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Modesto

YEAR OF THE RAT: The Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department's Maddux Youth Center will present the second annual Chinese New Year Celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Senior Citizens Center, 211 Bodem St. This year's program will be in celebration of the Year of the Rat, featuring a Lion Dance by the Arts of China Red Dragon Club, singing, traditional musical instruments, Chinese cultural dances, martial arts demonstrations, information booths, music, speakers and art displays. Special performances are scheduled by the Stanislaus Chinese Culture Society, Yaoyong Dancers from San Jose, Stockton Dance and Taiji group, and the Arts of China Red Dragon Club. Refreshments will be provided. All ages are invited to this free event. For more information, contact Bruce Lockard at 341-2950 or blockard@modestogov.com.

SIGN UP FOR SKI-A-THON: The Society for Handicapped Children and Adults is kicking off its 2008 Ski-A-Thon. This event will allow for the expansion of recreation programs for disabled children and adults. The Ski-a-Thon will be on Feb. 23 at Dodge Ridge Ski Area in Tuolumne County. Participants receive an event shirt, goodie bag, free skiing or snowboarding, free lunch and a free showing of the 2008 Warren Miller extreme skiing film. For more information, call the society at 524-3536 or go to its Web site, www.societyforhandicapped.org.

AUDUBON SOCIETY, SIERRA CLUB MEETING: The Sierra Club and Audubon Society will present their annual slide show celebrating recent adventures of their members. The meeting is set for Jan. 18. Refreshments and socializing will be at 6:45 p.m., with the free program beginning at 7 p.m. Nonmembers are welcome, The meeting will be in the Modesto Police Department's Theater Room, 600 10th St. For information, call Kelly at 606-2485.

SIGN LANGUAGE: The Society for Handicapped Children and Adults will offer an eight-week sign language session starting Monday. Beginning, intermediate, religious sign and song, and advanced-conversational sign classes will be offered. Religious sign and song is offered once a year. Class sizes are limited. Registration deadline is today. The cost is $35 per person. For registration forms and class information, go to www.societyforhandicapped.org or call 524-3536.

Ceres

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETS: The Ceres Historical Society will have its first meeting of the year Saturday in the Ceres City Council chamber, 2220 Magnolia St. Coffee and treats will be served at 9:30 a.m., with the program commencing at 10. Phil Reynders will give a presentation on Catalina Island and relate personal experiences regarding the popular vacation spot. There will be a video narrated by Huell Howser. That afternoon, the Ceres Museum, 2928 Fifth St., will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.

GARDEN CLUB MEETING: The Ceres Garden Club invites the public to its Jan. 17 meeting. The speaker will be Rick Hotchkiss of The Greenery in Turlock. He will give a demonstration on container gardening and will answer questions from the audience. The meeting will be in the Ceres City Council chamber, 2220 Magnolia St. Social time will start at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will begin at noon and the program at 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 541-3758 or e-mail ceresgc@yahoo.com.

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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