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Dinner, Music And Fundraising Combine For Festive Evening
628 Diners
More than 150 people turned out to dine along the river and enjoy music and the evening on Saturday, June 24 for the Escalon Historical Society fundraising dinner at Del Rio Vista Garden. Marg Jackson/The Times

Well over 150 people turned out, doing their part to help keep the doors open and the exhibits in top shape, supporting the Escalon Historical Society and Museum at a fundraising dinner on Saturday, June 24.

Hosted by the Historical Society at Del Rio Vista Garden in the 25000 block of East River Road, the gathering kicked off with a ‘happy hour’ at 5:30 p.m., with attendees arriving to mingle, sip and look over the variety of items available in the ‘opportunity drawings’ to be held later on in the evening.

With the venue along the Stanislaus River, the evening breeze provided the perfect natural cooldown, making for a pleasant dinnertime temperature. Providing the entertainment during the happy hour and even as diners started to dig in to their plates was the local band, Randy Mandy and the Frequency Experience. The three performing on Saturday night were the husband and wife musical duo of Randy and Mandy Russell along with Charlie Mynatt. Servers efficiently made their way through the crowd to offer the salad course, followed by plates with chicken and beef, potatoes, carrots and bread. A brownie and ice cream for dessert topped off the meal.

“We had 166 so it’s going to be a big fundraiser for us,” Escalon Historical Society President Dave Russell said of the turnout. “And the Del Rio Vista Garden is just a beautiful venue.”

He said they work well with the owners and management at the Garden venue to bring the fundraising dinner together.

Russell agreed that the weather was perfect, the crowd lively and the entertainment was enjoyed by all, the band returning to perform again once the winning raffle tickets were announced and the winners claimed their prizes.

That portion of the evening brought in a good amount of cash for the museum as well, with more than 30 items up for grabs in the drawings, ranging from restaurant gift certificates to specialty baked goods to a movie night package.

“All the money will go just for the continued upkeep of the museum and maintenance of all our exhibits,” Russell explained.

He also gave kudos to his wife, Sandy, who helped spearhead the planning committee efforts for this year.

“She’s the heartbeat of this whole thing and the sweetest lady ever,” he said, smiling.

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Musicians Mandy Russell, left, Charlie Mynatt and Randy Russell provided the evening entertainment for the crowd at the Escalon Historical Society fundraising dinner at Del Rio Vista Garden on Saturday night, June 24. Marg Jackson/The Times
Calling out the winning numbers during the after-dinner opportunity drawings was Michael Russell, left, with mom Sandy Russell pulling the tickets, then giving them to her to read. Marg Jackson/The Times