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Loaves & Fishes welcomed Matson Shipping employee volunteers, from left, Joe Romano, Peter Weis, Nicole Ferrante, Yolanda Gonzalez, Dominic Marquis, Tamara Aszklar, Hernan Cortes and Shariq Vahidy during the Week of Caring in September.

Senior volunteers

The Culture to Culture Foundation-sponsored Senior Volunteer Awards for outstanding local volunteers was held in the beautiful new Pleasant Hill Senior Center in September.

Founder Chia-Chia Chien elicited the support of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing as senior award judge of more than 30 individuals and groups nominated for their years of volunteer service to many local nonprofit organizations.

Dolores Fox Ciardelli, managing editor of the Danville Express, Barbara Smith and Joyce Cram, retired Superior Court Judge of Contra Costa County, joined Hing in selecting the winners.

Master of ceremonies Kevin Young welcomed state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich as award presenters.

More than 250 members of our communities attended the event to show their appreciation for the dedication of hardworking volunteers nominated by leaders of Contra Costa County business and nonprofit organizations.

Culture to Culture Senior Award sponsors included C.C. Yin, founder of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association; Pamela Elkins, senior vice president of Bank of the West; Mina Li, associate director of KTSF Channel 26; Julie Sheu, president of the Vanton Research Lab; Elaine Clark, executive director of Meals on Wheels; Sophie Goto; Kevin Young, executive director of the Kensington in Walnut Creek; and community volunteer Ray Zenoni.


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Congratulations and thanks to Senior Volunteer Award winners and their nominators:

  • Marlene Mejia, nominated by Vicky Lizarraga and Solomon Belette, CEO of Catholic Charities of the East Bay

  • Rudy Fruscella, nominated by Kimi Miyamura, San Ramon Regional Medical Center

  • Ingrid Evans, nominated by Tami Blaj, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care

  • Susan Rosthal, nominated by Kathryn Winogura, Jewish Family and Children's Services of the East Bay

  • Karen DeBoer, nominated by Joyce Rosevear, Hospice of the East Bay

  • Marjorie Levy, nominated by Debbie Toth, CEO Rehabilitation Services of Northern California

  • Bruce Palmer, nominated by Chris Hwang, Meals on Wheels

  • Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) volunteers, nominated by Ruth Atkin, HICAP

  • Mauna Wagner, nominated by Mary Bruns, Lafayette Community Center

  • Elder Court Support Program of Contra Costa County volunteers, nominated by Tina Olton, Elder Court

  • Clive Beck, nominated by friends Marilyn Creighton, Shawnee Maxwell and Dee Anderson

  • And your Good Neighbors columnist, Faith Barnidge, nominated by Ray Zenoni, community volunteer.

    The Culture to Culture Foundation is a nonprofit community-based organization promoting mental health and emotional wellness within the Bay Area's culturally diverse communities.

    Visit www.culturetoculture.org for more information.

    Rodgers Ranch name

    The Friends of Rodgers Ranch will celebrate their new name, Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center, at the Harvest Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the center, 315 Cortsen Road, in Pleasant Hill.

    The event is presented by Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm and Teaching Gardens, the Pleasant Hill Historical Society and the Northern California Unit of the Herb Society of America, organizations that currently meet at the center.

    The festival will feature workshops on beekeeping and backyard chickens, exhibitions by Spinners, Diablo Woodworkers, Mount Diablo Nursery, Friends of the Library, the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District and the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation, food and music.

    Activities for the family include pumpkin painting and a "treasure hunt" in a bale of hay. For more information about the Pleasant Hill Historical Society, visit www.pleasanthillhistory.org.

    Loaves & Fishes

    The Week of Caring each September encourages local businesses to volunteer their help with a nonprofit organization of their choice.

    Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa manager of volunteer services, Eleanor Bonner, welcomed more than 120 corporate volunteers from Chevron, Dow Chemical, JGR CPA firm, Matson Shipping and Wells Fargo who helped serve a hot and nutritious meal to hungry people in all five of Loaves & Fishes dining rooms throughout Contra Costa County.

    Loaves & Fishes partners with Shelter Inc. to provide outreach to homeless veterans, the Food Bank, Temple Isaiah and Urban Farmers to bring fresh food into their kitchens.

    Executive director David Gerson is particularly fond of the partnership with the Community Based Instruction of Antioch program for young adults from ages 18-22 who are struggling to be independent and productive members of the community.

    CBI helps them integrate into the community with life skills training. Most days, CBI students come and volunteer in the Loaves & Fishes dining room in Antioch or the Pittsburg kitchen helping with food service and preparation.

    End homelessness

    Join SHELTER, Inc. volunteers and supporters from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, on Mount Diablo for Hike for SHELTER to raise awareness, change lives and make a difference among the homeless families in our community.

    Four different trail options will appeal to hikers with varying degrees of challenge. A $50 donation includes lunch. Meet at the Macedo Ranch staging area, 1800-1925 Green Valley Road in Alamo.

    For information, call Chris at 925-957-7598, email hike@shelterincofccc.org or visit www.shelterincofccc.org.

    On human trafficking

    Human trafficking awareness information will be provided from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the First Christian Church, 3039 Willow Pass Road, in Concord.

    Local agencies Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Awareness Coalition, Pillars of Hope, Love Never Fails, Human Exploitation Anti-Trafficking Unit, Missey, New Day For Children, West Contra Costa Family Justice Center and CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children, will share important information and resources about human trafficking and what we can do to prevent, protect and rescue others.

    For more information about the free event, call 925-685-7503.

    Week of Caring

    Assistance League of Diablo Valley participated in United Way's Week of Caring beginning Sept. 16, with corporate partner employee volunteers from Wells Fargo Financial Crime Operations in Concord, and Wells Fargo Wealth Management Services in Pleasant Hill.

    United Way representative Laura Marshall thanked Wells Fargo employees and Assistance League's Operation School Bell for preparing bags of new school clothing for 200 elementary students from Parkside Elementary School in Pittsburg.

    To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley, visit www.diablovalley.assistanceleague.org or call 925- 934-0901.

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