Shopping adventure at Christmas Faire

The annual Christmas Faire at St. John's School, a tradition for more than 40 years, will have food, gift shopping, entertainment and more from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in the gymnasium on the Kearney Street side of the school at 11156 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito.

Come early for the pancake breakfast, then browse the arts, crafts, jewelry, T-shirts, hats, decorations and other offerings available from area vendors in a relaxed atmosphere.

Enter the prize raffles and take advantage of Santa's Workshop to get gift items wrapped (donations accepted) and Mrs. Santa's Kitchen, where all ages can purchase and decorate gingerbread man cookies for $1 each.

Raffle and vendor fee proceeds benefit the parish.

Space is still available for interested vendors.

For details on vendor space availability or advance raffle tickets, contact Geseell Grant at 510-235-5859 or gesgrant@yahoo.com.

High school benefits set for Dec. 2

Barnes & Noble and Pasta Pomodoro at El Cerrito Plaza are participating in fundraisers for the El Cerrito High School speech and debate teams from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 2.

Shop for books and gifts and stop for lunch or dinner, and a portion of your purchase will benefit the team. To participate, go to http://bit.ly/UEsZJB and print out the fundraiser fliers, then show them at the businesses on Dec. 2.


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"Last year, this fundraiser was a huge success for us, and we hope to do even better this year," says debate team parent Leslie Cohen. "Students will also be present at the Plaza handing out fliers and talking to folks about the team."

The debate program has 55 students competing in more than 20 tournaments around the Bay Area and the state.

"If folks cannot make it in person, they may also shop online at Barnes & Noble from Dec. 2 to 5 at bn.com/bookfairs, and they should type in our book fair ID number 10815793 at checkout and we will receive credit," Cohen adds.

Quilters set holiday craft fair for Dec. 1

East Bay Heritage Quilters presents its Holiday Craft Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

Admission is free to the event that will feature quilts as well as jams and jellies, jewelry, pincushions, books, ornaments, stationary, place mats, pillows, scarves, potted succulents, fabric post cards, dolls, and toys offered by guild members.

Members have also donated items that will be on sale at a separate table, with proceeds used to buy materials for the more than 1,000 quilts the guild donates "to those needing the comfort of a quilt stitched with love and concern."

The 34-year-old nonprofit guild has more than 400 members of all age and experience levels. Details: www.ebhq.org.

City facilities closed on Nov. 23

El Cerrito city offices and the Recycling Center at 7501 Schmidt Lane will be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 22 and both will also be closed on Nov. 23. Curbside recycling collection will take place as usual.

Santa Claus will visit at annual breakfast

El Cerrito's annual Holiday Breakfast and Scholarship Fundraiser is from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

The festivities will include breakfast served from 9 to 10:45 a.m., a visit from Santa Claus from 9:10 to 9:40 a.m. songs by children in the city's preschool and after school/child care programs from 9:45 to 10 a.m. and a holiday variety show by the ClownSnotBombs Circus from 10 to 10:45 a.m.

Tickets, available at the Community Center or online at www.el-cerrito.org/recreation, are $5 children 10 and under; $10 for ages 11 and up or a Family 4-pack good for up to three adults and one child for $25.

WriterCoach Connection training

A training session has been scheduled for people who want to be WriterCoach Connection volunteers helping high school and middle school students in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond and Oakland to develop their ideas and writing skills. For more details and to register, visit www.writercoachconnection.org or call Mona Kafoury at 510-704-0538.

Being a coach requires a commitment of one to two hours a week for the fall and spring semesters, but no previous experience as a writer or teacher is needed.

Holiday sale set at Albany Senior Center

The Friends of the Albany Senior Center will hold a Holiday Market and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at the center, 846 Masonic Ave.

The sale is a one-stop source of unique gifts and homemade baked goods. Admission is free.

Museum of History seeking volunteers

The Richmond Museum of History is seeking volunteers to help with collections care, facilities management, office/administration and visitor services. Anyone interested in helping can contact the museum at 510-235-7387 or info@richmondmuseum ofhistory.org.

-- Chris Treadway