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Ex-Lathrop chamber CEO hosts book release event
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Former Lathrop Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Kennedy-Bracken is conducting a book release party on Thursday, May 12, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the River Islands at Lathrop Welcome Center, 301 Stewart Road.
She will sign books as well as read some of her favorite passages.
Kennedy-Bracken’s book tells her story about perseverance and triumph over a life-threatening massive stroke in 2013 that is designed to motivate you to take your personal challenges head on. Through her determination and positive outlook she was able to recover within a few months.
She is a motivational speaker through the Training and Developmental Program that she founded.
Kennedy-Bracken has been speaking professionally since 1989. Her professional affiliations include memberships in such organizations as Toastmasters, and B.A.S.S. (Bay Area Speakers Service).  She served as the Area Governor for Toastmasters in the Tri-City Area, and President and Board Member of the N.C.A.B.P. (National California Association of Black Professionals).
 The May 12 event will include the serving of beverages and hors d’ oeuvres.
If you have any questions contact Teresa Kennedy at 510.329.7482.

10,000 show
their love
for chocolate
More than 10,000 people attended the debut of the first annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Jubilee in Lathrop last month.
The premium chocolate producer — which operates a massive distribution center plus a factory outlet store with ice cream sales on Harlan Road — is already gearing up for the 2017 jubilee that will take place prior to Easter.
If you missed it, the event is modeled after  the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco that takes place this year on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 10-11, from noon to 5 p.m.
The Lathrop event had free admission as well as free kids games where participants were eligible to receive Ghirardelli premium chocolate treats. There was a $20 charge for the chocolate tasting tent.
If you can’t wait until next March or don’t want to drive to San Francisco, the next best thing is the 24th annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival launched in partnership with Hershey’s before they abandoned Oakdale for Mexico.
The Oakdale event is more like a street fair that has an admission charge in addition to the cost of the chocolate tasting tent. The Oakdale Chocolate Festival is Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wood Park at Highways 120 and 108 in Oakdale just 25 minutes away from Manteca.
Advance tickets are $4 each. They are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors at the gate while kids 12 and under are free. There is a dollar discount at the gate for a donation of a canned food item.
For more information go