DAR Good Citizens

The Anne Loucks Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently presented the Outstanding Teacher of American History Award and the DAR Good Citizens Award to high school seniors whose personal, scholastic, and volunteer records demonstrate the qualities of good citizenship.

Seniors were nominated and selected by their individual schools for dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

Honorees received certificates of recognition and a DAR Good Citizen pin from Regent Sue Busenius. Committee Chairwoman Annette Pedersen presented essay winner Alexis Ballew with a $450 savings bond and an American flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Alexis is a senior at Liberty High School in Brentwood. Her application and essay have been forwarded to the district level for further consideration at the state level. The winner at the state level is sent on to the National Society of DAR's Good Citizen Committee where one student is chosen to receive the $5,000 scholarship.

Good Citizenship Awards were also given to Sarah Setoudeh of Carondelet High School in Concord; Jacquelyn Klinger of Heritage High School in Brentwood; and Megan McConnell of Deer Valley High School in Antioch.

Also selected, but unable to attend, were Jason Garske of De La Salle High School in Concord; and Zachary Lewis of Northgate High School in Walnut Creek.


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Anne Loucks NSDAR's local "Outstanding Teacher of American History" award winner is Angela LaTorre who teaches at Valley View Middle School in Pleasant Hill. She is a teacher leader for American Democracy in Word and Deed, a Teaching American History grant partnership between the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project.

Committee chairperson Dana Matthews acknowledged LaTorre as a teacher who readily shares incisive knowledge of American history, is committed to her students, fosters a spirit of patriotism and loyal support of our country, relates history to modern life and events, and requires high academic standards at all times from her students. She received a $150 award.

AAUW benefit

AAUW chapters from Concord and Clayton will join together to welcome luncheon speaker Mamie Chow, 2014 AAUW Funds recipient, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St. in Concord. Call 925-363-4438 for reservations.

Chow will discuss her vision to increase access to quality health care for women and girls from marginalized communities, and support the healing process of trauma survivors using Chinese medicine.

Proceeds will benefit the AAUW Educational Funds Foundation, providing scholarships for women.

Ragin' Cajun event

Ragin' Cajun is the hugely popular annual Mardi Gras event to raise funds for the Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation, an organization that provides cancer patients with financial assistance for complementary healing services during the course of their chemo and/or radiation therapy that are not covered by insurance.

Enjoy music, dancing, dinner, beads, live auctions and more from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 7, at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery, 410 Vineyard Ave. in Pleasanton.

The cost is $125. Visit www.healingtherapiesfoundation.org or call 866-862-7270 for reservations.

Healing therapies include massage, acupuncture, deep breathing meditation and guided visual imagery to help patients find comfort and stay strong and fight the fight during their chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

The healing therapies may provide relief for neuropathy, anxiety, stress, aches, fatigue, nausea and pain.

The future of history

History Room Coordinator Judie Peterson, of the Lafayette Historical Society located in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, hosted a recent meeting of Historical Society curators from all over Contra Costa County.

Discussion topics included successful events and upcoming programs of the organizations detailed by representatives attending the meeting. Participants are able to share information helpful to each other. Following the meeting, several of those present took a tour of the library.

Curators Jan Trolan and Lind Higgins of the Concord Historical Society; director Andrea Blachman and Sacramento State public history intern Debbie Lee, with the Martinez Historical Society; Renee Wing of the Clayton Historical Society; and Isabel Ziegler, representing the National Park Service's John Muir National Historic Site, Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park and the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site were all in attendance.

Curators Barbara Hill, of the El Cerrito Historical Society; Dana Matthews, with Friends of Rodgers Ranch in Pleasant Hill; Mary Ellen Jones, executive committee and regional vice president for the California Conference of Historical Societies and editor of the California Historian, publication of the Society; Eddie Willis, with the East Bay Regional Park District; Black Diamond Mine Curator Jan Habiger; and Beverly Lane of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley also attended.

For information about the Contra Costa County Historical Society and the many townships represented, visit www.cocohistory.com.

A royal performance

Six students from Civic Arts Education's music program received "First Honors with Distinction" as well as the highest score for their level and instrument in the state of California through the Royal Conservatory of Music's development program.

We are so proud of Taylor Lai, a sixth-grade flute player from Walnut Creek; Jeffae Schroff, a sixth-grader playing the recorder from Moraga; Paul McCurd, adult, flautist, from San Francisco; and from Concord, Celine Jusuf, a ninth-grade tenor saxophonist; Masimius Watson, an alto saxophone player in the ninth grade; and Louis Polcin, also a ninth-grader playing the tenor saxophone.

"We have hosted this event twice before, and this year had 45 students participate," says Civic Arts Education music program coordinator Monica Williams. "The Royal Conservatory of Music development program provides a recognized national standard of musical success through ... sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels."

For more information, contact Williams at monicaw14@hotmail.com or call 925-943-5846.

... and more from CAE

The Friends of Civic Arts Education Foundation welcomes applications for music and visual arts merit scholarships. Applications are due by March 14 and will be announced May 31.

A total of eight $250 merit scholarships will be awarded -- four in music and four in drawing, painting and printmaking. Students can use the monetary portion of the awards for CAE classes from June 2014 to May 2015.

"The merit scholarship program is still in its infancy," says Kathy Jakel, a member of the Friends board. "The Friends ... want to encourage students to continue their studies. We hope to continue the expansion of the scholarship program in the future."

The application form for scholarships is now available through CAE at 111 N. Wiget Lane, in Walnut Creek, or online at www.friendsartsed.org.

A letter of recommendation from the student's music or DPP instructor is needed as well as a DVD showing three to five art pieces created in the last two years for DPP applicants.

Music applicants need a DVD of a solo performance on a single instrument.

There is no age limit. Judging of the works will be based on level-appropriate technique, material and artistic and/or performance musicianship.

The Friends will perform an initial screening and an impartial non-CAE judge will make the final award decisions.

For specific questions on the DPP awards, contact Esteban Longoria at eolongoria@gmail.com. For more information on the music awards, contact Monica Williams at monicaw14@hotmail.com, call 925-943-5846 or visit www.friendsartsed.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.