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250 people help stage telethon
30th annual event benefits Boys & Girls Club
A double date with Manteca Fire Department Captain David Marques, left, and firefighter John Viss are among the live auction bid items during the Boys & Girls Club Telethon that starts tonight at 5 p.m. and runs again Tuesday from 4:30 to 11 p.m. The two will be at the club – and on the air – in person tonight at 6 p.m. - photo by HIME ROMERO

It offers entertainment ranging from the “Rompin’ Stompin’ Seniors” line dancing to an all girl band known as Neon Ink.

You can bid on unique fishing trips, a double date with Manteca Fire Department’s two most eligible bachelors, a classic glass patio table with teak chairs, trips, a two-minute grocery shopping spree, and you can even secure the Manteca Youth Focus to sing Christmas carols at a family or business gathering.

It is also an opportunity to see people like KAT Country radio personality Randy Bubba Black and TV reporters such as Alan Sanchez.

It’s all part of the 30th annual Boys & Girls Club telethon that is carried live tonight and Tuesday on Comcast Channel 97. It’s on from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Altogether more than 250 volunteers are pooling their efforts to stage the telethon in a bid to raise $120,000 to help support Boys & Girls programs for 1,500 youth in Manteca and Lathrop. The bulk of the volunteers man the phone banks to ask people to support the club.

“We all do it for the same reason – it’s for the kids in the community to they have a safe place to go,” said Linda Abeldt who has been volunteering for the past 17 years.

Abeldt is in charge of the live auction boards.

“These are some of the best bid items we’ve had for several years,” Abeldt said.

Among her favorite bid items is dinner and wine tasting with Manteca’s first family of wine – the Indelicatos – and a number of various trip packages.

This year the format has been changed to allow people bidding on live auction items to come down to the club to see the items up close. For the first time in 30 years, a “studio audience” is being allowed in the main area where the phone banks, interview area and the live bid items are located.

Those who wish to bid in person will be provided seats starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Bidding will also take place over the phone as in the past. Steve DeBrum, a professional auctioneer, will be coordinating the bidding process.

The biggest buzz this year is a double date with two Manteca firefighters – Captain Dave Marques and firefighter John Viss. Marques once graced Oxygen women’s exercise magazine’s firefighter calendar as Mr. December.  Viss was the cover boy for an edition of Surfing Magazine
Marques, 37, is 5-foot-8, weighs 180 pounds, has blue eyes, and brown hair. He has been a part of the Manteca Fire Department for 18 years and now serves as a captain.

His idea of a perfect setting for a date is going to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Viss, 27, is 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds with blue eyes and blonde hair. He works as a firefighter.

His hobbies include surfing, hiking, and physical fitness.

His idea of a perfect setting for a first date is going to the ocean.

You can drop by club
to see entertainment
bid on silent auction

The Manteca Chamber of Commerce coffee is taking place at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the club.

You can also drop by anytime during the telethon tonight or Tuesday to see entertainment in person or to make silent auction bids.

The entertainment line-up is as follows:


•5 p.m., Rompin’ Stompin’ Seniors line dancing
•5:30 p.m., Manteca Idol Top 5
•6 p.m., Manteca Junior Idol Top 3
•6:30 p.m., Cheyenne Milligan and Jordan Renfro
•7 p.m., Chelsea Jordan
•7:30 p.m., Universal Dance


•4:30 p.m., Neon Ink
•5 p.m., Braata
•5:30 p.m., Nick Haskin
•6 p.m., Taberna Karate
•6:30 p.m., Dance & Cheer Stars
•7 p.m., Manteca Idol, outgoing Manteca Idol
•7:30 p.m., Manteca Junior Idol, outgoing Manteca Idol
•8p.m., Better Left Said
•8:30 p.m., Manteca Youth Focus
•9 p.m., Woody Hawkins

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail