inspect the museum's airplanes and memorabilia. Organizers want to expand the museum exhibition. If you have questions or museum items to donate, call Eddie Enrique at 324-3093. For dance tickets, call 578-3513. The event is in Hangar No. 1 at the Modesto Airport, 700 Tioga Way. For raffle tickets or dance information, call 800-522-4558.

MONTE CARLO FUND-RAISER: The Woodland Avenue Fire Department Women's Auxiliary Monte Carlo fund-raiser will be held Saturday at the Modesto Centre Plaza. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with dancing, a silent auction and a raffle afterward. Tickets are $50 and will not be sold at the door. For more information and for tickets, call 526-3232.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT: Sept. 11 is Back to School Night for Modesto City Schools traditional elementary schools Beard, El Vista, Enslen, Everett, Fremont, Garrison, Lakewood, Muir, Pearson, Rose Avenue, Shackelford, Sonoma, Wilson and Orville Wright. Please contact the individual school for start times.

SIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES TO START: The Society for Handicapped Children and Adults will hold an eight-week sign language session starting Sept. 17. Beginning, intermediate, Christmas song in sign, and advanced/conversational sign classes will be offered. Christmas song in sign is offered once a year. Register early because class size is limited. Registration is required by Sept. 12. The fee is $35 per person. For registration forms and class information, go to www.societyforhandicapped.org or call 524-3536.

MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION: The city of Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department's King-Kennedy Memorial Center and the Inter-Agency Committee will co-host this year's Mexican Independence Day Celebration on Sept. 16 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the King-Kennedy Memorial Center and Mellis Park, 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive. The free community event will feature Stockton's Mariachi Los Tapatia accompanied by performer Olivia Gonzalez. Additional performers will include Cristina Avalos, Felicia Zapata and Grupo Folklórico Mixtlan. The keynote speaker will be Arturo Flores, superintendent of Modesto City Schools. Local radio station Super Estrella 97.1 will broadcast live throughout the day. For more information, please contact Anne Schultze at 577-5355 or aschultze@modestogov.com.

PAL HOLDS ANNIVERSARY EVENT: The Modesto Police Activities League will celebrate 15 years of service to the community for Kids at Risk with a Pal's Partners dinner-dance Sept. 29 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. The event will be held at the Sylvan Club, 2545 Sylvan Ave. Tickets are $15, $10 for children younger than 12. For a lively evening of dinner, dancing, a raffle and live auction, call Joan at 579-2022.

MARTONE ANNIVERSARY: All past and present students, parents and staff members are invited to Alberta Martone Elementary School's 20th anniversary celebration Oct. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the quad. Please RSVP to 576-4613 by Sept. 30.


CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION PLANNED: Hughson residents will be celebrating the city's centennial Sept. 22 with an all-day fair on Main Street. The "Small Community With a Big Heart" is the theme for the free event that is open to the public. A bronze sculpture by Betty Saletta known as "The Harvest" will be unveiled downtown. It represents a farmworker picking peaches and celebrates Hughson's reputation as the peach capital of the world. A range of food and commemorative gifts will be available. Shirts and hats may be purchased in advance at Bank of the West in Hughson or at the event, which will be from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, call Marie Assali at 883-4823, Tess Camagna at 883-4882 or Brian Sinclair at 883-0443.

Send Region items to Region, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; call 578-2330; fax 578-2207; or e-mail region@modbee.com.