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Museum fundraising dinner features jam packed evening
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Sharing a smile at the Blue Jean Ball II to benefit the Escalon Historical Society were, from left, Carolyn Klump, Museum Curator Dorothy Miller, Docent Cheryl Roche and Marge Lucas. Photo Contributed

It was a good crowd, temperatures that were thankfully on the right side of triple digits, a catered dinner and festive entertainment.

All that added up to a successful ‘Blue Jean Ball II’ to support the Escalon Historical Society Museum, staged at the Del Rio Vista Garden on East River Road.

Museum Curator Dorothy Miller said they always hope for more attendees at the fundraiser, but those that did turn out to support the society enjoyed the evening.

“We had just a few less people than last year but our profit was higher,” Miller pointed out. “The heat was manageable; we had lots of fans, lots of misters.”

The setting along the Stanislaus River also allows for a cooling breeze from the water.

Along with a happy hour and catered dinner, there were a number of raffle prizes available as well as a door prize and the event was hosted in recognition of the many fruit drying yards that were crucial to Escalon’s economy in days gone by.

Putting together a commemorative display, Historical Society Historian Wendy Fenton said the tribute to the fruit drying yards included seven different poster boards detailing a number of local families and businesses.

This annual event is the largest fundraiser for the Historical Society and Fenton said it helps to offset costs for running the museum on Main Street as well as other projects.

Music following the catered dinner featured Joni Morris, a well-known area entertainer. She offered a variety of country and rock and roll tunes, in addition to some works by Patsy Cline.

Historical Society President Dave Russell also provided some recognition at the dinner for past presidents Dorothy Miller and Vickie Mello, who was also a charter (founding) member of the society.

“I also mentioned that Wendy Fenton, her face is very familiar to all the businesses around town,” Russell said, chuckling, as she was the one who gathered in the items for the raffle drawings, seeking donations over the last several weeks.

Gary Langum donated a dwarf crepe myrtle for the door prize and Russell said the evening ran smoothly and all those in attendance seemed to enjoy the festivities.

Coming up are a few additional, smaller fundraisers for the Historical Society that are scheduled to include an October Home and Garden Tour as well as a holiday raffle drawing for a painting. Also in the works are plans to host a 35th anniversary Open House celebration at the museum in August.

The Escalon Historical Society Museum is at 1630 Main; museum hours are Wednesday and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.; also open by request by calling 209-838-8070.

Along with Russell as president, the board includes Barbara Langum, vice president; Cathy Ensley, secretary; and Adrian Van Houten, treasurer.

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Escalon’s Sandy and Dave Russell were enjoying the evening, as the Historical Society hosted its annual fundraising dinner to support the museum; Dave Russell is president of the Historical Society. Photo Contributed
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Blue Jean Ball II attendee Gary Haskin was serenaded by Joni Morris, who was the headline entertainer for the recent festivities hosted at Del Rio Vista Garden. Photo Contributed