It has been a common sight in recent years -- military personnel coming home from a war zone or overseas deployment and loved ones rushing into their open arms.

On the local homefront, the Anne Loucks chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution saluted young men and women in Junior ROTC with awards in February presented by first vice regent Susan Busenius and merit awards chairwoman Lorraine Hughey.

Award recipients included Cadet 2nd Lt. Francisco Moreno of JROTC Olympic High School; Cadet Lt. Col. Marina Green-Lolohea of JROTC Mt. Diablo High School; Cadet Petty Officer 2nd Class Rachel Prasad of Hancock Squadron Naval Sea Cadet Corps; and Cadet Chief Petty Officer Max Wolffe of Diablo Squadron Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

"The JROTC and NJROTC programs educate and motivate America's youth to achieve the highest standards of personal excellence, moral integrity, patriotism, scholastic achievement and physical fitness," said Hughey.

Congratulations to all of the recipients and to the Anne Loucks chapter of the DAR for recognizing fine young service members every year.

The Anne Loucks chapter has had a rich history since it was formed in 1927 by Emma Kester Wilcox, and named for a granddaughter of a Revolutionary War soldier. Anne Loucks was a pioneer settler in Pacheco in 1851, where her husband became a leading merchant.

Their daughter, Annie, was twice regent of the chapter. Their son's granddaughter, Mary Loucks Olsen, was a member until her death in early 2007. The chapter meets regularly in Martinez. Most members are from the Diablo and San Ramon Valley areas of Contra Costa County.

Interested in joining DAR? All applicants must be at least 18 years old, and must prove lineal bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage and death, which shall include the applicant's birth certificate naming her parents, according to the website.

Members between 18-35 are junior members -- the future of DAR. A very important function of a junior member is that of a page at the various California State Society of DAR state meetings and convention, as well as National Society DAR Continental Congress. For more information, visit www.californiadar.org/chapters2/ann_loucks.

Bears and more bears

Denise Koroslev, president of the Pleasant Hill Historical Society and a board member of the Friends of Rodgers Ranch, has announced a special sale of collectible bears. The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, at Rodgers Ranch, 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

Longtime Rodgers Ranch board member and member of the Pleasant Hill Historical Society, Sarah Young, has donated the collection of bears, collected throughout her life, in hopes that proceeds from thee sale will help support the needs of Rodgers Ranch. Steiff, Hermann, Boyd's and Debi's collectible bears will be for sale, most with their original tags, many in their original boxes.

Patrick and Mary Ann Rodgers made the ranch their home in Pleasant Hill in 1868. The Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District acquired the property in 1987, and the Friends of Rodgers Ranch have been caring for it since 1991. Rodgers Ranch is open from 2 to 4 p.m. every third Sunday. The Pleasant Hill Historical Society and the Herb Society use the ranch for meetings and events. Contact rodgersranch@yahoo.com or call Koroslev at 925-387-0158 for more information.

Rossmoor helps kids

Member of the Democrats of Rossmoor were honored by teachers and leaders of the Antioch Unified School District with a reception at Turner Elementary School in Antioch in February to celebrate the success of the new "adopt a class" program embraced by the Turner school committee of the Rossmoor Democrats, who raised nearly $8,000 to help fund first-graders' activities at the school.

Committee members Janet Larson, Irene McKeever, Maria Rieger, Peggy and Barney Rubin, Dorothy Schramm, Pete and Colleen Scully, Jeanne Thomas, Gary Hansen, Jeanne Thomas, Dory Schramm and Emily Ehm attended the reception and enjoyed refreshments with schoolteachers.

Did you know that the Democrats of Rossmoor is the largest Democratic club in Northern California? Organized in 1966, it was first a section of the Walnut Creek Democratic Club. The club was chartered by the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee, the official Democratic entity in the county. Just a few years ago, the name changed to the Democrats of Rossmoor. Their membership hovers around 800 residents. For more good news about Rossmoor activities, visit www.rossmoornews.com.

Never too old to learn!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal State East Bay, also known as SCHOLAR-OLLI, provides a learning environment for mature learners which fosters creativity, self-discovery and peer education. I have attended many lectures and find it very enjoyable, affordable and somewhat addictive.

OLLI provides opportunities for intellectual stimulation and learning to mature students (50 and older). It features low-cost, exciting and challenging lectures, courses and field trips in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, all presented by Cal State East Bay emeritus faculty and other distinguished educators.

Local programs, including courses on Franz Liszt, Exploring Surrealism in Photography, the Turkish Renaissance, a Palace Hotel field trip and an America's Cup are offered in Concord, Danville and Walnut Creek at the following locations: Cal State East Bay-Concord at 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road; Danville Senior Center at 400 Hartz Ave.; and the Walnut Creek Library at 1644 N. Broadway.

OLLI is sponsored by the Bernard Osher Foundation; Cal State East Bay's Concord Campus; the Cal State Division of Continuing and International Education, the Cal State East Bay Foundation, the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation, memberships and donations. For information, visit www.scholarolli.com.

Pick it up

The Picker Squadron from the Concord-Diablo Rotary Club is well on its way to besting last year's haul of 8,000 pounds of fruit gleaned for local food pantries or the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

Gleaning is the process of picking excess fruit from trees. Nearly all gleaned fruit is consumed within 48 hours of picking because there is a shortage of free fresh fruit available at food pantries, said Rotary member Edi Birsan.

Those interested in having their fruit trees gleaned, contact Birsan at EdiBirsan@astound.net, call 925-798-3537 or visit Concord Diablo Rotary http://Concord-Diablo.Rotary5160.org/.

"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, notices of awards and other submissions to goodneighbors@bayareanewsgroup.com.