A community event bringing military personnel and the Pinole community together will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6 at Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave.

Barbecue for the Troops is the brainchild of Pinole resident Robert Kopp, who is planning a barbecue at the park that where 50 military families will be hosted for free and tickets are available for a maximum of 300 people who want to attend and honor their service to their country. The city is co-sponsoring the event.

"So many soldiers have sacrificed so much for our country, and we want to thank them for their service," Kopp said.

The day will include prizes and gift baskets for the attending military families, along with a barbecue meal that will include appetizers, New York steak or chicken for adults, hamburgers and hot dogs for children under 10, drinks and desserts. There will also be bouncers and activities for children, along with live entertainment.

In the event of rain, the event will be held on April 12.

Tickets are $20 each, available by contacting Kopp at 510-772-0016 or download the order form at www.ci.pinole.ca.us/live/news/bbq-troops.html.

PINOLE POLICE YOUTH ACADEMY: Young people in Pinole ages 14 to 17 can get a first hand look at the aspects of law enforcement at the free Pinole Police Department Youth Academy, an eight-session course that starts April 5 and runs through May 24.

Registration is open now for the eighth annual academy, which will meet Saturdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the police department and is open to youths who "live, attend school, or whose parents work in Pinole."

"Classes include a tour of the Police and Fire Departments, collecting evidence at a crime scene, how the police investigate crimes, narcotics investigations, K9 policing, traffic enforcement and collision investigations, juvenile crime investigation, other police topics, and a graduation ceremony on the final day."

An application are online at www.ci.pinole.ca.us/live/news/police-academy.html.

For more details contact Pete Janke at 510-741-3894 or Al Chavarria at 925 -783-7398.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The free Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is on May 4 and spots are filling up.

The annual self-guiden tour highlights East Bay gardens with planted with primarily native vegetation that use less water and is more harmonious with wildlife. To register and get the guide booklet of locations on this year's tour, visit www.bringingbackthenatives.net.

  • The Richmond Commission on Aging is holding a free informational workshop on Estate Planning and Advanced Health Care from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 9 at the at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.

    The day opens with a continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m., followed by the presentation by Doris Mitchell.

    An RSVP is required to attend. For more details or to reserve a seat, call Bev Wallace at 510-223-4528, Naomi Williams at 510-235-8131, Myrtle Braxton at 510-233-0777 or Eli Williams at 510-232-4690.

  • Learn about special needs support and services in the community for school-aged and postsecondary transition age individuals at the seventh annual West County Transition and Special Education Resource Fair, a free community event from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 26 at Vista Hills Education Center, 2625 Barnard St. in Richmond.

    The event is chance to talk with representatives from local agencies, network with other families, and attend presentations by guest speakers. There will also be live entertainment and raffle prizes.

  • The deadline to sign up for government health care is almost here and a free enrollment assistance event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. March 31 at the Bay Area Rescue Mission,

    123 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond. For more details call 415-713-9054.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.