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Feast of Fools a success
Music, wine, hors d'oeuvres and conversation mixed on the grounds of the Clinton Whitmore Mansion Thursday evening for a successful first annual Feast of the Fools.

The $30-per-person fundraiser put on by the Ceres and Central Valley high schools booster clubs generated $4,500 in ticket sales. The proceeds will be spent on activities, athletics, and scholarship programs at both schools.

The fundraiser pre-sold 150 tickets with room for another 200.

A total of six wineries and two breweries had their products for tasting at the three-hour affair starting from 5:30 p.m.

Music was provided by the Valley Rhythm Section.

"I heard from everyone that it was time for a fun event like this," said Nicole Chapman, learning director of Central Valley High School. "They liked the classiness of the event, that it was elegant and the perfect weather. Everybody enjoyed sitting around and visiting with people they hadn't visited with in quite a while."

Nancy and Cary Pope, owners of the mansion, donated the use of the property and provided the appetizers at a minimal cost.

"We plan on making this an annual spring fundraiser," said Chapman. The spring fundraiser came on the heels of the Medieval Nights fall fundraiser held at the Diamond Bar Arena in Ceres. The event proved successful, earning nearly $20,000 and ensuring that it will be an annual event as well.

"It was a different kind of fundraiser," said Chapman. "The price was different, the time was different and on a Thursday of a holiday weekend. We only had a month to sell the tickets so we were actually pleased."

The event said ideas are afloat to perhaps recruit a corporate sponsor for next year and push ticket sales a little earlier. Since the evening grew cold, a date in May next year might work better, Chapman said.

Dignitaries at the event included Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, Vice Mayor Ken Lane, and Sheriff Adam Christianson.

Decorations at the event included floral arrangements made by Central Valley High School floriculture students. They were taken home by those leaving a little extra donation to the worthy causes.