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AAUW TO MEET: Carol Whiteside, Great Valley Center executive director and founder, will be the speaker at a meeting of the Modesto Branch of the American Association of University Women today at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Community Christ Church, 2705 Tully Road (across from Davis High School). Whiteside, a former school board member and mayor of Modesto, will talk about her vision for women in the valley, focusing on "Getting in touch with our community." The meeting is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Martha Loeffler at 523-3501 or e-mail Martwrite@aol.com.

CHRISTIAN BERETS PASTA DINNER: The annual event will be held today from 4 to 8 p.m. at Modesto Covenant Church, 913 Floyd Ave. Tickets at the door are $8 for all over age 12, $6 for children 4 to 11 and disabled guests. For more information, call Karen at 524-7993.

WALK FROM OBESITY: Memorial Medical Center will sponsor a local walk today beginning at 8:30 a.m. Participants will meet at Davis High Park, at the corner of Rumble Road and College Avenue to walk a one- or three-mile course. The effort encourages local residents to walk and raise public awareness about obesity, help fund research and offer the opportunity to exercise. For more information, call Jennifer Downs-Colby at 572-7262.

PASTA FUND-RAISER: The Modesto Junior College Nursing Alumni Association will host a "Join Hands with the Future" pasta dinner fund-raiser today, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center, West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. Proceeds will help purchase equipment for the MJC Nursing Skills Lab. Dinner will be catered by Angelina's Restaurant, and the evening will include live entertainment, vendor tables, and drawing prizes. Tickets are available at the door, and are $20 general, $15 for senior citizens and $10 for children.

VEGGIE TALES: The newest Veggie Tales video, "The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's -- The Story of the Prodigal Son," will be shown today at 6 p.m. at Davis Park Church of Christ, 901 W. Rumble Road. There will be crafts, games, popcorn and goodie bags. Free. For more information, call 522-7226. Also, a documentary based on events from Sept. 11, "The Cross and The Towers," will be shown in the auditorium.

LOCKS OF LOVE: Total Image Salon and Spa is offering free haircuts for those donating a 10-inch ponytail on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The salon, at 2501-B McHenry Ave., is hosting a benefit for Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss with specially designed hairpieces that do not require tape or glue. Monetary donations also will be accepted. For more information about Locks of Love, call 561-963-1677 or 888-896-1588 or visit www.locksoflove.org.

STOP SMOKING: The Health Services Agency will be hosting a Freedom From Smoking class to help people who smoke learn the skills it takes to quit for good. The eight-session course is free and will cover topics such as stress management, assertive communication and exercises to help you succeed. Even if a person has had a difficult time in the past, this program offers additional tools to develop a plan that works. The class begins Monday and will meet every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stanislaus County Learning Institute, at 801 County Center III Court. For more information or to register, call 558-5657.

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.

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