The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms are preparing to send holiday care packages to our troops deployed overseas and are seeking care package donations.

Donations may be delivered to A-1 Self Storage at 5296 Concord Blvd., at the corner of Ygnacio Valley Road, in Concord during regular office hours any day but Sunday and Wednesday.

Food, games and personal items are accepted, including beef jerky (no pork), tuna packets, canned chili or stew, small packets of trail mix, nuts and cookies, granola and protein bars, drink singles, microwave popcorn, mini cereal boxes, microwave macaroni and cheese, gum, mints, black knit caps, clothespins, disposable razors, toothbrushes, small toothpastes, sewing kits, eyeglass repair kits, AA batteries, pencils, word game and crossword books (no Sudoku), playing cards. For a complete list, visit http://www.ccbluestarmoms.org/PDFs/CarePackageFlyer.pdf.

Cash donations are also welcome, as each package requires $13.45 postage. Checks may be made payable to: Contra Costa Blue Star Moms, and mailed to P.O. Box 6379, Concord, CA 94524.

The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, and all donations are tax-deductible.

The Blue Star Moms are happy to send a holiday care package to any address they receive.

APO or FPO addresses should be sent to carepackageaddresses@ccbluestarmoms.org. Please include an end-of-deployment date. Contact Loretta Masnada with questions at 925-686-3944.

Our troops thank you, their families thank you, and most of all, their moms thank you!

Swimmers' cause


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Some 200 Bay Area swimmers and Olympians jumped off a Hornblower yacht under the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge last month to fight pediatric cancer.

Guided by a flotilla of kayaks, boats and jet skies they swam 1.5 miles to the beach at Crissy Field to raise funds for "Swim in the Bay to Fight Pediatric Cancer."

Swim Across America San Francisco has raised $1.5 million for Oakland Children's Hospital Center for Cancer Research, and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program in the last seven years. For more information, contact www.SwimAcrossAmerica.org/SF.

Autumn at Adobe

The Concord Historical Society will hold its fourth annual "Autumn at the Adobe," -- the original home of Don Salvio Pacheco, founder of Concord -- from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1870 Adobe St. in Concord.

Historical Society member Georgia Hoffmeister invites everyone to help them raise the funds necessary to preserve the historic Galindo House and to move the Masonic Temple to the Galindo property in the future.

Advance tickets to the afternoon of wine tasting are $30, which includes wine, soft drinks and appetizers. Tickets at the door are $35.

Advance tickets may be purchased by sending a check made payable to: Concord Historical Society, to Janet Bruno, 4033 Treat Blvd., Concord, CA 94518.

For an additional $10, those attending may test their tasting skills by participating in a special blind wine tasting, or $10 for a special craft beer, ale and lager tasting.

Operation School Bell

Volunteers for Operation School Bell, one of eight philanthropic programs of the Assistance League of Diablo Valley, recently sized 100 students at Meadow Homes Elementary School in Concord for a jacket, sweatshirt and two new school uniforms. The nationally acclaimed program provides needy students with clothing, with the help of Assistance League's corporate partners.

Wells Fargo provides both financial and hands-on commitments, and volunteers, led by team leader Sheri Colvin, helped with the recent effort.

Assistance League of Diablo Valley enjoys a 45-year history in the Contra Costa community. To learn more about its corporate partnerships, visit diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.

Thanks to all involved!

Gospel concert

Support deserving youth of Tanzania by attending a concert of contemporary Christian music from Africa performed by the New Life Band.

The band is a nonprofit ministry from Tanzania, and its mission is to reach out to young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ through music and drama, and to bring them together through camps and seminars.

The concert is at 7 p.m. Oct. 16, at Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St. in Concord.

The concert is free, but donations are most welcome.

CVWC on display

Stop by the Clayton Community Library during October to view the library's display case which will be devoted to the history and activities of the Clayton Valley Woman's Club, organized in 1973, notes Barbara Glass, in a news release.

Club members Aleta Huck, Arlene Lewandowski and Shirley Boyd assembled the display which includes a proclamation from the city of Concord, lists of donation and scholarship recipients, club charter and picture from Endeavor Hall, list of fundraisers, a letter from President Obama and a list of some of the club projects.

The Clayton Valley Woman's Club is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, International; the GFWC California Federation of Women's Clubs; and the GFWC Mt. Diablo District. For more information about the club, visit www.claytonvalleywomansclub.org.

Plant sale

Fall plant sale at The Ruth Bancroft Garden will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. There is free admission all day.

The fall sale features a selection of heirloom bearded iris rhizomes from Ruth's personal collection, new plants never before offered at the garden plant sale, and a repeat of the popular discount table -- 30 percent off selected plants.

Guitars not Guns

The founders of Guitars not Guns are Ray and Louise Nelson. They became foster parents in 1992 and it was through their experience with foster children that Ray decided to provide foster kids with guitars and lessons.

He began asking friends and strangers for their used guitars to pass along to foster kids. This act of kindness became his passion and as a result there are classrooms across the United States and Canada.

Guitars and lessons are provided to foster children, at-risk youth and other deserving children 8-18, to engage their creative potential in a classroom setting with qualified teachers.

No child is turned away for lack of funds. Eight weeks of one-hour classes are held in the East Contra Costa County area. To donate guitars and support the organization, visit http://www.guitarsnotguns.org.

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