Wearing silly musical Christmas hats and big grins, two seventh-graders at Charlotte Wood Middle School in Danville spent their winter vacation raising money for a cause close to their hearts. Jack Reed is the son of Rich and Kellee Reed, and Garrett Rivas is the son of Gil and Jo Ann Rivas.

"Filled with the holiday spirit and the energy of 13-year-old boys, they hatched a plan to buy baseball equipment for homeless children," said Kellee, Rich's mom, in an email. "Being baseball fans themselves, the idea of providing the opportunity to play baseball to kids who don't have much opportunity was meaningful and exciting to them."

Going door-to-door in Danville, the boys sang and danced, explaining to friends and neighbors that they were raising funds to provide baseball equipment to homeless children.

"Being neither musically nor vocally inclined, the show they put on was one of earnestness and enthusiasm," Kellee said. "Jack would come home with a Tupperware full of smashed dollar bills and an exhausted but happy grin on his face. I didn't pay much attention at first, but as they begged to go out day after day in the cold of December, I decided to weigh in on the adventure."


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When all was said and done, Jack and Garrett had collected some $650 to buy equipment. They had initially intended the equipment to go to the Raphael House Shelter in San Francisco, but when they contacted the shelter, they were told that the shelter could only use about $100 worth of gear. They recommended that the boys contact the Salisian Boys and Girls Club in Richmond, which eagerly accepted their offer of new baseball equipment. Big 5 gave the boys a 10 percent discount and they personally picked out every bat, ball, glove, mitt and helmet.

"The best part was getting to deliver the equipment to the homeless shelter and tour where these kids live," Jack told his mom. "At the Boys and Girls Club, we met foster kids who were so excited to see us. The staff there has invited us to help with their "Pitch, Hit and Run" event. We will be much better at that than singing!"

"It's been a little endeavor that keeps on giving," Kellee told me. "The homeless shelter is having a Spring Book Drive to give away books to people in the shelter or to former homeless families. The boys wrote an email that I distributed to family and friends and we've got about 500 books in our garage to donate. And they asked the boys to come back and read to the kids."

Musical hats will probably not be a runway item at the Blackhawk Museum Guild's fundraiser, Spring Fashions, beginning at 11 a.m. April 10 in the elegant ballroom of the Behring estate in Blackhawk. Fashions will be provided by Danville's Honey Bee Boutique, with the three-course lunch prepared by Scott's Restaurant. Piano accompaniment will be by Patti Leidecker.

Transportation to the Behring estate from the Eagle Ridge parking lot will be provided. Committee members include Wynne Dalley, chair, and Pat Behring, Linda Swofford, Dee Thompson and Joyce Tucker. All proceeds from the event, which is sold out, will benefit the museum and the Children's Education and Transportation Fund.

Town hall meetings: People with concerns about California's state budget have the opportunity to share their concerns and ideas for improving government budgeting, programs and tax systems at several town hall meetings sponsored by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, including one in Danville from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Veterans Memorial Building at 400 Hartz Ave. Other meetings are set in Dublin, Concord and Pittsburg. For details, call 925-942-6082. To RSVP, go to www.sen.ca.gov/1565/budgettownhallsmarch2013.

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