The Contra Costa County Chapter of Mocha Moms Inc., an 8-year-old organiztion of "a group of multi-cultural mothers who want to make time for themselves while still supporting their families," is kicking off a membership drive this month.

This is the time when prospective members are invited to join and current Mocha Moms are encouraged to renew their membership.

A kickoff gathering will be held 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Restaurante La Revolucion, 3190 Klose Way by the Hilltop Theatres in Richmond.

All participants will receive a free raffle ticket and goodie bag and can participate in "icebreaker" games as they meet the other moms.

The group welcomes women from Berkeley through Crockett to join and take part in its regular activities, including outings, coffee dates and playgroups.

"We are unique in that our group encourages membership even after your child has passed the typical 'playgroup' phase," said chapter President Timiza Johnson. "Many of our moms are now 'home alone,' and our children are entering school. We are a group for moms. Stay-at-home moms and working moms. We believe that mom support is never ending!"

To RSVP for the meetup, contact Mocha Moms at wccmochas@yahoo.com or 510-691-3078. Learn more at www.wccmm.org.


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DONATIONS OUT OF LEMONS: Lemonade stands are a time-tested business model for junior entrepreneurs. Chase Worthington, a 5-year-old Berkeley resident, followed just that course and learned not only about business, but philanthropy, as well.

Chase's mom, Jennifer Brodie Worthington, tells us that the family gave in to his desire for a stand just before school started, gathering 60 freshly squeezed lemons and six dozen cookies.

Chase made signs and chose Berkeley nonprofit organization A Better Way (www.abetterwayinc.net) to receive half the stand's proceeds, "because they help kids."

"We definitely used this as a learning opportunity and explained to him that other kids don't have the ability to have a lemonade stand, some don't have homes, some don't have parents, etc.," Mom writes. "He doesn't completely understand how money works, but he has enough of an idea and knows that you buy things with it and that if we donate to this organization, it will help kids."

The family networked with community groups and got an outpouring of support, as Chase's stand in front of the family's Channing Way home sold out of lemonade and cookies in under two hours.

"It became a great community party on the street, and it was a lot of fun," Mom notes.

The learning opportunity was set to continue Wednesday as Chase and family were invited to tour A Better Way on Adeline Street as the organization's way of thanking them for the $27 donation.

"We are so proud of him and are excited that A Better Way thinks it's great too and is willing to take the time," Mom concludes.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The group Self-Sustaining Communities (www.self-sustainingcommunities.org) and McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma have arranged another donation of 1,000 olive trees that will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Civic Center Farmers' Market in Richmond.

The distribution is hosted by the city's Environmental Initiatives Team, and a number of trees will be sent to community centers in Richmond for distribution to neighborhoods unable to attend the giveaway.

  • The organization Fix Our Ferals (fixourferals.org) was on pace to have spayed or neutered its 1,000th cat since it moved into a permanent home at a former furniture store space at 12226 San Pablo Ave. in Richmond, reports center volunteer George McRae of El Cerrito.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.