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Society gala set for Sunday

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune From left, Daisy Madera, Mayra Garcia, and Maria Carrillo, third-grade parent volunteers from St. Joachim School, and Esteben Kraus, 2, put up Christmas decorations at the Madera County Historical Society Museum on Thursday.


Snowflakes have covered the Madera County Courthouse Museum – but only indoors. The faux frosty interior and more landed in place thanks to 60 volunteers preparing for the local historical society’s annual gala this weekend.

“We’ve been running our legs off trying to keep up with everybody and make sure everybody gets things plugged in the right way and put where it should be put,” said Patty Gallegos, co-chairman of the gala and board member for the Madera County Historical Society.

The society will host its yearly yuletide festivities 5-8 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 210 W. Yosemite Ave. This year’s theme is “My Favorite Christmas Things,” according to society president Sheryl Berry, and decorators include Girl Scout Troop 413, Howard 4-H and classes from John Adams, Lincoln and St. Joachim schools.

“This year we just have a variety of things from gingerbread men and snowmen (to) outdoorsy scenes (and) woodsy things – just winter stuff,” Berry said. “We have some very talented people who help us. It just makes it fun … A lot of people will bring in their own stuff every year. It’s just different (every year). It’s a special kind of party.”

Berry estimated “a couple of thousand hours or more” have been spent by teams of two to five people per room to bedeck the museum since the second week of November until now.

The gala will feature appetizer, dinner, cookie and candy buffets as well as a no host bar, gift raffle and silent auction. Ham will be prepared by DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant, turkey by the Vineyard Restaurant and Bar, sandwiches by The Sub Shop, and all other tasty treats by society members.

“Every single room, the outside (and) the inside are just filled with lights,” said Terri Delaguera, who has volunteered to help deck the museum for 15 years. “Its gorgeous (and) puts you in the (Christmas) spirit. It’s also a very good fundraiser, but on top of that the food’s great (and) you get to see a lot of people who you normally don’t see.”

The gala is a major fundraiser for the society. Tickets are $40 per person and in recent years about 280 are sold, according to society treasurer Marilyn Cheatham, but “they’re a little lower this year. We could use a few more sales.”

Those who can’t attend won’t be left out in the cold however. The lavishly decorated museum will be open to the public 5:30-7:30 p.m. for Christmas Community Viewing on Tuesday through Dec. 10 and Dec. 13-17. Santa Claus may make an appearance as his busy schedule permits.

For information about the events or society, call 673-0291.

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