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Alegria Guild funds life-changing services

Tami Jo Nix/The Madera Tribune Debbie Nash shows one of her handbags to Yolie Ramirez at the Alegria Guild’s 65th annual Day in the Country on Saturday.


The health of area children has always been the centerpiece mission of one local service club which was founded in 1950, and has included several generations of Madera women past and present: The Alegria Guild of Valley Children’s Hospital.

The guild hosted its 65th Day in the Country luncheon and fund-raiser on Saturday.

Surrounded by the beautiful Kashmir’s Vineyard on Road 26 the grounds of the home and sprawling grape vineyards welcomed the guests — and their checkbooks.

To help attendees experience the theme “Journey of the Gypsy,” the ranch was decorated in the manner of an old-world eastern bazaar. The artisan fair featured 26 vendors selling handmade goods, candles, purses, decorator items and jewelry.

A large portion of each sale benefited the commitment of the guild to fund continuing health care services and the other work at VCH.

The highly anticipated annual bake sale featured hundreds of cookies, breads and other freshly baked goods along with award winning home-canned jams, jellies and condiments. These delicacies sold out in the first hour. All these items were created and the ingredients donated by guild members. These efforts elevated the proceeds of the event greatly.

Under the direction of guild president Cerisa Leach, the event was co-chaired by members Lisa Salas and Rhonda Gonzales.

“The 560 tickets to this year’s DITC as the event is known, sold out in less than a week,” said guild member Tasha Manfredi-Garlick.

Drafting the assistance of the guild members husbands, children, family and friends, they served as bartenders, waited tables and staffed the check-out lanes during the party. The buyers purchases were delivered to their cars by the army of young people helping out, many of them former VCH patients.

Other sources of revenue came from the silent auction, box and cash raffles and door prizes.

Keynote speakers were father-daughter duo Kevin and Regan Smith. They shared how much the hospital has fulfilled Regan’s medical needs throughout the years.

The hospital’s current capital campaign supports a multi-million upgrade to the VCH Heart Center Endowment, Child Life Endowment and Spiritual Care Center. This project is a bit closer to reality thanks to the efforts of Madera women.


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