It's not all about golf in Blackhawk Country Club's Senior Men's Golf Group. These men are the coordinators, along with Blackhawk Country Club and the Blackhawk Homeowners Association, of a Patriot's Day collection of funds to help support wounded and disabled military veterans. This year's effort raised $36,800, bringing the total for the two-year effort in excess of $60,000, said Jerry Nowicki, president of the golf group.

John Purvis, president-elect, organized 28 volunteer seniors, most of them veterans, to staff the gates and collect funds during Labor Day weekend, and Hank Schultzel, another member of the group and vice president of the Blackhawk Homeowners Association's board of directors, organized the distribution of literature and pledge cards.

Nowicki said Mike Conklin, chair and CEO of Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation of San Ramon, spoke to the golf group last week. Sentinels of Freedom connects permanently disabled veterans with caring community volunteers who pool their resources to provide four years of housing, an accessible vehicle, a suitable job and ongoing community support and self-sufficiency services, according to their website (www.sentinelsoffreedom.org/sof_rw/sof.cfm?nlvl1=5&;nlvl2=113).


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Conklin told them about the latest "sentinel," a double amputee, who's been brought to San Ramon for assistance and support. Nowicki said that Conklin saw a lot of hope in this young man's eyes when he met him in a veterans' hospital. He's enrolled in classes at Diablo Valley College and is in the process of receiving new prostheses at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and arrangements have been made for him to receive free rent, donated by Shapell Homes. He has also indicated he'd like to learn to play golf, which is where Blackhawk golfers can really step in.

"We're kind of wrapping our arms around this veteran," said Nowicki. "That's what this is all about. We're meeting with him in the near-future, and Tim Burr (director of golf at Blackhawk Country Club) has volunteered to give him free golf lessons. The war is winding down, but our goal is to continue this support of our veterans and wounded warriors."

Blackhawk's 25th annual food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano counties took place on Tuesday. Tax-deductible checks payable to "Food Bank of CC&S" can still be sent in to assist the 149,000 residents in our community who receive help each month from the food bank. For further information, visit www.foodbankccs.org; checks can be mailed to Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, P.O. Box 6324, Concord, 94524.

Join in "A Christmas Fantasy" on Sunday as the 80-piece, all-volunteer Danville Community Band presents a program of holiday music, including such tunes as "Secret Agent Santa," "The Eighth Candle" and Holst's "Winter Suite." The band is led by Robert Calonico, director, Lawrence Anderson, founding director, and Teri Musiel, assistant director. Guest vocalist Katie Robinson will also perform. This free annual family event begins at 3 p.m. at East Bay Fellowship, 2615 Camino Tassajara, Danville. For additional information, visit www.danvilleband.org.

Contact Georgia Lambert at around- danville@yahoo.com.