April is recognized in the United States as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

With this monthlong observance, communities and organizations raise awareness around the critical issue of child abuse and neglect, and educate the public on prevention.

STAND! Together

STAND! For Families Free of Violence, based in Concord, provides a complete spectrum of prevention, intervention and treatment programs enlisting the efforts of local residents, partners, and institutions to help stop domestic violence and child abuse.

"STAND! Together" today to raise awareness and $50,000 for their programs this month. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

  • Dine and donate at Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Pleasant Hill on April 23 and 15 percent of your bill will go to STAND!

    Dine at San Francisco Creamery in Walnut Creek on April 24, and 25 percent of your bill will support STAND!

  • And you can host your own fundraiser. Hold a beer or wine tasting, host a dinner or help your kids with a bake sale and raise money to help abused kids.

    Need some ideas or help? Contact Katie Owensby at katieo@standffov.org, and she will help get you started!

  • Challenge yourself! Ask friends to sponsor your resolution to lose weight, walk or ride your bike a mile or more each day, or whatever you feel will encourage you to help yourself and others and raise awareness and $$$ for abused kids.


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    You can keep track of your progress by creating your own web page at http://www.firstgiving.com/standffov.

    Earth Day, birthday

    John Muir inspired people all over the world to "keep close to nature's heart."

    He would be 175 years old this year, a birthday he would have been pleased to share with Earth Day, which brings us closer to knowing our planet and practical ways to help it thrive.

    All are invited to the John Muir National Historic Site -- his former home -- for Earth Day and birthday activities and entertainment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at 4202 Alhambra Ave. in Martinez.

    Gary Bogue, former pet and wildlife columnist at the Contra Costa Times, and curator emeritus of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, will provide a keynote address.

    The John Muir Conservation Awards will be presented to the 2012 recipients at the event.

    Music, silent auctions, a "recycled" fashion show and more than 50 exhibitors will be featured.

    Self-guided tours of the 1882 historic home and the California native plant garden are available.

    Junior Ranger projects with National Park Service rangers will be exhibited and "John Muir" will share stories and a birthday cake.

    Enjoy free admission and parking. For more information visit, www.johnmuirassociation.org.

    The celebration is made possible by the city of Martinez, Shell Martinez Refinery, Martinez Community Foundation, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 302 and Allied Waste services.

    And more green ...

    Mt. Diablo Recycling is promoting an Earth Day celebration with the theme "Reuse & Then Recycle" by offering two identical free sessions on Saturday, April 20, at 1300 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg.

    Session one runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; and session two is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

    There will be presentations and tours of MDR's 90,000-square-foot facility with its recycling machine (Big Blue), machine buddy (Big WALL-E), the 4R's (reduce, reuse, recycle, respect the Earth), and the MDR mascot, The Recycling Guy.

    Participants can also make and take home reusable "treasures" and play the "divide up the recycling" game.

    Contact Nicole Impagliazzo at 925-692-2224 or Nicole@Garaventaent.com by April 12, to reserve space for the morning or afternoon session.

    Festival of Tables

    The Clayton Valley Woman's Club annual Festival of Tables Fashion Show, chaired this year by Merle Whitburn and Bonnie Bunker, will begin at 11 a.m. April 27, at the Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St. in Concord.

    Fashions by Draper's and Damon's will be featured. Reservations are requested soon for $35. Proceeds benefit club charities and scholarships. For reservation information, call Kathy Olson at 925-524-0641.

    Loaves & Fishes

    The mission of Loaves and Fishes is to feed the hungry of Contra Costa County by providing regular, free and hot nutritious meals at eight dining facilities.

    Thousands of volunteers have served more than 3.8 million meals since 1983 to hungry people throughout Contra Costa County.

    Loaves and Fishes will host a volunteer appreciation event with music, food and refreshments from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road, in Walnut Creek.

    It will be hosted by their board of directors: chair Clifford Seaholm; secretary David Deutscher; treasurer Tracey Loveridge; and Rhea Bennett, Amy Dreyer, Mike Hazelwood and John Stone.

    And if Texas Hold 'em is your game, you're feeling lucky and want to benefit Loaves and Fishes of Concord, here's your event.

    There will be poker, prizes and dinner (served by Antioch Lions) beginning at 5:30 p.m., with poker starting at 6:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 13, at the Veterans of Foreign War Post 635, at 815 Fulton Shipyard Road, in Antioch.

    Tickets are $65 per seat and first prize is $500! Register online at www.loavesfisescc.org or call 925-687-6760.

    Thanks to volunteers

    Volunteer Week at John Muir Health's Medical Center in Concord will feature a brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, in the Ball Auditorium of the Walnut Creek facility, 1601 Ygnacio Valley in Walnut Creek.

    Food, fun, prizes and surprises will be abundant to show appreciation for these dedicated volunteers. Special volunteer (human and furry) partnerships with the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) will also share the love.

    Drive for Martinez

    The second annual Martinez Education Foundation Golf Tournament will be held April 27, at Pine Meadow Golf Course, 451 Vine Hill Way in Martinez.

    Co-sponsors are Edward Jones Investments and Les Schwab of Martinez.

    Registration begins at noon and a shotgun starts at 1 p.m. Cost is $200 for a four-person scramble or $150 to be a tee sponsor.

    Call 925-370-0184 or contact Jeni Waters at jeni.waters@edwardjones.com.

    Volunteers are needed, too.

    The Martinez Education Foundation (MEF) is a community-based partnership of energetic volunteers committed to providing resources to enhance educational opportunities for children.

    MEF believes education is both an investment and a priority for the Martinez community.

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