Your Town, Nov. 15, 2009

It’s Nov. 15 and I can’t decide whether to shop for Christmas presents or shop for the groceries I need for Thanksgiving.

Have you started your list(s) yet?

Here’s an alternative idea for Christmas shoppers looking for meaningful, nonmaterial gifts to honor friends, family and associates while helping people that are facing severe crises locally and throughout the world.

The 19th annual Alternative Christmas Fair will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 22 at St. Joseph Parish Hall, Third Street and White Avenue.

Instead of buying the usual shirt, tie, CD or kitchen gadget for the hard-to-buy-for relative, shoppers can browse displays of 55 projects that represent nonprofit agencies while learning more about the good work being done to help people out of poverty and help protect our planet.

How does alternative gift giving work? Shoppers choose gifts such as helping a local veteran make the transition from being homeless, or purchasing training for a family in Haiti on how to turn their trash into cash.

Local nonprofits participating include Homeward Bound Homeless Shelter, the Community Food Bank, the Counseling and Education Center and Catholic Outreach (a complete list of projects that will be represented is online at

For each donation given in support of one of these projects, the shopper receives a custom gift card for the recipient, informing them about the gift given in their honor.

Hand-made crafts by artisans of developing countries will be on hand as well as Fair Trade coffees, teas and chocolates.

Anyone not able to attend the fair can purchase alternative gifts until Dec. 15 or by calling 243-0136 or visiting

Stuff the Red Dodge Ram Truck is a benefit for Mesa County senior citizens and will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Nov. 23 at the office of Mars Trucking, 12th Street and Orchard Avenue.

Donations of canned or boxed nonperishable food, personal hygiene toiletries, clothing such as pajamas, robes, slippers, underwear, socks, sweaters and blankets, as well as household cleaning supplies and pet food will be accepted.


The Grand Junction Geological Society’s joint meeting with the Mesa State Geology Club is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the science lab at Saccomanno Lecture Hall, Mesa State College.

Vince Matthews, director of the Colorado Geological Survey, will speak on “The Global Scramble for Natural Resources, Their Potential Impact on Colorado.”

Guests are welcome. Call 242-9062 for more information.


Union Pacific Employee Club No. 81, formerly Rio Grande Vets Club, will have its Thanksgiving and retirement dinner Nov. 22 at the Masonic Center, 2400 Consistory Court.

Doors will open at noon and serving begins at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 at the Rio Grande Credit Union or at the door. Children under age 12 eat free.

Take a canned food donation.

An RSVP is appreciated but not necessary — e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 242-7028.


In some hot water, or just need some advice?

The Mesa County Bar Association is offering its Call-A-Lawyer Night from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

If you have a legal question, call 256-4001 during those hours and discuss your question with an attorney at no charge. The event is offered on the third Thursday of every other month as a public service (the next one will be Jan. 21)

It is suggested that you call after 8 p.m. to get through quicker.


The Redlands Lions Club is making preparations for its annual chili supper and cake raffle from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Redlands Middle School cafeteria, 2200 Broadway.

The supper will include your choice of chili or potato soup, tortillas and condiments. Soft drinks and cake by the slice can be purchased separately.

Cost is $5 for adults and $4 for ages 7-11. Under age 7 is free. Tickets can be purchased from club members or at the door.

Proceeds benefit the club’s various charitable projects.


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