El Cerrito's Recreation Department hosts a variety of programs year-round for young people, over the summer and during and after school. These include extended care after-school camps at local elementary schools, an after-school homework and activity program at Portola Middle School and a new program at Portola offering noontime activities.
The department provides scholarships for families that can't afford the offerings, and the scholarships, in turn, are made possible by community fundraisers, such as the recent liquidation sale at the Tradeway Furniture warehouse.
Tradeway, a sponsor of the event since its inception, was lost as a backer when the city bought the warehouse and the business closed. But last week's sale brought in about $4,000 for the David Hunter Memorial Youth Scholarship Fund.
The year's biggest scholarship fundraiser is the annual Dynamo Open Scramble, taking place Sept. 14 at Mira Vista Country Club.
The 2008 tournament attracted more than 100 players and raised more than $8,000, which goes to the scholarship fund and the city's Open House Senior Center.
But as the economy remains tight, player sign-ups and sponsorships for the 13th annual tournament have not been up to past years.
"Without this support, many programs that benefit seniors and children in El Cerrito would not be possible," said city Recreation Director Monica Kortz. "The economy being what it is right now, people are asking for lots of scholarships to be able to participate in many of our programs. This is the fund we draw from, whether for young or old."
Spots are still available for the scramble, which is open to all levels of play. The entry fee is $135, which includes a tournament shirt, gift, lunch, snacks and golf cart, as well as prizes for the winners. Players should sign up no later than Sept. 10.
To register or get more details, go to the Recreation Department office at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane in El Cerrito, or call 510-559-7005.
ENVIRONMENTALIST TO BE HONORED: Jannat Muhammad of Neighborhood House of North Richmond will be one of the recipients at "Salute to Sisterhood," a Sept. 10 award reception being held by Black Women Organized for Political Action.
The event at the Lake Merritt Sailboat House in Oakland will spotlight 10 African-American women who will be honored as environmental champions. Muhammad has been an advocate for her community for more than 30 years, and in the past decade has focused on air pollution in neighborhoods afflicted by proximity to train and truck traffic and industrial uses. She is a member of the Healthy Neighborhoods Project and helped form the Asthma and Diesel Coalition to work with bus and trucking firms to reduce the output of diesel pollution in the region.
For tickets or details about the awards gala, call 510-763-9623 or visit salute2sisterhood09.eventbrite.com/
ACADEMIA: Viehai Saeyang and Breanna Sharp, both seniors at John Swett High School in Crockett, have been awarded scholarships of $200 each from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Auxiliary 2798.
Although the VFW post relocated last year from Rodeo to Pinole, it is continuing its tradition of giving scholarships to students from the John Swett Unified School District. The tradition started 43 years ago, when Virginia Thompson was the first recipient.
IN THE MILITARY: Air Force Airman Manuel R. Delgado, a 2003 graduate of El Cerrito High School, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate degree in applied science through the Community College of the Air Force. He is the son of Bobbie Jo Delgado and Ted Colbert of Richmond.
Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or email@example.com.