Friends of Pinole fire Capt. Rich Voisey, who was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer last November, are stepping up efforts to raise funds to help cover his medical costs, including a Hope for Our Hero community event Feb. 15.
Voisey is a 28-year veteran of the Pinole department, a parent with his wife, Nancy, of three children, and grandparent of a 12-year-old granddaughter.
He is receiving radiation and chemotherapy at Kaiser Permanente, but according to the Hope for Our Hero website, removing a majority of the tumor will require specialized and costly treatment at UC San Francisco Medical Center that is not covered by the medical plan.
The Hope for Our Hero fundraiser is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at Station 74, 3700 Pinole Valley Road. The event will feature raffles, food and drink, music and "fun for kids and adults alike."
Adult tickets are $25, which covers admission, 10 raffle tickets, a food ticket and a drink ticket. Children's tickets are $15, good for entry and a food ticket.
If you order tickets in advance online at hopeforourhero.com, you will also receive a free Hope for Our Hero wristband.
Donations are also being sought for a bicycle fundraising ride March 8 to assist Voisey.
Friends and supporters are securing Ride for Rich pledges and participation for the Solvang Century ride.
Learn more at www.gofundme.com/rideforrich.
REID GOSPEL FESTIVAL RETURNS: David and Tamela Mann headline the third annual Charles Reid Gospel Festival, coming to the Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, with shows at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16.
The second show (which will not include David Mann) was recently added by popular demand.
Other performers will include Lee Williams and The Spiritual Q.C.'s, Tasha Cobbs, and Joe Douglas and SOP.
The annual festival is another tribute to the legacy of the late Charles Reid, a mentor whose name is also carried on at the Christmas party for the city's children that he established more than 60 years ago.
Gospel festival tickets are available online at www.reidsrecords.com or by phone at 510-843-7282.
YMCA LANDS GRANTS: More than $170,000 in grants have been awarded to the West Contra Costa branch of the YMCA of the East Bay that will be used to help young people and families "in making healthier lifestyle choices."
The Y partnered with the California School-Based Health Alliance in successfully seeking a two-year, $90,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools -- Hallways to Health grant program.
The funds will be used to "help students, their families and school staff in Richmond make healthier choices in the areas of obesity prevention, social and emotional health and school employee wellness," according to an announcement from the YMCA of the East Bay.
"The West Contra Costa program will be centered in the YMCA-led Wellness Center at Kennedy High School in Richmond, as a collaborative project with Kaiser Permanente, Contra Costa Health Services and other community partners."
A second Thriving Schools grant of $23,000 was awarded by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs that will be used to help students and staff at six West County schools in eating healthier and increasing physical activity.
A $14,580 Advancing Safe Routes to School grant awarded by Contra Costa Health Services will be used at the YMCA Wellness Center at Kennedy High "to engage youth in critical thinking, problem solving and community-based research in order to address and identify issues related to access and barriers to safe routes for children to walk or bicycle to school, as a means of everyday exercise."
A second Contra Costa Health Services grant, for $44,000, will be used to implement a nutrition and physical activity promotion project led by Kennedy High students with support from the Wellness Center.