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Across Central Contra Costa County, individuals and organizations establish friendships and partnerships to better our communities and help families who need assistance. Contributions come in many forms -- event fundraisers, special sales, gifts of time and more.

Building friendship

Diablo Woodworkers Club volunteers from Concord, Walnut Creek, Martinez, Lafayette and Orinda are building Adirondack chairs for the Okizu recreational and family camp that supports children with cancer and their families.

Woodworker and team leader Tim Killen learned of this need from his grandson, a previous leukemia patient. The large veranda of the lodge had limited seating for patients or visitors.

Jim Lemke, one of the team members, offered his shop in Pleasanton for the construction work. California Urban Lumber in Martinez and its sawyer, Bill Ridings, agreed to provide the redwood at a very good price.

Okizu is committed to the continuing support of the childhood cancer community through its oncology and siblings camping programs, family weekends, bereavement programs, and teen and young adult programs held in a lovely lakeside permanent campsite in Berry Creek. For more information on Okizu, visit www.okizu.org.

Woodworker volunteers also teach spring classes on routine preventive maintenance and safety of woodworking equipment beginning in late April at Mt. Diablo Adult Education, 1 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill.


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To register, call adult education at 925-937-1530, ext. 3990. Registration usually starts about three weeks before classes are scheduled to start. Call 925-685-7340 for more information or http://www.mdusd.k12.ca.us/adulted/lifelongeducation.htm, or visit www.diablowoodworkers.com.

Apply for grand jury

Would you be a good grand juror? Consider applying by April 12.

Residents' concerns about public agencies, public officials or special districts in Contra Costa County are brought to the attention of the Contra Costa grand jury, a group of 19 citizens who serve up to 20 hours per week from July 1 through June 30, 2014.

Call 925-957-5638 for information or download an application at http://www.cc-courts.org/_data/n_0038/resources/live/grandJuryApp.pdf.

Return your completed application to the grand jury office before 5 p.m. April 12.

DAR awards, lunch

Three members of the Junior ROTC program received awards from the Anne Loucks Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in recent ceremonies presided over by chapter regent Susan Busenius. Presentations were made by Lorraine Hughey, merit awards chairwoman, to Cadet Master Sgt. Darien Williams of Mt. Diablo High School, Cadet 2nd Lt. Ayushjav Bajaraa of Olympic High School, both in Concord, and to Cadet Petty Officer 3rd Class Andres Serrano of Diablo Squadron Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

Also at the awards presentation were commanding officers Lt. Col. Christian Taddeo and Capt. Douglas Niemela.

In other Anne Loucks Chapter news, the public is invited to attend the group's ninth annual spring luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at Shell Club House, 1635 Pacheco Blvd., Pacheco.

Christina Ramos, regent of the Presidio Chapter, will present a program, "Dining with the Washingtons." The event includes lunch, a silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will benefit Betty Fransden Library at Juvenile Hall, fund chapter student essay awards, the Honey Bee Research Facility, and restoration of lay light panels in the DAR Library.

Make reservations by Saturday, April 6. For more information and reservations, contact Kathy Nielsen at 925-372-7698 or kniel56541@aol.com.

Quilt sale

Find a wonderful selection of old and new quilts at the Hospice of the East Bay Thrift Shoppe quilt sale next weekend. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 5-6; and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at 5350 Clayton Road in Concord.

Funds raised by the Hospice Thrift Shoppes benefit the patients and families in the care of Hospice of the East Bay. To learn more about the event, and/or volunteering for Thrift Shoppes, call 925-674-9072.

For gardeners

Rodgers Ranch Garden Expo and Plant Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday April 6, at the historic ranch, 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill.

There will be classes, exhibitors, vendors and experts on hand to help those attending with their gardening needs.

For more information, contact RodgersRanch@yahoo.com or visit www.RodgersRanch.org.

SWAN dive

SWAN Day, (Support Women Artists Now) will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 30, in and around the Old Train Depot, 400 Ferry St. in downtown Martinez.

The Martinez Arts Association, under the guidance of Cathy Riggs, organization president and founder of this event, celebrates the sixth year of international SWAN Day.

All forms of artistry will be featured, including visual, theatrical, song and dance. This free event is open to all artists and the general public. For more information, see the association website at www.martinezarts.org.

And more gardens

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek American Association of University Women is putting out the call for residents interested in showing off their gardening skills for its annual garden tour.

Do you have a beautiful home garden that you would like to share on the tour that will benefit a worthy cause?

AAUW will be hosting its 13th annual Garden Tour on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11. Docents will be provided at each garden location. Tour proceeds will benefit aspiring women scholars.

If you'd like to be a part of this local tradition, contact Mary Holzheimer at mary@gsacorp.com or Kathy McKnight at kathymcknight@comcast.net.

READing connection

Assistance League of Diablo Valley has improved lives in the Contra Costa community through its philanthropic programs, led by member volunteers for 45 years. Corporate Partners encourages those who live and work in our area to participate in helping others through Assistance League programs.

Read, Enrich, Achieve, and Discover (R.E.A.D.) provides member volunteers who each month read to more than 1,260 second-grade students at 13 area campuses -- 12 in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and one in Walnut Creek.

The R.E.A.D. program purchased gift books for each of its students this year and Corporate Partner employees from Target in Walnut Creek assisted Assistance League R.E.A.D. program members to place an "I LOVE TO READ!" sticker in each book, said Corporate Partners chairman Joan Siltanen. Students will receive the gift book -- "Nate the Great on the Owl Express" -- during the last R.E.A.D. session in May.

To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley visit: diablovalley.assistanceleague.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.