Around Town (08/13/14)

Playhouse Merced annual gala

Playhouse Merced will hold its annual gala from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday outside the 510 Bistro in Bob Hart Square in downtown Merced. The gala will include a raffle with prizes and with a Vegas-style “A Night at the Sands” theme, with actors portraying figures from the Rat Pack, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. Tickets are $75 each; a table of eight is $750 and a table of eight VIPs is $1,000 (includes dinner, drink tokens, season flex passes and advertising in the gala program). Buy tickets at Playhouse Merced, 452 W. Main St. or by calling (209) 725-8587.

Merced High Back to School Night

Merced High’s Back to School Night will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 21. Bear families will get important information for the 2014-15 school year, meet the principal and staff, sign up to participate in the ASSETS after-school program and access computer labs to learn how to update information and check student grades/attendance through the Aeries Parent Portal. “Bear Wear” to represent the “Home of Scholars and Champions!” can be purchased at the student body office. Hot dogs will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the quad area. For more information call (209) 385-6465.

Atwater ‘Moto Mania Weekend’

Atwater Kart Club and Atwater P.A.L are hosting “Moto Mania Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday at the Tom Dash Memorial Speedway, 500 Industry Way, Atwater. Saturday’s all-day event starts at 8 a.m. Sunday’s event is 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Events include asphalt racing for bikes and karts, short track, and SupermotoUSA Championship Racing. For more information visit

Parkinson’s support group

Amy Marchini and Mission Gardens will host the monthly Parkinson’s support group at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 at 1450 E. 27th St., Merced. Claire Osborn, occupational hand therapist, will be guest speaker. Call (209) 384-3300 to RSVP or for more information.

McSwain Municipal Advisory Committee

The McSwain Municipal Advisory Committee will meet 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at McSwain Elementary School, 922 Scott Road, Merced. The regular meetings are generally held every fourth Thursday of the month, but this month McSwain Elementary has its Back to School night on the 28th. The council will meet with neighbors to discuss issues it is working on to improve area. Contact the council at The group also has a Facebook page.

Castle Open Cockpit Day

Castle Air Museum will have an Open Cockpit Day on Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, 5050 Santa Fe Drive, Atwater. About 35 of the 60 vintage aircraft will be open for viewing, and flight simulators are available. Other attractions will include helicopter rides, a children’s bounce house, models for children to make, law enforcement displays and radio-control aircraft exhibits. Food and beverages will be available. For more information, call the museum at (209) 723-2178.

‘Greatest Generation’ salute

“Thanks for the Memories, a Salute to the Greatest Generation” will be presented Sept. 6 by the Castle Air Museum. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. The dinner-dance and variety show is a major fundraiser for the museum. Bill Johnson of Las Vegas, a Bob Hope impersonator, will be the master of ceremonies. A 17-piece band and a trio of singers also will perform. Tickets are $60 per person. Donors must be at least 21. For more information, call the museum at (209) 723-2182 or (209) 617-9171.

Chamber to host presentation

The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce will host “Engaging Your Employees” at 7 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Merced Senior Community Center, 755 West 15th St. Merced College instructor Jonae✔ Pistoresi will tell business owners how they can make their employees more effective and invested in the business. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. and breakfast is free. To reserve a spot, call (209) 384-7092 or email