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Modesto

HOLIDAY HOOPLA: For parents who want a night out, the YMCA will have a "hoopla" for children aged 3 to 13 Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. The event will feature dinner, snacks, art projects, a movie and an appearance from Santa. Admission is $15 for facility members, $20 for program members and $25 for nonmembers. Register by today by calling Kevin Chase at 578-9622, ext. 23.

TOY DONATIONS: Radio station 104.1 The Hawk will have a toy drive today for kids at the Children's Crisis Center and the Modesto Gospel Mission. Donations will be accepted from 3 to 7 p.m. at Toys R Us on Sisk Road.

WOMEN'S CONNECTION LUNCH: Central Valley women are invited to a Women's Connection luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at The Seasons, 945 McHenry Ave. The event will feature winter wraps, scarves and dressy fashions, and Joan Maher will talk about self-esteem. Program and lunch is $15. To reserve a spot, call Terry at 523-3826, or Marsha at 599-3248.

NOTARIES MEET: There are 20 changes to notary law that become effective Jan. 1. All notaries public are invited to attend a free notary law review meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave. RSVP toBiewer@sbcglobal.net or 606-4938.

FOOD BASKETS: "Christmas in the Valley" or "Navidad en el Valle" is El Concilio's annual Christmas food basket fund-raiser, with all proceeds going to food baskets for the needy. The tamale dinner will be Dec. 17 at the Stanislaus County Office of Education event center, 720 12th Street, from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 at El Concilio Community Center, 1314 H St. Takeout is available. For more information, call 523-2860.

Ceres

LEARN ITALIAN: The city's Recreation Department is going international. Children and adults can explore a new language and culture through this six-week course. Open to students 8 and older, this class will teach basic Italian. Classes begin Jan. 7 and will be on Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall. Students need to pre-register by Jan. 4. To register, go towww.ci.ceres.ca.us and click on the animated soccer ball, or sign up at City Hall, 2720 Second St. The fee is $40 per student. For more information, call 538-3782.

KINDER GYM: The city's Kinder Gym program is designed for children 1 to 5 years old. It stimulates early childhood development through experience in basic gymnastic skills, hand-eye-foot coordination and motor skills development. Classes are $30 and will be Mondays, Jan. 7 to Feb. 11, as follows: Mommy or Daddy and Me:

12 months to 2 years, from 9:30 to 10 a.m.; Kinder Classes:

3 to 5 years, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Classes will be held at Ceres American Legion Hal. Pre-registration is required. Register atwww.ci.ceres.ca.us, in person at 2720 Second St., or call Traci Farris at 538-5682.

WINTER BREAK CAMP: The Ceres Recreation Department will offer a Winter Break Camp for children 5 to 11 years old, Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 at the American Legion Hall. A full-day week costs

$135 per child and runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A half-day week costs $75 per child and runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children will enjoy crafts, games and activities. Snacks will be provided; campers must bring their own sack lunch. Space is limited. Go towww.ci.ceres.ca.us, and click on the animated soccer ball to register, or go to 2720 Second St. For more information, please call Cambria Pollinger at 538-5782.

Turlock

HOLIDAY MUSIC: Turlock High School Concert and Chamber Orchestras will present a winter concert Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Turlock High School Performing Arts Building. Selections by Bach, Albinoni, John Rutter and Mozart, and music of the holiday season will be performed. There is a suggested donation of $3 for adults and $2 for students. Call 667-4061 for more information.

Stanislaus County

ADOPT A SENIOR FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Home Instead Senior Care's "Be a Santa to a Senior" program has Christmas trees in Wal-Mart locations in Turlock, Ceres and Modesto. They feature ornaments with the first names of needy seniors and their respective gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store. Home Instead Senior Care then enlists volunteer help to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts. A citywide gift-wrapping day, when hundreds of the presents will be wrapped, will be held on Dec. 18 at noon at Salida Library. To help with the gift-wrapping day, call Sheri Hubers at 545-5899.

Manteca

COUPON BOOKS: The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6311 and Auxiliary of Manteca are offering 2008 Entertainment books for $20 as a fund-raiser for the organization. The Stockton-Modesto books have many 50 percent off coupons or buy one, get one free offers for dining or sporting events. To buy a book, call Ruby Stappenbeck at 823-7728 or Ruth Riccobuono at 823-4317.

Merced

COLD WAR EXHIBIT: A Cold War Exhibit will be on display at the University of California at Merced through Feb. 1. The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. today, with a reception at 4 p.m., in the Kolligian Library, Third Floor, Lantern Area, 5200 N. Lake Road. The event is open to the public. Chancellor Steve Kang, history Professor Gregg Herken, graduate student Trevor Albertson and Castle Air Museum Executive Director Joe Pruzzo will speak during the opening reception. The exhibit will include artifacts dating from 1971 to the end of the Cold War. The artifacts are from the personal collections of Herken and Albertson, and also from the air museum in Atwater. Herken, a founding faculty member of UC Merced, has worked for the CIA and Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. His contributions to the exhibit include a CIA "burn bag" for top secret documents, shoulder patches from Russian military uniforms and a replica of the U.S. Cold War Victory Medal that was approved by Congress but never officially produced. Albertson is in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and writing his dissertation on American nuclear weapons. His contributions include a flight suit and an ejection seat from a B-52 bomber. For more information, contact Tonya Luiz at 228-4408 ortluiz@ucmerced.edu. Directions to campus can be found atwww.ucmerced.edu.

A LITTLE HOLIDAY CHEER: On Friday at 8:30 a.m. Merced police and firefighters will team up to spread holiday cheer to residents at the Merced Living Care Center, a residential care facility for seniors at 510 W. 26th St. In addition to receiving gifts from officers and firefighters, the residents will be treated to Christmas carols sung by children from a local church. For more information, call officer Rios 385-6912 or Mrs. Yniguez at 385-6901.

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

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