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Ladies of Priscilla Circle of the Martinez Congregational Church, from the left, Jackie Heath, Teresa Benson, Carol Baier and Betty Holt are holding some of the baby items collected for their annual baby shower contribution to the Newborn Layette Project of Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez

Our Diablo Valley hills are green again, just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Walnut Creek Elks

The Walnut Creek Elks #1811 past exalted rulers will be cooking their famous corned beef and cabbage dinner with all the trimmings and serving cocktails at 6 p.m. St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, March 17, at the Elks lodge, 1475 Creekside Drive, in Walnut Creek.

Reserve your "all-you-can-eat" $16 dinner by calling 925-935-1811.

The Elk of the Year for 2012-2013 will be announced that evening by Exalted Ruler Steve Glazier.

The Elks will be honoring two students from Samuel Merritt University studying occupational therapy, physical therapy or doctor of physical therapy.

Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship over two years to help with their studies.

Save the dates! Exalted Ruler Alush Nushi and his officers for lodge year 2013-2014 will be installed at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

Tracey Nushi will preside over the Ladies of the Elks.

The Elks Easter Brunch will be held at 11 a.m. March 31.

CCRMC projects

The Contra Costa Regional Medical Center volunteers and Auxiliary are a busy bunch.

  • The Newborn Layette Project of the CCRMC in Martinez is the signature project of the Auxiliary.

    Ladies of Priscilla Circle of the Martinez Congregational Church recently held their 15th annual baby shower to collect donations for the layettes that new mothers will receive.

    Each contains a receiving blanket, sleepers, onesie and a hat.

    "All donations are appreciated and used,' says Deloris McDonald, publicity chairman.

  • The annual Auxiliary Easter Bazaar at the Regional Medical Center will feature a giant gift shop sale and a homemade baked goods from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 20, in the hospital lobby, 2500 Alhambra Ave. in Martinez.

    For more information, call Linda Waxman, chairman, at 925-370-5818.

  • Volunteers are always welcome. There are opportunities in patient services, gift shop, or at the information desk. Call Rhonda Smith, volunteer coordinator, at 925-370-5440 for more information.

  • And if you have magazines and paperback books that you have already read, consider dropping them off at the medical center gift shop or information desk for the facility's 14 waiting rooms. Call 925-370-5818.

    We Care 'Chats'

    We Care Services for Children has received a $10,000 grant from the George H. Sandy Foundation to fund its "We Chat" speech and language preschool program.

    We Care, based in Concord, is a private, nonprofit agency devoted to serving children from birth to age 6 and their families in Contra Costa County, and believes that early intervention and child development are critical to ensure that children are equipped to start school and learn.

    To register a child or for additional information about We Care Services for Children, at 2191 Kirker Pass Road in Concord, contact Darcie Azzolini at 925-671-0777, ext. 226 or visit www.wecarechildren.org.

    Senior Expo

    The largest senior citizen-related event in Contra Costa County history, the East Bay Senior Resource Expo, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 22, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glen Drive in Concord. The event, presented by the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, is free and open to the public.

    The expo addresses the needs of the aging population by providing an educational trade show for seniors and their families. There will be a fashion show, craft fair, AAA travel movies and free blood pressure and balance tests.

    For more information, contact the Concord Chamber of Commerce at 925-685-1181 or email grigley@concordchamber.com.

    County's origins

    Contra Costa County's history is a microcosm of state history.

    "Contra Costa County: More than the Opposite Coast" exhibit reflects information about our original Indian tribes, Spanish exploration, Rancho era and the Gold Rush population explosion.

    Residents can enjoy the new exhibit and visit the Contra Costa County Historical Society from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at their new location, 724 Escobar St. in Martinez.

    Save the date of April 20, for the grand opening of the History Center's new home, featuring a ribbon cutting, children's activities and tours of the facility.

    Be there for Earth Day

    Volunteers are needed in advance to plan activities and prepare for Earth Day and the five-year open house celebration of the Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden, from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday April 21, at 1 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill.

    Volunteers are needed to help set up, welcome visitors, serve refreshments, help on a tour of a section of the garden, give a talk, lead other volunteers, and take down for the event. Visit http://phig.webs.com or call 925-482-6670.

    'Toast to Tutoring'

    The Buena Vista Auxiliary is hosting the annual "A Toast to Tutoring" benefit to raise funds for the Buena Vista Tutorial Program, an early-intervention literacy program for elementary schoolchildren in Contra Costa County.

    The event will feature wine and beer tasting, seated dinner and silent and live auctions from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Round Hill Road in Alamo.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.atoasttotutoring.org.

    The Buena Vista Auxiliary is celebrating 20 years of helping more than 3,600 children thrive in this program. The group is also celebrating 25 years of community service as part of Assistance League of Diablo Valley, a Walnut-Creek-based nonprofit, member volunteer organization dedicated to improving lives in the community through hands-on programs.

    Thanks to the sponsors of the event, including the Hansen Family and Audi San Francisco; Larry and Janelle Klar; Mark Vicencio; Lowrey Thomas, LLC; and Brett Mortensen from B. Allen Jewelers.

    'No scurvy'

    Concord-Diablo Rotary's Picker Squadron led by the 'E' Wing, comprised of Richard Eber, Eric Maldonado and Edi Birsan gleaned 1,026 pounds of fruit for food pantries and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in February.

    "There will be no scurvy in Concord" remains the motto of the squadron.

    To donate to the Rotary group, contact Edi Birsan at 925-798-3537 or email EdiBirsan@astound.net.

    Burglary at CFE

    The "Christmas For Everyone" warehouse was burglarized last week. Everything was taken, including tables, chairs and dishware used to provide a Christmas dinner for the community each year in Concord.

    Director Mary Perez and friends will do what they can do to make sure the program continues.

    To find out how you can help, visit www.christmasforeveryone.com.

    "Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Email goodneighbors@bayareanewsgroup.com.