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45th annual St. Anthonys Holiday Luncheon
Carol Bragan, right, checks out handmade ornaments at last years holiday luncheon while her mother Margaret Boubelik looks on. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

• WHAT: St. Anthony of Padua School’s 45th annual Holiday Luncheon
• WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 10:30 2 p.m.
• WHERE: St. Anthony’s gym, North and Sutter
• COST: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children
• TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased at the school office.
• MORE DETAILS: Call the school office at 823-4513

The longest-running annual school fund-raiser in Manteca will have a few changes this year. However, faithful fans of the St. Anthony of Padua School’s 45th annual Holiday Luncheon and Crafts Faire will still find the same traditional treats that has made this early Christmas extravaganza a perennially popular shopping opportunity, if not a festive occasion for co-workers and friends to meet and enjoy lunch.

Several companies and businesses in Manteca actually reserve entire tables for their employees to have lunch that day since the event is conveniently held mid-week.

This year, the holiday fund-raiser will be held Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the school gym. The theme this year is “Sugar Plum Dreams” and will be reflected in the overall décor of the venue and on the table centerpieces.

“Everything is planned around candy, cobbles, pinks and blues and purples and greens – all bright colors – so it’s going to be really vibrant. It’s going to be really vibrant this year,” said Jennifer Carranza who is co-chairing the holiday event this year with fellow St. Anthony’s School parent DeAnna Nunes.

One major departure from tradition that the holiday fund-raiser is making this year is the hiring of Say Grace Catering Company for the lunch. However, Nunes pointed out that the luncheon will still offer “our famous raviolis from the Queirolos,” referring to the scrumptious Italian dish creation prepared by Tony Queirolo and son Mario for this occasion using their family recipe that has been passed on through generations. The father-and-son duo has been volunteering their services for many years.

Also, “We’ll still do the homemade desserts, and the eighth graders will still be serving (and) parents will be doing the beverage service,” Carranza said.

“The adults will be serving the wine and coffee,” Nunes added.

As usual, lunch will be served buffet-style, she said.

Carranza said they decided to cater the luncheon this year because “it’s just taking too much manpower for us to do everything. We could focus more on the other details such as the decors and vendors and let them (caterers) handle the food.”

The Say Grace Catering Co. is a local business owned and operated by a family that belongs to the parish. The business owners’ children are former students of St. Anthony’s.

Around two-dozen booths offering a wide array of original hand-made items are taking part in this year’s extravaganza, Nunes said.

“Some of the old (crafters) that have been gone for a few years are coming back,” she said.

A new booth this year will be one that will offer baked items. “The school is doing their own bake sale. Proceeds from the bake sale will go to a classroom to use for their field trips and class functions instead of them doing a fund-raiser like selling candy,” Carranza explained.

The classroom to benefit from this is yet to be selected.

Several big-ticket raffle items will be given away as usual. The grand prize is jewelry designed by New York Diamonds in Manteca. Second and third prizes will be teeth whitening by Manteca dentist Pamela Andrews, and a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted quilt with a St. Anthony School theme made by Annie Borrelli whose children and grandchildren have attended or are attending the school.

Tickets to the luncheon are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children. The raffle tickets are donated this year by Ted and Rita Simas from Simas Insurance, Nunes said. The luncheon tickets were donated by Sadie’s Salon.

Tickets can be purchased at the school office on Fremont Street, corner Sutter Street. Additional details can be obtained by calling the school office at 823-4513, DeAnna Nunes at 992-2843, or Jennifer  Carranza at 479-4617.