We hope you all enjoyed a glorious Diablo Valley summer and are looking forward to renewed activities this fall.
What can you do to help others this year? Keep reading "Good Neighbors" for great volunteer opportunities every Thursday, or read the column online at www.cctimes.com and scroll the "My Town" menu to your city. You can print, email or share it on social media by clicking "bookmark."
Child safety fair
The Concord Police Department is hosting a Back to School Child Safety Fair, sponsored by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Concord Police Station, 1350 Galindo St. Families are welcome.
Child identification fingerprinting kits and free car seat installations and inspections will be available.
Representatives from state, local and federal programs will be on site to provide bike and road safety information, and talking car, "Mr. Beeps," will surely fascinate the kids.
Call DeSaulnier's district office at 925-942-6082 for more information.
Concord retired nurse Bobbie Call met teenager Justin Fowler as a fellow patient at the John Muir Pulmonary Rehab facility in Concord. Justin is recovering from a double lung transplant performed in February at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.
Justin was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis. His parents, Robert and Tina Fowler, have engaged an army of volunteers to help raise funds to offset expenses mounting up after the transplant. One of these army generals is Call.
Bobbie is recovering from health issues of her own, and became very fond of Justin during their pulmonary therapy sessions. Bobbie is holding a benefit potluck in her Concord home at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. She has enlisted the aid of her Beta Sigma Phi sisters from Preceptor Kappa Sigma Chapter in Concord. Supporting hostess and chapter president Bobbie Call are Gloria Denton, Bobbie Fritz, Carleen Hullel, Patsy Nilsson and Nancy Tate. Iota Theta of Antioch chapter president Emily Silva and members Pam House, Linda Workman, Marilyn Fecklin, Rose Byrnes and Jennifer Sink have also offered their support.
Members of the staff at John Muir Health Pulmonary Rehab in Concord, led by coordinator and founder Lana Hilling, will be there to support her patients, Bobbie and Justin, who have also won her heart.
If you would like to help Justin by attending the event or making a donation, call Bobbie at 925-682-2474. Bobbie and her husband, Frank, will be delighted to talk to you. My husband, Tom, and I will see you there.
Projects or programs in or serving Martinez residents may apply for a financial grant from the Martinez Community Foundation. Applications must be received by Friday, Sept. 15.
The foundation has provided more than $530,000 in grants to projects in community service, cultural and community celebrations, economic development, education and the environment.
"We are striving to leave a legacy. The foundation is committed to helping the Martinez community become even better through support of projects and programs in the focus areas," said Martinez Community Foundation board president Stuart M. McCullough. "The MCF board considers carefully how to distribute the funds so as to provide benefit to the greatest number of people, and have a lasting effect."
The foundation does not award grants to individuals, to for-profit organizations, new or startup organizations, nor may grants be used for research, administrative or operating expenses, or for sectarian religious functions. Not-for-profit organizations must have current federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.
Applications may be obtained by calling the foundation at 925-372-6286 or by writing to: Martinez Community Foundation, P.O. Box 789, Martinez, CA 94553, or by downloading them from the MCF website at www.martinezcommunityfoundation.org.
Kops for Kids golfing
The Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic will be held Monday, Sept. 16, at the beautiful Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive in Clayton.
Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the awards reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. Green fees and cart, buffet brunch, prizes and awards, tee package and golf shirt, awards reception, and a no-host bar are included for $160 per golfer or $625 for a foursome.
Future Auto Center of Concord will provide an automobile for anyone who hits a hole in one.
Contra Costa Kops for Kids is an organization comprised of volunteer active and retired law enforcement personnel who strive to help prevent drug abuse, gang violence, and juvenile delinquency by mentoring at-risk youth.
The golf classic is the organization's primary fundraiser, and all proceeds will benefit their work with these vulnerable children.
Demand for Kops for Kids' services is on the rise in Contra Costa County, according to Dan Lawrence, former police chief for the city of Clayton and current president of Contra Costa Kops for Kids.
"We hope the proceeds from this event will help us meet our increasing demand for services," Lawrence said.
One of Kops for Kids most popular programs is the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) & Sports Clinics Program, which is offered at no cost to schools in Contra Costa County.
"The seminars teach students how to best use the one thing in life they can control -- their own attitude," said executive director Neil Stratton, a former captain of the Walnut Creek Police Department.
In 2011-2012, Kops for Kids awarded $10,000 in mentoring grants, and more than $120,000 have been given over the life of this program.
"The interaction between youth and law enforcement officials gives them the opportunity to see us as real human beings who can be there in their time," said Clayton Police Chief Chris Thorsen.
For more information on the 2013 Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic, visit www.contracostakopsforkids.org or call 925-827-1998.
For Loaves & Fishes
Food For Thought, a garden party celebrating Loaves & Fishes' 30 years of service to Contra Costa County, was held in the beautiful gardens of Hacienda De Las Flores in Moraga.
A record $50,000 was raised for Loaves & Fishes. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, was the guest of honor. Gourmet delights were presented by local chefs representing Postino, Chevalier, Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Rustic Tavern, Springloaf Catering, Lark Creek, Corner's Tavern and Orinda Country Club.
Generations in Jazz serenaded the crowd as guests enjoyed a selection of wine and donated Pyramid Brewing Company of Walnut Creek beer. Wells Fargo, the premier sponsor, and event committee chair and board member, Amy Dreyer, are to be congratulated for this successful event.
Special needs classes
Social time and play group classes will be offered at the Lafayette Community Center this fall for autistic and special needs children.
Registration has already begun, so save your space.
Weekly classes are offered for children ages 2-5, 6-9 and 10-14 that promote social integration and friendship-making.
Classes will rotate age-appropriate weekly themes and offer opportunities to talk with trained autism specialists and program facilitators.
Look for more information about this pilot program facilitated by The Friend Tree Autism Staff at https://www.lafayetterec.org/.
"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, notices of awards and other submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.