Organizations in West County are doing their best to get folks off to a healthy start for the new year, with new facilities and programs being made available to residents in Richmond and surrounding areas.
A grand opening celebration for the RotaCare Richmond Free Medical Clinic will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Bermuda Room of the Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.
The new center, which will initially be open on Tuesday evenings, is a joint project of Rotary Club chapters in Richmond, Albany, Berkeley, Hercules, San Pablo, El Cerrito and Alamo. The facility, housed at Brighter Beginnings at 2727 Macdonald Ave., is intended to address the shortfall in available health care to uninsured or underinsured residents in Contra Costa County.
"A primary focus of the clinic's education and treatment will be in the areas of diabetes, asthma, hypertension and obesity," organizers say, noting that death rates from chronic conditions in the greater Richmond area are significantly higher than the rest of the county, and higher than statewide averages.
The opening festivities will include entertainment, remarks by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and county Health Officer Dr. William Walker and a ribbon-cutting at the facility at 6:15 p.m. followed by tours of the space.
The clinic, which has received anchor funding from the Dohmen Company Foundation, will operate without government funding or insurance reimbursement.
More than 100 doctors, nurses and technicians have already committed to volunteering time, as have members of the Rotary chapters. The facility will be the 12th RotaCare clinic in the Bay Area.
For information about volunteer opportunities contact Drea Riquelme at 510-207-7516. To learn more about funding opportunities, contact Grace Aroha at 510-903-7529.
"Urban Gardening and teaching planting for the future" is a weekly class starting noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 4 that will provide instruction on nurturing seedlings into mature plants using the center's urban garden boxes. Participants will receive a free seasonal plant at the end of each class. The sessions are for all ages and will include some field trips.
"Healthy Body Movement and Seasoned with Spirit-Cooking Class" is a second weekly series on healthy activities and economical and nutritious cooking that kicks off from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14. The grand opening session will have demonstrations by the instructors, refreshments and a raffle.
Classes are open to all. To register or get more information about the center, which offers a variety of classes and medical and other resources for the Native American community, call 510-232-7020, email Courtney Cummings at CourtneyC@nativehealth.org or visit
MORE CRAB FEEDS: The seventh annual crab feed and silent auction to benefit the Hercules Running Rebels youth track team is 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Hercules Community Center, 2001 Refugio Valley Road.
Menu includes all you can eat hot crab, garlic noodles, Caesar salad and fresh bread are on the menu. Tickets are $45 each or $25 age 12 and under. For tickets or details, call 510-691-5652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Lunafest, the annual traveling festival and fundraiser of films by and for women, comes to the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 8.
This edition of the film festival is hosted by the Zonta Club of Berkeley/North Bay and tickets are $25, $35 and $40, with proceeds benefit projects seeking to eliminate violence against women. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/event/4706538383#.
Tickets range from $20 economy to $50 VIP, available by calling 877-295-5227 or 800-965-9324. Details: www.reidsrecords.com/CharlesreidSecond.html.