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Shirley Peterson, chairman of the Newborn Layette Project at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, left, with Daughters of the British Empire Royal Baby Shower participants Edith Capongro, Western District organizer; Pam Stewart, state president; and Rosemary Payne, regent of Rose of Glannis Chapter.

Fundraising is a necessary part of being a nonprofit organization, and generating revenue in creative ways is always a challenge.

Crab Feed anyone? This month you are in for a treat with the Loaves and Fishes annual garden party, an art show in the lovely Ruth Bancroft Garden, and fun for kids of all ages at Rodgers Ranch.

Food for Thought

Loaves and Fishes will be celebrating 30 years of service to the residents of Contra Costa County at "Food For Thought," its annual summer garden party from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Hacienda de las Flores, 2100 Donald Drive in Moraga.

There will be delicious food and wine, music, silent and live auctions in a parklike setting. Tickets are $60 online at www.loavesfishescc.org or by calling 925-687-6760.

Garden sculpture

The Ruth Bancroft Garden's world-class collection of succulent and drought-tolerant plants provides a spectacular backdrop for artists to display their works as the garden is transformed into an outdoor art gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 13.

Visitors can discover art that ranges from classical to irreverent, spiritual to functional. All works are for sale, with prices ranging from $60 to $50,000.


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For even more fun, attend the Artist Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and enjoy various art forms in addition to the sculptures.

There are family friendly hands-on stations to learn about art and make a souvenir. Participating local artists include Mary Bayer, Ted Bayer, Mark Conrad, David Morris, Theresa Onoda, John Ricca, Ellen Sachtschale, Nancy Slack and Patsy Taylor. The garden is located at 1552 Bancroft Road, in Walnut Creek. For more information, visit www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

Ranch 'Round Up'

Rodgers Ranch was a working farm built in 1868 by the Rodgers family, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is home to the Pleasant Hill Historical Society, Herb Society, a museum, local artists gallery, and also is an election polling site. Classes are held there, as are community events all year around, and many students visit the farm for field trips.

It is maintained by the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District and is supported by volunteers though the Friends of Rodgers Ranch.

The ranch is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Thursday at 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill.

The Heritage Days annual "Round Up" for children ages 7-12 lets them experience life on a farm in the 1800s.

Themed workshops, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. begin June 25, with Farm to Table, where children will learn how to plant a garden, compost, churn butter and make pancakes. On June 27, participants will be "Celebrating our Grand Ole Flag," making ice cream and an American Flag, enjoying patriotic games, stories and crafts.

A second "Round Up" session Aug. 6 will feature visiting a bee and chicken farm followed by an Aug. 8 Harvest Time, with apple games and crafts.

Sessions take place at Rodgers Ranch, 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill. Each session costs $40, and each sibling receives a $5 discount. To register, email rodgersranch@yahoo.com or call Denise at 925-387-0158.

Rogers Ranch is also looking for volunteers to support their projects that benefit the community. To learn more about how you can help, visit www.rodgersranch.org.

Lend a 'Caring Hand'

Seniors are on a waiting list and need a little bit of your time.

Caring Hands is a volunteer caregiver's program offering companionship, occasional transportation, and a friend who cares to seniors through John Muir Health.

Volunteer training will be held at John Muir Medical Center-Walnut Creek campus July 26. To register, contact program manager Linda Groobin at 925-952-2999 or visit www.johnmuirhealth.com and choose the menu item "Get Involved."

Pleasant Hill grants

The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation awards grants for recreational, educational and cultural services to the residents of Pleasant Hill.

Grant chairwoman Adrianne Roe, said, "We received requests to fund such a wide variety of projects this year. We are very happy that we are able to support new projects like the Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm & Teaching Garden and long-rooted establishments in our community like the Pleasant Hill Library."

Those receiving grants this year include College Park High School; Friends of Rodgers Ranch; JFK University; Meals on Wheels; Pleasant Hill Library; Pleasant Hill Middle School; Pleasant Hill Senior Center; Pleasant Hill Teen Center; Rehabilitation Services of Northern California; Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm & Teaching Garden; Sequoia Middle School; Walnut Creek United Methodist Church and the Fair Oaks Elementary School art and music program provided by American Association of University Women, Pleasant Hill/Martinez branch, Mary Walters Memorial Fund.

Visit www.PHCommunityFoundation.org.

Newborn layette projects for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center

The Daughters of the British Empire of Northern California held an afternoon tea and Royal Baby Shower at Castlewood Country Club on British Awareness Day, April 27, to celebrate of the upcoming birth of the first child of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Newborn Layette Project at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez was one of the recipients chosen to receive many of the baby items, delivered to the hospital by members Edith Capongro, Pam Stewart and Rosemary Payne.

Walnut Creek's St. Matthew Lutheran Church layette ministry volunteers generously donated 189 layettes to the medical center in May. Barbara Groenveld and Marcie Diffenderfer delivered them to Shirley Peterson, project chairman.

The Newborn Layette Project at CCRMC in Martinez accepts donations of baby items from individuals or groups, which are assembled into layettes by Auxiliary volunteers. For further information, call 925-370-5441.

Youth of the Year

James Boyce, son of Al and Kami Boyce, was named Youth of the Year at the Boys & Girls Club of Diablo Valley gala, sponsored by Shell Oil Company. James, who has been attending the club since he was 7, now works as a mentor to the younger members. He was selected for the award for his dedication and commitment to the organization.

The recent Alhambra High School graduate told those at the gala, "I wouldn't be creative or social if it wasn't for the club and the staff who taught me it was OK to be me. It is because of the Boys and Girls club of the Diablo Valley ... that I stand before you here today as a confident man. The Boys and Girls club is a positive place for children everywhere and I am proud to be a member."

Families Thrive

Contra Costa County is a leader in breaking the cycle of violence, protecting its children, building stronger families and setting a positive new course for the community.

"Families Thrive" marshals resources and supports partnerships that address the needs of children, youth and families impacted by domestic violence through school districts and community-based organizations, including the Child Abuse Prevention Council (925-798-0546); Children and Family Services (925-313-1583); Community Violence Solutions (510-237-0113); First 5 Contra Costa (925-771-7300); Contra Costa Health Services (888-215-5555); Probation Department (925-313-4000); Stand! For Families Free of Violence (925-676-2845) and We Care Services for Children (925-671-0777).

If you are interested in contributing your time or funding to support this effort, contact info@familiesthrive.org or call 925-313-1791.

Zero Tolerance

Contra Costa County's Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative, and partner agencies, including the Concord Police Department, Community Violence Solutions, Children and Protective Services, First 5 Contra Costa, STAND! For Families Free of Violence and We Care Services for Children have been awarded a $200,000 federal grant.

The funds are to help reduce homicides related to domestic violence by effectively identifying potential victims and monitoring high-risk offenders. Zero Tolerance functions on the principle that no one entity can do it alone. For information, visit www.contracostazt.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.