Among the steady presence of the boisterous barks and pretty purrs is another constant: the Friends of the Animal Services.

Founded in 1979, the group formed to help support the city-run facility on L Street. Its key goal, of course, is to see that animals find a good home.

Right now, the Friends are set to host its annual Valentine Celebration. This year it runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the shelter. (The group also hosts the big Black Cat Ball fundraiser in October.) The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has a seemingly endless list of what they do for the shelter, including funding spay-and-neuter costs, helping with pet adoptions, hosting shelter events, and donating "thousands of dollars for special medical assistance for our shelter animals," according to its website.

The group always welcomes donations of rugs, blankets, towels, pet food and old newspapers. Of course, monetary gifts are appreciated and can be sent to P.O. Box 1242, Antioch, CA 94509.

The group's ultimate goal is "to create a world where there are no more homeless pets." In addition to donations, the group is in constant need of volunteers, whose jobs vary and offer flexibility. The shelter, 300 L St., is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays. For more information, call 925-779-6989 (ext. 0) or visit www.friendsofanimalservices.org.


Advertisement

SMART ART: Get ready for colorful, creative and varied works when the ninth annual Art4Schools exhibit opens. Held at the Lynn House Gallery, the event runs Feb. 20-March 2, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 20.

The Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch organizes the annual show, which this year features student art from Antioch High, Deer Valley High and Dozier Libbey Medical High. This is a competitive exhibit, with prizes going to the top artists.

The series will also feature other Antioch schools including Fremont and Sutter elementaires from March 13-23; ENCORE Home Schooling on March 24 and 27; and Turner and Diablo Vista elementaries from May 15-25.

The program is sponsored by the foundation, Union Pacific Foundation, city of Antioch and Calpine /Supervisor Federal Glover. The Lynn House Gallery is at 809 West First St. in Antioch. Hours are 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free. For more info, call 925-325-9897 or email Diane@Art4Antioch.org.

HOW DOES MY GARDEN GROW?: Holy Rosary Church and Higgins Funeral Home continue to reap what they sow — and, all for the benefit of the community.

In the past year, there's been plenty of growth and action at the Antioch community garden on A Street.

According the garden's newsletter, Boy Scouts from several local packs have donated and built wheelchair-accessible planting tables, a brick pathway, fences and gates. Also on the premises is a meditation spot and storage shed.

To celebrate the bounty and joy, a "blessing of the garden and planting season" barbecue is set at 11:30 a.m. March 10.

According to coordinator Jeff McPeek, harvested goods have helped the local St. Vincent de Paul food bank. Among the goods have been farm fresh eggs (thanks to the resident chickens) and fresh honey, courtesy of the garden's bees.

To help on other projects, make a donation or to volunteer, call McPeek at 925-852-8384 or email jeffmcp@comcast.net.

Contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net.