‘Magic of Christmas’ Features 25 Years of Holiday Magic; NVCSS Sings Praises of Ruth Duclos, One Extraordinary Volunteer

This is a magical time of year. Shorter days and cooler weather prompts autumn leaves to show their brilliant colors. Fireplaces crackle with an amber glow following Thanksgiving feasts.

And on Thurs,  Dec. 6 Northern Valley Catholic Social Service will celebrate the silver anniversary of its annual holiday gala, Magic of Christmas at the Holiday Inn in Redding. For NVCSS, the Magic of Christmas is a time of  joy, reconnection and generosity.

“The event is the beginning of the Christmas Season,” said Marilyn Medley, former committee member and a NVCSS Board Member who helped start the event in the agency’s formative years in the ’80s.

As with most successful fundraisers, it is the dedication of the event’s volunteer steering committee that has made the Magic of Christmas sparkle year after year. Though she’s quick to downplay her role, one person – Ruth Duclos – has had a consistent and lasting volunteer presence since the event’s inception.

“The Magic of Christmas is Ruth Duclos”, said John Kenny, a longtime NVCSS board member. “The first year it was all ‘anonymous’ donations, but really, it was Ruth Duclos.”

Duclos, who is celebrating her 25th year with the event, takes pride in finding unique nativity scenes, and encouraging home-made items and baked goods to make each year’s auction extra special. For her, the thrill is in the hunt.

Her husband, Russ, says with a smile, “Ruthie is an Olympic shopper all year long.”

It  has been well-known over the past 25 years of auctions that if you want to find Ruth Duclos the day after Christmas, just look to any number of local shops and department stores where she and fellow committee member, Margaret Mygrant, form a shopping “dynamic duo” seeking seasonal items on sale with the goal of getting an early start on the following year’s auction.

And yet Ruth is insistent that the event has lasted this long, not only because of her, but due to the strength of the committee as a whole and the importance of the cause.

Pictured from left to right: Peggy Kenny, Vickie Wilkinson, Kris Flinn, Tina Martinez, Doris Blomquist, Ruth Duclos, Mary Holpuch, Sylvia Hatten, Dave Gasman, Allan Richardson, Amelia Ward, Beckie Richardson
Not pictured: Candy Balma, Kate Gasman, Shannon Griffey, Margaret Mygrant, Sid Nobles

“People have stuck with us all these years because we have a unique and interesting auction and the community sees the impact the agency has for so many people in need,” Duclos said.

Proceeds from the event benefit Shasta County Youth Programs of NVCSS, which includes mental health counseling, Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting (TAPP), and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs.

John Kenny is quick to recognize the significance of the event to NVCSS.

“It’s a major contributor to the agency each year,” Kenny said. “We couldn’t do what we do as well as we do it without the support of the Magic of Christmas.”


What: Magic of Christmas – Dinner, no-host cocktails, live and silent auctions

When: Thursday, December 6

Where: The Holiday Inn on Hilltop Drive in Redding.

Cost:  Tickets for the dinner cost $75 each, $40 of which is considered a tax-deductible donation. Magic of Christmas proceeds benefit NVCSS Shasta County youth programs including: CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Teen Services and Youth Counseling.

Schedule: No-host cocktails—5:30 p.m.; Silent Auction—5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Dinner (includes Hanger de Boeuf)—6:30 p.m.; Live auction begins at approximately 7:30 p.m.

For information on how to attend  or support the Magic of Christmas, please contact Meghan Anderson in the NVCSS Development Department. She can be reached at (530)247-3372 manderson@nvcss.org.

Information from a NVCSS press release by Jake Mangas.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Tammy D says:

    Congratulations Ruth! I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth Duclos at Newcomers back in 1972. She is a great gal, and a super crafter. Many fond memories of early days in Redding!

  2. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    How blessed we are in this town to have these kinds of citizens. Thank you, Ruth and thank you to all of Ruth's "elves."