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Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop vice chairmen Judy Oliphant, left, and Judi Caruthers, far right, welcome Corporate Partners from Macerich, Broadway Plaza, continuing from left, senior property manager Shelly Dress, Nancy Clark, Danny Sanchez and senior marketing manager Tracy Dietlein during a recent visit to share their merchandising and display expertise.

How can your local public library better serve your needs in the future? The Contra Costa County Library wants your input to help make our local libraries as valuable as possible to all residents.

The community is invited to attend a free 90-minute town hall meeting. Refreshments will be served. Those interested can register at 925-646-5455 or visit the www.ccclib.org event calendar.

Martinez, Concord, Clayton and Walnut Creek Library town hall meetings are scheduled:

  • Martinez -- 7 p.m. Aug. 6, Martinez City Hall Council Chamber, 525 Henrietta St.

  • Concord -- 6:30 p.m., Aug. 7, Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St.

  • Clayton -- 7 p.m., Aug. 8, at the Clayton Community Library Hoyer Hall, 6125 Clayton Road.

  • Walnut Creek -- 7 p.m., Sept. 23, at Shadelands Art Center, 111 N. Wiget Lane.

    The library branches already reach out to our communities in many ways.

    The Contra Costa County Library recently received a 2013 National Association of Counties Achievement award for Veterans Connect. The project connected county veterans with critical information resources, including Welcome Home events staffed by the county veterans service officer; job recruiters from Google, the FBI, and the county sheriffs; and offers library cards to homeless veterans.


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    Multilingual residents are encouraged to pick up reserved materials at the Michael Chavez Center, 2699 Monument Blvd., in Concord, where they are able to access the library's collection via computer. Library card holders are able to access library databases, search the Internet and request books and books-on-tape, videos, DVDs and other materials.

    Kaiser grants

    Kaiser Permanente awards annual Diablo Area grants -- totaling more than $600,000 this year -- to help fund local nonprofit, public health and human service organizations.

    Among the 47 grants being distributed to 42 local nonprofit and public agencies are: The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano; St. Vincent de Paul RotaCare Clinic; Monument Crisis Center; Michael Chavez Center for Economic Development; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Diablo Valley; Contra Costa Child Care Council; Jewish Family & Children's Services of the East Bay; Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa; Meals on Wheels Contra Costa; Rainbow Community Center; Shelter Inc. and East County Kids-in-Motion.

    "Kaiser Permanente has a strong commitment to help improve the health of the communities we serve," said Marianne Balin, community benefit manager for Kaiser Permanente in the Diablo Area. "Healthy communities benefit us all and we are grateful for these grantees and the dedication they too have to our community. Working together we can have a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of many people."

    For more information on Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit Program, visit: http://info.kaiserpermanente.org/communitybenefit/.

    Lioness scholarships

    Martinez Lioness Club annually awards monetary scholarships to Alhambra High and Vincente-Martinez and Briones alternative high schools. This year's scholarship winners from Alhambra High, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship, are Crystal Dinh, UC Davis; Nicole Curtis-Brown and Elizabeth Trebino, Cal Poly; and Johnathon Frank Billecci, Chico State.

    Briones School graduate, Grace Guelld, received a $500 scholarship to attend Humboldt State, and Vicente-Martinez School graduate, Shilo Ray, received a $500 scholarship to attend Diablo Valley College.

    Beaver Festival

    See you at the annual Beaver Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the corner of Marina Vista and Alhambra Avenue in Martinez. We hear there are two baby kits enjoying the dam in Alhambra Creek. Stand on the Main Street bridge and check them out. It will be fun for the whole family!

    Assistance League

    The long-standing corporate partnership that Assistance League of Diablo Valley has enjoyed with the Macerich Company goes beyond "social responsibility." It epitomizes the shared joy of two community-minded organizations with similar values, visions, and missions continuing to make a difference together.

    Tracy Dietlein, senior marketing manager of Macerich Company's Broadway Plaza, led her team of employee corporate volunteers, including senior property manager Shelly Dress, Nancy Clark and Danny Sanchez to the Assistance League Way Side Inn Thrift Shop, 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, to share their recession-recovery expertise in merchandising and display.

    The Way Side Inn Thrift Shop is the primary fundraiser for Assistance League of Diablo Valley's eight philanthropic programs.

    To learn more about Assistance League of

    Gallery finds

    The Martinez Gallery co-operative, open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features art and gifts made by 22 local artists in mediums such as jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography and painting.

    The Martinez Gallery, at 630 Court St. in Martinez, is sponsored by the Martinez Arts Association, which has been awarding scholarships and supporting the local art community for 45 years.

    Philanthropy salutes

    Contributions of time, leadership and financial support made by many businesses, individuals, families and nonprofit organizations throughout the East Bay will be recognized at the East Bay Leadership Council Philanthropy awards breakfast Nov. 7.

    The deadline for nominations is by Aug. 15.

    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; Next Generation Philanthropist (new) and Lifetime Achievement.

    A prestigious panel, representing all sectors of the community and government, has been formed to select the individuals and organizations to be honored.

    For additional information, visit www.eastbayleadershipcouncil.com, or call 925-246-1880.

    Toastmasters' fun

    The Presidential Distinguished Toastmasters Club Word Weavers 400 will be having its Club Speech Contest at 7 p.m. Aug. 15, at Montecito, 4756 Clayton Road in Concord.

    The humorous speech contest and evaluation will help those attending learn about making public speaking fun for themselves and entertaining for others.

    The club meets at 7 p.m. Mondays and welcomes guests. Visit www.400.ToastmastesClubs.org for more information.

    Diablo Valley, its Corporate Partnership Program, and the thrift shop, visit diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.

    Museum open house

    The Martinez Historical Society invites the community to an open house celebrating the new exhibits at the Martinez Museum.

    The event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Martinez Museum, 1005 Escobar St. Light refreshments will be served.

    New displays will showcase "Letters From the Past" with an alphabet collage, a display showing how postcards were used to send messages before telephones and texting, photographs of trains in Martinez, and the museum's newest acquisition.

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