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Community Marks Multiple Celebrations
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Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and that brings with it a parade and special ceremony in Escalon. Nationwide, government offices are closed, schools are closed, businesses have the option of closing ... and many communities set aside time to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Escalon's annual Veterans Day parade will step off at 10:30 a.m., following the traditional route that takes it from a starting point on Coley Avenue to First Street to Main Street. Led by the local American Legion colorguard, the parade will also include Grand Marshal, local veteran Leonard Pereira, expecting two of his three children to join him on the route. Bands, community service clubs and organizations and veterans groups will all make an appearance.

Following the parade, the Legion hosts a ceremony staged adjacent to the city's Community Center at the memorial wall, and then puts on a chicken barbecue with serving starting at noon.

It's the first of many community celebrations and holiday observances that will stretch nearly through the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is now just a couple of weeks away and organizers are still looking for donations to help put on the Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 25. That will be served, free, to all comers at the Escalon Community Center and home delivery of meals is available to those that are ill or shut in and cannot make it to the center. Local restaurateur Tommy Joyce is again lending his expertise to cook up the traditional dinner, complete with turkey and all the trimmings, and the dinner hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For deliveries, call Deanna at 838-6808, speak slowly and clearly to leave you name, a phone number and address for delivery. Organizers are also looking for volunteers to set up the center on Wednesday night prior to the Thursday meal, with workers needed from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Those wishing to volunteer can call Bev at 838-3336 and leave a message.

Donations to help defray costs are being accepted and can be made to the Escalon Ministerial Association, P.O. Box 1, Escalon, CA 95320. Mark them for 'Thanksgiving' on the check.

Along with helping put on the Thanksgiving dinner, the Escalon Ministerial Association also heads up the community's Christmas Fund drive and have just started to seek donations for that effort.

"Donations received (last year) were $14,600 and vouchers given were for 137 families with a total of 649 people," said Marion Van Vliet, coordinating this year's drive.

Vouchers for food, to provide a nutritious holiday meal, are given to families in need and are good at the local participating markets, Big Boy Market, Mar Val's Main Street Market and Los Altenos Market.

Donations are best received by Dec. 8, Van Vliet added, and checks can be made payable to the Escalon Ministerial Association. The Christmas Fund Drive has been going on for more than two decades and all donations are appreciated.

Meanwhile, plans are in the works for the annual Christmas on Main, which will be hosted Saturday, Dec. 4 by the Escalon Chamber of Commerce. There will be a light parade, a visit from Santa, s'mores, music and more. Non-profit groups and organizations also set up booths in the city's Main Street Park to offer activities and refreshments. Applications must be received by Thursday, Nov. 18 for groups wishing to host a booth as a fundraiser for their organization and are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are available and can be turned in at Oak Valley Community Bank, Century 21 or mailed to the Escalon Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 222, Escalon, CA 95320.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 838-2793 or co-organizers Robert Swift, 595-5013 or June Lopez, 821-3070.

Finally, the Deegan Funeral Home locations in Escalon and Ripon will be official drop off locations for Toys for Tots this holiday season. The official start date will be Monday, Nov. 15 and the collection will run through Friday, Dec. 17.