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STANISLAUS COUNTY

IRISH AUTHOR'S NIGHT: The Irish Cultural Society of Stanislaus County will host Irish Author's Night on Saturday at the Fruit Yard at Geer-Albers Road and Highway 132 between Empire and Waterford. Organizers said Irish bards will expound, dinner will be served and there will be live Celtic music throughout the evening, as well as bagpipers from the Stanislaus Irish Pipe Band. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday. For more information, call Phil McGill at 505-7705.

MODESTO

GANG AWARENESS: Modesto City Schools invites people to community presentations on gang awareness given by the Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus County Probation Department. Local agencies and community-based organizations will provide information on community resources. Richard Santana, also known as "Señor Chocolate," will share his gang-life experiences and how he turned his life around today at Enochs High School and Wednesday at Modesto High School. Both sessions will be from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call Modesto City Schools Community Affairs at 576-4178.

SPAGHETTI DINNER FUND-RAISER: The Morada Parlor 199 Native Daughters of the Golden West will serve a spaghetti dinner Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 211 Bodem St. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, call Kathi Paioni at 545-0601 or Lorraine Robinson at 523-9834.

OKTOBERFEST: Grace Lutheran Church will have an Oktoberfest celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 617 W. Orangeburg Ave. The event will feature bratwurst, sausage, sauerkraut, mustard tasting, a stein exhibition, apple desserts, and speciality beer and wine in true German tradition. Ernie Bucio's oompah band will provide entertainment. Tickets are $10. For more information and tickets, call 522-8890.

BALLROOM DANCING: Learn the waltz, fox trot, cha-cha and swing at the Modesto Senior Center, 211 Bodem St. The class begins Tuesday and will continue through Dec. 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The fee for the eight sessions is $40 per person. For more information, contact Shannon Parker at 491-5944 or sparker@modestogov.com. Register in person at 1010 10th St., Suite 4400, or at www.modestogov.com/econnect.

KNIGHTS FERRY

RUN, BIKE, RUN: On Your Mark Events presents its 11th annual Salmon Duathlon and 5K Run on Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. The competitions will benefit the preservation of the salmon's natural spawning habitat in the Stanislaus River. The duathlon course consists of a 5K run, 30K bike ride and 2½K run. The duathlon and the 5K run are on paved surfaces through rolling hills, along the Stanislaus River, and through the Knights Ferry covered bridge. The entry fee is $40 per person in advance and $45 race day. For relay teams (one runner and one biker) the fee is $75 in advance and $85 race day. The 5K Run fee is $25 preregister, and $30 race-day registration. Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments, and entry in a raffle. Check-in and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Knights Ferry State Park. The park is off Highway 108-120 between Oakdale and Sonora. For more information or an application contact On Your Mark Events at 795-7832 or visit www.onyourmarkevents.com.

SONORA

MINING FOR FREEDOM: Historian Sylvia Roberts will speak at the Tuolumne County Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. Friday in the Community Room at the Sonora Library, 480 Greeley Road. The topic will be "Mining for Freedom: Black History Meets the California Gold Rush," an underreported aspect of history. For more than 150 years, organizers said, the stories of thousands of skilled African American Argonauts have been embedded in obscure records and in her soon-to-be-released book. Roberts has chronicled pioneer stories from Tuolumne County and other parts of the Mother Lode. This is a free event. For more information, call the Historical Society at 532-1317.

ARNOLD

BLOOD DRIVE: The Arnold Lions Club and Delta Blood Bank will hold a blood drive today from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Independence Hall on B Street and Blagen Road. For more information, call Lee Cunningham at 795-0323.

MANTECA

SENIORS BEWARE: A "Power Against Fraud" seminar will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 30 at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Presenters from the San Joaquin County district attorney's office promise to help people keep from being a target of identity theft, telemarketing fraud, door-to-door scams and street cons. For more information, call 825-2301.

PATTERSON

GARDEN CLUB MEETS: This month's garden club meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday at Las Palmas Mobile Home Estates Club House, 250 E. Las Palmas Ave. Rosemary Stephens from the Newman Garden Club will talk about horticulture therapy. Guests are welcome. For more information, call Barbara Coelho 892-6888.

TURLOCK

CAREGIVER EDUCATION: Miller's Place Alzheimer's Day Care and Resource Center is offering the second in a series of six free educational sessions designed to assist those who are caring for persons with Alzheimer's and related dementia. The second session, "Communicating Effectively With Your Physician" will be at 9 a.m. Monday at Covenant Village's Berg Hall, 2125 N. Olive Ave. To R.S.V.P., call Miller's Place at 521-0507.

SIMPLY KNIT II: A new session of Simply Knit II just started and will meet for six weeks from 9 a.m. to noon at the Raley's Event Center, 2900 Geer Road. Interested community members may register at Turlock Adult School or call 667-0643 for information. Basic stitches will be taught, and a list of suggested supplies will be provided with $45 registration. Senior discounts are available.

UNIVERSITY WOMEN MEETING: The Turlock branch of the American Association of University Women will host speaker Nancy Jewett at Saturday's general meeting. Jewett will discuss Central Valley water issues. Jewett holds bachelor's degrees in cellular and molecular biology from San Francisco State University and in anthropology from the University of Delaware. The 7 p.m. meeting will be in the Raley's Event Center on Geer Road and is free.

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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