Women's Hall of Fame

Celebrate Women's History Month and honor exceptional women at the Contra Costa Women's Commission Hall of Fame awards dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Concord Crowne Plaza, 45 John Glenn Drive in Concord.

Contact Nancie Zimmerman for tickets at info@womenscommission.com or call 925-890-9221.

The 2014 Hall of Fame award winners:

  • Women Demonstrating Leadership -- Betty Geishirt Cantrell, of SparkPoint Contra Costa; and Linda Fodrini-Johnson, of Eldercare Services of Walnut Creek.

  • Women Creating Community -- Sister Ann Weltz of Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord; and Rita Xavier, a planning commissioner with the city of San Pablo.

  • Women Working for Justice -- Nati Flores, Michael Chavez Center and Monument Community Partnership program director.

  • Women Contributing to the Arts -- Edy Schwartz, with the California Independent Film Festival and Moraga Chamber of Commerce; and Lauren Jonas, artistic director and co-founder of the Diablo Ballet.

  • Women Improving Health Care -- Janet Frazier of The Network of Care.

    Dedicated volunteer

    Martinez has been graced for decades with the dedication of volunteer Gay Gerlack, as commissioner on Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission of Martinez; Martinez Kiwanis Club; Martinez Art Association; Friends of the Library; Martinez Early Childhood Center; Martinez Historical Society; John Muir Association; Loaves & Fishes; Main Street Martinez; Central County Homeless Outreach; and Martinez Lioness.

    She has also volunteered for the Alhambra Hills Open Space Committee, Soroptimist, received the Charles Laird Award in 2012 from the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, and Citizens for Measure H, which secured a $30 million bond to rebuild the swimming pool, library and upgrade Martinez city parks.

    Yet, her family is at the top of the list of her accomplishments. Gay and Ken Gerlack celebrated their golden wedding anniversary March 8 with their daughters Tamara and Tifany and grandchildren Sierra, Kyle, Toby, Logan and Chloe. Congratulations for a life well done!

    English tutors needed

    Diablo Valley Literacy Council volunteers tutor adults in our community. English need not be your first language and no teaching experience is required.

    They will teach you to be a tutor at two workshops: from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, March 22 and March 29, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Road, in Concord. Participants must attend both sessions.

    There is a nominal fee to cover the training and material costs. Volunteers typically give one or two hours per week.

    Visit www.dvlc.tripod.com or call 925-685-3881.

    Women entrepreneurs

    The challenges of women entrepreneurs will be discussed at a special luncheon meeting of the Pleasant Hill-Martinez American Association of University Women on March 22.

    It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lemongrass Bistro, 501 Main St. in Martinez. The cost is $25.

    Panelists include Becky and Linda Pheng, co-owners of Lemongrass Bistro in Martinez; Dr. Katrinka March DVM, co-owner of Montecito Animal Clinic in Pacheco; and Connie Jamison, owner of Thirteen Hair Salon in Walnut Creek.

    For reservations, call Elena Noble at 925-787- 2410; Harriett Burt at 925-372-8038 or email hjburt1940@comcast.net.

    AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. To join, contact Gayle Miner at gayle.miner@yahoo.com or 925-349-6795.

    School Bell partners

    Shell Martinez Refinery employee volunteers, serving as Assistance League of Diablo Valley Corporate Partners, read to children in the Martinez School District's classrooms as an in-house corporate commitment, and also recently served as Operation School Bell "personal shoppers."

    Students from Las Juntas and John Swett Elementary schools in Martinez, and Westwood Elementary School in Concord, joined Assistance League of Diablo Valley's Operation School Bell and Shell volunteers for a power shopping session at Kmart in Concord.

    Each child received a budget of $80 to buy school clothing. To learn more, visit diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.

    Caring Hands

    The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Advisory Council on Aging has awarded the Ilene Lubkin Senior Transportation award to Caring Hands, a volunteer program of John Muir Health.

    The program provides volunteers to help seniors remain independent and in their own homes as long as safely possible.

    Transportation access to both essential services and quality of life destinations is a key component of the independence that older adults need to successfully "age in place."

    The award is named for the late Ilene Lubkin, whose vision led the Advisory Council on Aging's efforts to improve transportation for seniors in Contra Costa County.

    Seniors are waiting to be matched with a Caring Hands volunteer. The next training will be held March 21, at John Muir Medical Center Concord, 2540 East St.; and May 30, at John Muir Medical Center Walnut Creek, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road.

    Call 925-952-2999 or visit www.johnmuirhealth.com/caringhands.

    DAR English tea

    The Mt. Diablo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will host a traditional English tea at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22, for members and guests at Gateway Clubhouse at Rossmoor, 1001 Golden Rain Road, in Walnut Creek.

    The Young American Patriots (YAPS) Fife and Drum Corps of Pleasanton will form an honor guard for the American flag. Michele Lane and Sue Tobin will offer a musical presentation.

    For reservations, contact Janet O'Connell-Mangham at 925-240-6475. Prospective members are welcome. For information, visit http://www.dar-mtdiablochapter.org.

    Purim at JFCS center

    Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar and is celebrated with gifts of food, drink and charitable contributions.

    Join Jewish and Family Services in their new Walnut Creek offices for a Purim party including lunch, entertainment, and merrymaking from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at 1855 Olympic Blvd., Suite 200, in Walnut Creek.

    Call Rita Clancy at 925-927-2000, ext. 257 for reservations or visit www.jfcs-eastbay.org.

    Tee off FORE! ARF

    Join ARF for a day on the green at the FORE! ARF golf tournament April 14, at Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville. Enjoy lunch, on-course games, a hosted bar and hors d'oeuvres, an awards presentation, and a silent auction where you can bid on golf, dining, hotel, winery and sports packages.

    Individual golfers may enter the tournament for $250.

    FORE! ARF always sells out in advance. Don't wait to reserve your spot, or you'll be left at the clubhouse! Contact Judy Bentley at 925-296-3154 or jbentley@arf.net. Find full event details at www.arf.net.

    Spring at Holi Festival

    The ancient Hindu festival of Holi will be celebrated at 5 p.m. Friday, March 14, at Bishop Ranch, 2680 Bishop Drive, in San Ramon, to mark the onset of spring. The event is free.

    During Holi in India, celebrants throw brightly colored powdered pigments on each other as a way to commemorate the vibrant colors and joyous mood of springtime, saying goodbye to the long winter.

    It's beautiful, messy and fun!

    Live music, free family activities and food are available.

    Call 925-543-0100 for more information or visit http://bayareadesi.com/event/2014march/free-holi-festival-bishop-ranch-san-ramon.

    Reuse, recycle

    Spring cleaning is right around the corner. What can you do with the pile of stuff you've decided you no longer need?

    Recycle electronics. It's illegal in California to throw them into the garbage.

    Staples and Best Buy have free extensive e-waste recycling programs and www.greencitizen.com will take the items for free and repair them if possible before selling or donating to nonprofits.

    DVC hosts a free e-waste collection event a few times a year at their Pleasant Hill campus.

    Take household hazardous waste such as paint, motor oil, old batteries, pool chemicals and fluorescent lamps for disposal at the HHW facility for central Contra Costa County at 4797 Imhoff Place in Martinez, or call 800-646-1431.

    Drop off old medication at pharmaceutical drop-off bins located in city police stations: in Concord at 1350 Galindo St.; Pleasant Hill at 330 Civic Drive; in Clayton at 6000 Heritage Trail; and Walnut Creek at 1666 N. Main St.

    Post on Freecycle, Yerdle or Craigslist. Repurpose, or "up-cycle" your unwanted materials into something new and usable.

    Styrofoam takes millions of years to break down, so recycle with www.greencitizen.com.

    Donate items to local nonprofit organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or thrift stores.

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