It's not too late to help promote and honor philanthropy in Contra Costa County by submitting your nominations to the Contra Costa Council's Second annual Contra Costa Philanthropy Awards program by Friday, Aug. 31.
The nomination form can be filed online at www.contracostacouncil.com.
The Contra Costa Philanthropy Awards program recognizes individuals, businesses and service organizations that have made significant contributions of time, leadership and financial support to benefit Contra Costa residents.
Eight award categories include outstanding corporate philanthropist (small, medium and large companies); outstanding philanthropist; outstanding foundation or community grant maker; outstanding collaborative project; volunteer of the year; and lifetime achievement.
Organizations may nominate themselves for an award, but must have a letter of support from a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. A nonprofit organization may make multiple nominations. Nominees do not have to be members of the Contra Costa Council.
A panel, representing all sectors of the community and government, will select the recipients.
A special breakfast honoring award winners will be held at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hilton Concord Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd. Keynote speaker will be Elaine Taylor, president of The Taylor Family Foundation.
The presenting sponsor of the program is Wells
The council is a private sector, public policy organization with a membership that includes business, government, education and labor. Its mission is to provide advocacy on public policy issues affecting the economic vitality and quality of life in Contra Costa County and the region. For more information, visit www.contracostacouncil.com.
AAUW's Festa Italiana
The 14th annual Festa Italiana, sponsored by the Pleasant Hill—Martinez Branch of the American Association of University Women, is a delightful way to spend a late September afternoon among friends and neighbors on the grounds of the Viano Winery in Martinez.
Festa Italiana will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the winery, 150 Morello Ave. in Martinez. Tickets are $35.
Proceeds from the event support the AAUW's academic scholarships for women based on achievement and need.
Alana MacDonald, event committee chairwoman, is coordinating the wine tasting and dinner, along with committee members.
"This event sells out almost every year, so buy your ticket soon!" said Janice Walker, one of the co-presidents of the club.
Make reservations for a seat or table before Sept. 22, by contacting Marilyn Thelen at 925-228-2600 or Joy Barden at 925-935-7188.
Following the wine tasting and appetizers will be a lasagna dinner and homemade biscotti dessert accompanied by the vitner's table wines -- with a complimentary glass -- and Italian music.
Teacher to be honored
There are more than 7,942 teachers educating approximately 169,000 students in Contra Costa County's public schools.
To recognize their efforts and bring much deserved honor to the teaching profession, participating school districts in the county recently named their teachers of the year (TOY) representatives.
The 2012-2013 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year finalists are Terryl Miller, Moraga School District, Los Perales Elementary; Mona Keeler, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Iron Horse Middle School; and Dr. Rona Zollinger, with 14 years of teaching experience, the past 11 at Martinez Unified School District's Vicente Martinez High School.
For the past five years, the Danville A.M. Toastmasters club has been serving as coach for the TOY finalists, as they prepare their speeches. This year, the topic is, "What Have I Learned From my Students."
This year's 21 nominees represent 17 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).
Congratulations to Vanesa Arreola-Navarro, Foothill Elementary; Dan Auza, Carquinez Middle; Michael Buchel, Acalanes High; Kim Burris, Orinda Union School District; Erin Carson, Indian Valley Elementary; Marina Chinchilla, Knightsen Elementary; Kathy DeRenzi, Quail Run Elementary; Rochelle Gardiner, Vintage Parkway Elementary; Heather Harper, Freedom High; Joshua Hastings, Richmond High; William Hyres, Golden Gate Community School; Mona Keeler, Iron Horse Middle; Kevin Lindell, Excelsior Middle; Cynthia McGrath, Los Medanos Community College; Terry Miller, Los Perales Elementary; Naomi Phillips, Edna Hill Middle; Mona Lisa Ricard, Sequoia Elementary; Tracey Singh-Poole, DeAnza High; Mette Thallaug, Burton Valley Elementary; Stacey Wickware, Dozier-Libbey Medical High and Dr. Rona Zollinger of Vincente Martinez High.
The winner will be announced at an awards dinner in September honoring each district's teacher of the year. Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., will serve as master of ceremonies.
CCTV will broadcast the event. More information is available at www.contracostatv.org.
Local business and community organizations generously donate classroom grants, services and other items to each of the district winners. Thank you Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Newspapers, Inc., Chevron, Comcast, Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Allegro Copy and Print, AT&T, Brandman University, C. Overaa and Company, Center REP/Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, ConocoPhillips, Festival Opera, George Miller Youth Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, KNN Public Finance, METRO 1 Credit Union, Shell Oil Products U.S./Martinez Refinery, USS POSCO Industries, ACSA Region 6, Broadway Plaza Shopping Center, CD Federal Credit Union, Dow Chemical Company, Keenan & Associates, Mechanics Bank, Mt. Diablo Recycling, Susan Stuart & Associates, Val and Patty Castro, Diablo Vista Retired Teachers' Association, Hilton Concord, Office Depot, Pleasant Hill Florist and Trinity Media, Inc.
KGO-TV guest speaker
The Clayton Valley Woman's Club will welcome special guest speaker ABC-7/KGO-TV news reporter Spencer Christian at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, at Alberta Way and Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord.
Christian will give a behind-the-scenes look at the TV news business as he speaks about some of his most interesting -- and sometimes dangerous -- assignments, as well as the fascinating people he has met over the years.
For further information, call Aleta at 925-672-9448, or visit the Clayton Valley Woman's Club website at www.claytonvalleywomansclub.org.
Publishing director Byron Parnell will present "How a Book Gets Published -- or Not" at the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club luncheon Saturday, Sept. 8, at Zio Fraedo's Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.
Sign-in is from 11:30 a.m. to noon, with lunch from noon to 12:45 p.m. The program is from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. Registration is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests.
Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church women's sewing group has made a variety of handmade items which have been donated to organizations in Oakland and Richmond.
There is baby clothing, bibs, blankets and caps, pajamas for homeless men, wheelchair bags, eyeglass cases and quilts.
And through Feed the Children, 300 dresses for little girls have also been sent to countries in Africa and South America.
The group meets on Mondays at the church, 1801 Lacassie Ave. in Walnut Creek. Call 925-935-1574 for more information.
Pleasant Hill history
"Pleasant Hill, California 1961—2011," is available for purchase at City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill. The cost is $20.
The 156-page book is a comprehensive history of the city since incorporation in 1961, and is filled with more than 200 photos and graphics of the people, places and events from the past 50 years in Pleasant Hill.
"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.