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Three Orinda mothers of children struggling with Crohn s Disease held a Mardi Gras benefit last month to raise funds for the MAP vaccine, which fights the bacteria that contributes to Crohn s Disease. Annabelle Hall, left, and Christine Pitt joined Dina Fiatarone in welcoming 170 supporters from all over the East Bay to this very successful event to bring awareness and hope to many families whose members suffer from this debilitating disease. Email Annabelle Hall at ahallgout@sbcglobal.net or call 925-258-9559 for more information about the MAP vaccine.

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors established the Contra Costa Women's Hall of Fame in 1997, under the sponsorship of Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier and the Women's Advisory Committee, now known as the Contra Costa Commission for Women, to acknowledge exceptional women who have enhanced life in Contra Costa County through their careers and volunteer activities.

Honorees have made a difference through their efforts toward equity, innovation, service or achievement in commerce or community outreach.

The biannual Women's Hall of Fame is held in March to coincide with Women's History Month.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive, in Concord.

Keynote speaker is Elmy Bermejo, regional representative for the Secretary of Labor in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Roberta Gonzales of KPIX will emcee. Entertainment will be provided by Diablo Chorus.

The 2016 Women's Hall of Fame nominees for "Women Creating Community" are Donna Kerger, Lill Pierce, Mary Rocha, Qwivander Smith and Synitha Walker.

The nominees for "Women Improving Health" are Lucinda Bazile and Dr. Barbara Bunn McCullough.

Nominees for "Women Demonstrating Leadership" are Menbere Aklilu, Elena Sfreddo Bicker and Joan Buchanan.

Diane Burgis has been nominated for "Women Improving the Environment," and Diane Gilfether has been nominated for "Women Contributing to the Arts."


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Thank you all for your community service.

Tickets cost $75. Contact Phyllis Petrillo Gordon by email at flashfg@aol.com, or call 925-207-6797 for ticket information.

Proceeds will benefit nonprofit Friends of the Commission. Visit womenscommission.com for more information.

MCF applications

Projects or programs that are located in, or which primarily serve Martinez and its residents are encouraged to submit grant applications to the Martinez Community Foundation (MCF) board of directors.

Applications must be received by March 15.

The foundation has provided nearly $610,000 in grants to projects and programs that benefit the community and the people who live and work in Martinez in community services, cultural and community celebrations, economic development, education and the environment.

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.

"The foundation is committed to helping Martinez become a better community for residents and businesses, as well as for the nonprofit organizations that serve the people who live here," said Stuart M. McCullough, MCF board president.

The MCF board awarded nearly $20,00 in grants in 2015 to programs and projects, including the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Diablo Valley, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Loaves and Fishes, and Martinez Early Childhood Center.

Call 925-372-6286, write Martinez Community Foundation, P.O. Box 789, Martinez, CA 94553, or visit www.martinezcommunityfoundation.org for an application.

For Crisis Nursery

Play Bunco from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, on behalf of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, at Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St. in Concord.

Tickets are $30 and include lunch and prizes. Visit www.bayareacrisisnursery.org for more information.

Bay Area Crisis Nursery provides temporary residential care for children from families dealing with stress, to give parents time to reorganize so children do not suffer from neglect or abuse. The Crisis Nursery receives no federal, state or local government funding.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life Walk/Run organizers invite cancer survivors and caregivers in the Pleasant Hill area to attend a free informational meeting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.

Tea and cookies will be served at this positive and hopeful gathering for those in our community who have been affected by cancer.

Relay For Life is a community event to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer.

Participants of all ages and abilities will walk or run a short track in stages beginning with a music-filled and energetic cheering lap for cancer survivors at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Pleasant Hill Middle School, 1 Santa Barbara Road.

The last lap is lighted by luminaria to honor those who have died from cancer. For more information, contact Judi Richardson at 925-957-9991 or judiirich@comcast.net, or visit www.relayforlife.org/pleasanthillca.

Clayton woman's club

The Clayton Valley Woman's Club will welcome speaker Bette Felton at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 8, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, in Clayton.

Felton will discuss classes available for seniors over 55 years of age through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal State East Bay Concord.

Call Sheila at 925-672-7947 for registration information.

Stand Down

Stand down is the term used during war to describe the practice of removing combat troops from the field and taking care of their basic needs in a safe area.

Serving the women and men who have served our nation is the primary goal of East Bay Stand Down, now in the planning stages for this important and very appreciated event to be held Sept. 8-11, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

The nine-county homeless and at-risk military veterans will connect with services ranging from medical, dental and mental health care to emergency, transitional and permanent housing; and assistance with ID/drivers licenses; court services and legal aid; to providing clothing, food, showers and haircuts and other services and resources at the biannual event.

If you would like to help organize or volunteer for the event, attend an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at Hillcrest Congregational Church Fellowship Hall, 404 Gregory Lane, in Pleasant Hill.

Visit www.eastbaystanddown.org for more information.

The Diablo Valley Veterans Foundation is registered with employers, and employees may participate through their company, obtaining more information from their Human Resources Department.

Individual contributions may be directed to the Diablo Valley Veterans Foundation - EBSD and mailed to P.O. Box 2133, Danville, CA 94526.

Organizations and corporations may donate services and equipment. Sponsorships are available for individuals, nonprofit organizations and companies, and placards with individual names or memorialized names can be placed in front of one of the tents at the event. There are a limited number of co-sponsors of East Bay Stand Down, or being a major donor.

Individuals, organizations and companies can purchase, plan, prepare, serve and share a meal with the participating veterans and the other volunteers. Be sure to wear something to let the people know whom you represent. Contact Jerry Yahiro at jyahiro@aol.com to arrange your sponsorship.

If you are an attorney/tax expert, EBSD needs your help to offer veterans advice and guidance in resolving legal problems. Contact Ron Hyde at shundahai@att.net to volunteer your services.

Volunteers must be at least 13 years old. All volunteers under 16 must be under the constant supervision of an on-site responsible adult when at the Stand Down event.

"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, notices of awards, and other submissions to goodneighbors@bayareanewsgroup.com.