A barbecue gala will be held June 14 in honor of Flag Day and the 75th anniversary of Boy Scout Troop 104 in El Cerrito.

The event will be held from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at historic Camp Herms above Arlington Park in El Cerrito and will include food, historical displays, scout activities and demonstrations, as well as evening dancing in the camp lodge to oldies played by local favorite Hot Rod Jukebox.

Tickets to the gala are $15 each, available at ecscouting.org/announcements.html or at the door, and uniformed scouts and children under 12 are free. Tickets purchased before June 9 are eligible for a prize drawing for a United States flag and pole to fly it from.

Scout parent Damian Hayden provides us with some of the details of Troop 104's long history, dating from its founding in 1939 by the Harding School Dads Club.

Its hundreds of members over the years, including the Fogerty brothers (John and Tom Fogerty went on to form Creedence Clearwater Revival) have worked on service projects around the city and the state, both community service efforts and Eagle Scout projects.

Examples include helping setup with the Sundar Shadi hillside holiday display each year, constructing amenities in the Hillside Natural Area, Cerrito Vista and other parts, environmental projects and other work.

The troop holds its weekly meetings at the El Cerrito Veterans Hall and at El Cerrito High School, and boys 12 and older are eligible to join.


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For more details on the gala or Troop 104 contact Damian Hayden at 510-590-1012.

WINNING GARDENS: The El Cerrito Garden Club announced the winners of its Sundar Shadi Garden Contest winners for 2014, with the three selected yards honored at the City Council meeting on May 20.

The winners, each receiving a $100 cash prize, a certificate and a year's membership in the club are:

  • Nalani and Ann Heath-Delaney at 755 Everett St. "This garden was also featured in Bringing Back the Natives garden tour. The drought-tolerant garden is filled with California natives and yet has an amazing display of color. Even the 'hell-strip' (that area between the sidewalk and street) has been turned into a pleasant environment with plants and trees."

  • Peter J. Sako at 509 Clayton Ave., "whose home celebrates El Cerrito's Japanese heritage with a space that honors peace and tranquility. Mr. Sako lovingly placed every stone and plant, and the garden reflects his many years as a professional landscape gardener. Be sure to notice the beautiful stone walkway and his decorative fences."

  • Todd Saunders and Michael Potoczniak at 2000 Carquinez Ave. "Ivy was in every inch of the garden when their home was purchased in 2007. Now it is a mix of natives, South Africans, succulents and cacti. As you walk and take a closer look, this drought-tolerant garden reveals one delightful plant after another, proving that saving water can be beautiful."

    Contest judges for the garden club were Silvia Falcon, Vera Lis, Marion Kent, Joanna Pearlman, Linda Wraxall, Virginia Summerer, Landry Wildwind, and Tanya and David Edgar.

    The contest was started in 1966 with a $500 gift from master gardener Sundar Shadi, known for floral designs and beloved handmade Christmas scene.

    officers of the year: Officers from six police agencies were honored at the 29th annual Officer of the Year dinner held May 28 by the Albany-El Cerrito Exchange Club at the Galileo Club in Richmond.

    The honorees were Albany Sgt. Chris Willis, El Cerrito officer Bailey Thepkaysone, Kensington officer Chris Turner, BART officer David McCormick, Oakland CHP officer Sean Deise and Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Shawn Welch.

    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.