Americans recently honored our military heroes on Memorial Day in May, and were joined by world leaders as we remembered the sacrifice of our armed forces storming the beaches of Normandy, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June.

Independence Day is just around the corner.

Many ceremonies mark these occasions, but one ceremony in particular touched my heart.

Mark Hinkins was attending an advancement ceremony for Webelos with his son for Cub Scout Pack 420, from Hidden Valley Elementary School in Martinez, when a vintage B-17 Flying Fortress World War II bomber flew over Hidden Lakes Park. Hinkins snapped a photo of his son Tristan waving to the plane overhead.

He writes "it captured a moment showing a connection between our youth and a generation that gave so much for our freedom and liberty. Two precious gifts which we celebrate today through our Cub Scouting program."

Generations of Americans have sacrificed all for our freedoms, and sadly, will continue to do so as long as there is a need.

Scouting helps prepare our sons and daughters to honor our country and grow into responsible adults. Thank you to Cub Scout Pack 420 Cubmaster Chris Manning shared this item and photo with us.

For Humanity

Anne Morton, Sue Phalen, Audrey Marlovits and Jane Berger from the Walnut Creek Garden Club recently planted an Arbor Day tree and plants at the new Habitat for Humanity site in Walnut Creek.


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The garden club, organized in 1951, holds meetings the second Monday each month except for July and August. Meetings offer social time and programs featuring gardening speakers at The Gardens at Heather Farm, 1540 Marchbanks Drive in Walnut Creek. You do not need to be a gardener to join.

The club hopes to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, instill and encourage the love of gardening among youth, aid in the protection of native plants and birds, encourage civic planting and to gather and enrich the lives of its members.

For more information, contact Maureen Little at mslittle44@gmail.com or visit californiagardenclubs.com

AAUW scholarships

The Pleasant Hill-Martinez chapter of American Association of University Women has awarded $1,000 college scholarships for excellence, community service and leadership ability to four high school seniors: Kailynn Boyd and Krista Cave of Alhambra High School in Martinez; and Danielle Zhou and Jenna Carroll of College Park High School in Pleasant Hill.

Kailynn will attend the University of Oregon to study business. Krista is off to Pacific University and would like to become a trauma surgeon.

Danielle, who is interested in biology, is going to UC Berkeley, and Jenna is headed to UCLA with a major in electrical engineering.

Tech Trek, a program of AAUW California, is a science and math camp aimed at encouraging girls entering eighth grade in the fall to consider careers in science, math, engineering, or technology. The camp features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields.

Tech Trek scholarships were awarded to seventh-grade students Isabella Marazzani, Katelynn Massey and Rachel Snyder of Martinez Junior High, and Haley Kropf-Redenzo of Sequoia Middle School in Pleasant Hill.

Congratulations to all of these amazing young women.

PH Foundation grants

The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation recently awarded 13 community organizations that provide recreational, educational and cultural services to the residents of Pleasant Hill. This year's awardees are:

  • Adult Day Services Network of Contra Costa County

  • College Park High Grad Night

  • College Park High School Peer Tutoring Intervention Program

  • Contra Costa Interfaith Housing

  • Friends of Pleasant Hill Library

  • Monument Crisis Center

  • Pleasant Hill Senior Center

  • Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District's Aquatic Program

  • Project Second Chance

  • RES Success

  • Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm and Teaching Gardens

  • Valley View Middle School's Mouse Squad

  • Walnut Creek United Methodist Church for the Bus Stop After School Program at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.

    "We received requests to fund such a wide variety of projects this year. We chose projects that we felt would be the most impactful," said Community Grant chairwoman Adrianne Roe. "These projects included assisting frail adults, struggling students, low-income families, and people trying to make a better life for themselves."

    Visit www.phcommunityfoundation.org.

    Martinez grants

    The Martinez Community Foundation awards grants twice annually, with deadlines for submittal of applications March 15 and Sept. 15.

    Spring grant awardees recently shared thousands of dollars in grant funds. Main Street Martinez will use a $5,000 grant for its Downtown Light Pole Banner project.

    Loves & Fishes will use $2,500 to help defray the operational costs for its Martinez dining room, the largest of the organization's eight dining room sites which serve more than 3,500 meals per month to the homeless, unemployed, underemployed and seniors and low-income residents in Martinez.

    A $2,000 grant was awarded to Shelter Inc. to purchase food, supplies and emergency needs for its Mountain View Family Emergency Shelter in Martinez.

    The Martinez Historical Society received $1,180 to purchase equipment and supplies for use by the community-based Martinez Oral History Project for the collection and documentation of the memories of senior citizens about the history of Martinez.

    The Contra Costa History Center will use a $650 grant to purchase a microfiche/microfilm work station for use by visitors to the history center.

    And a $1,087 grant to the Contra Costa Crisis Center is to purchase a new computer for its call center, which assists individuals who are in a critical mental health situation and need immediate support and assistance.

    Stuart M. McCullough, foundation board president said, "The foundation is committed to helping the Martinez community become even better through support of projects and programs that are focused on education, the environment, economic development, community services, and cultural and community celebrations. We want to leave a legacy."

    Applications may be obtained by calling 925-372-6286, writing to Martinez Community Foundation, P.O. Box 789, Martinez, CA 94553, or visiting www.martinezcommunityfoundation.org.

    Green leaders

    Each year, community, business, and government leaders come together to celebrate and honor those who demonstrate outstanding commitment and leadership in making Contra Costa communities healthy, beautiful, clean and resilient.

    Please recognize an individual, nonprofit, government program, school, or business for their good work and celebrate the accomplishments in Contra Costa County.

    Visit www.SustainableCoCo.org/awards. Nominations must be received by July 31.

    Student volunteers

    John Muir Medical Center-Concord Campus Volunteers Junior Volunteer chairwoman Mary McDonald recently presented special recognition Awards to the following student hospital volunteers for their dedication:

  • $300: Myriam Avila, Clayton Valley Charter

  • $250: Sui Fong Cheung, College Park High

  • $200: Sahar Miry, Clayton Valley Charter; Matthew Huang, Northgate; Isabelle Santiago and Cecilia Ching, Concord High

  • $150: Jana Magiwili, Northgate

  • $100: Lidia Monerroso, Xandra Legaspi, Arielle San Miguel, Haydee Ang, Joselle Buenaflor and Devyn Napier, Mt. Diablo High; and Laxmy Deleon and Mayra Manjarrez, Ygnacio Valley High.

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