For the troops

The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms are mustering donations for "Care Packages for our Troops," to be mailed in time for Christmas.

The world is a scary place and these care packages are a welcome taste of home that feature small portions of tasty snacks, toiletries and dozens of things our soldiers need.

All these items are collected for months at donation centers at convenient neighborhood locations, packaged and mailed ($14.85 for each package), by volunteers from Blue Star Moms and other Patriotic, generous and caring neighbors and businesses in our community.

Items most requested by our troops include small, sealed packages of trail mix, granola bars, drink singles, gum, socks, batteries and dozens of other items. For a complete list, email ccbsm@ccbluestarmoms.org or visit www.ccbluestarmoms.org.

Pork products, books and aerosol cans are not accepted.

If you would like to donate funds for mailing expenses, send a check in any amount to: Contra Costa Blue Star Moms, California Chapter 20, P.O. Box 6379, Concord CA 94524. All donations are tax-deductible.

To notify Blue Star Moms of a soldier who would enjoy receiving a care package, email their name, APO or FPO address and an "End of Deployment" date to carepackageaddresses@ccbluestarmoms.org.


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Drop off donations at:

  • A-1 Self Storage office, 5296 Concord Blvd. at Kirker Pass Road in Concord from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 925-825-5100.

  • Office of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, 2151 Salvio St. n Concord

  • Clayton Business & Community Association and Accurate Business Services, 6200 Center St., Suite 210, in Clayton

  • Sports Basement, 1881 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek

  • Château III, 175 Cleaveland Road in Pleasant Hill

  • Lynne French Windermere Realty, 6200 Center St., Suite E, in Clayton.

    Would you like to volunteer to help Blue Star Moms?

    They have so many areas that need your help including care packages, Operation Postcard, parades, veteran center meals, Sewing for our Troops, Operation Pillowcase, fundraising and working at the Blue Star store.

    Email them at ccbsm@ccbluestarmoms.org or call 925-686-3944 to offer the your services and that of your organization, business or family.

    Next time you see a member of our armed forces in uniform, please say, "thank you for your service."

    Library relives '50s

    "The Fifties: A City Comes of Age," displays many of the wonderful and interesting activities happening in Walnut Creek during the 1950s.

    The showcase is on the second floor of the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway.

    Who knew that Heather Farm grew from the Marchbanks estate, with world-class horse training and racing, to being the Hollywood movie set for the Clark Gable movie "Sporting Blood" in 1931?

    The Walnut Creek Historical Society provides this wonderful exhibition in a cozy reading area at the library during regular hours. Visit often and enjoy the changing special exhibits during the Walnut Creek centennial all year.

    Historical Society volunteers in individual townships provide a fascinating view into local history, while the Contra Costa County Historical Society weaves all of that local history into a grander tapestry.

    For Walnut Creek, visit www.walnutcreekhistory.info. For Concord, visit www.concordhistorical.org or call 925-827-3380. About Martinez, visit www.martinezhistory.org or call 925-228-8160. In Pleasant Hill, visit www.pleasanthillhistory.org. And for the Contra Costa County Historical Society, visit at www.cocohistory.com.

    Learn about your neighborhood, share it with others and celebrate your local history.

    Flutist's 'Best Song'

    Taylor Alyssa Lai, 12, a middle schooler at Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek, is a featured artist playing the Native American flute on the song "Piseco," recently nominated for Best World Song by the Hollywood Music in Media Association.

    The awards will be presented in November at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. The song is available for purchase through the Bay Area Equestrian Club's Tack Store at The Spotted Cow, 2631 N. Main St. in Walnut Creek, and online atwww.BAEClub.org.

    All proceeds purchased through the BAE Club go toward the club's Rescue Horse Program.

    Teaming for a cure

    The annual "Walk for Lupus Now," a family-friendly, noncompetitive fundraising walk, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Oct. 26, in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

    Teams form and raise funds for lupus research. Team JMJ, from Concord, will walk together for the third year in memory of their loved one, Jervonya Monique Jones, who passed away from lupus in 2011.

    Team JMJ includes her family members and friends Peter Jones, Kamela Jones, Marisol Pastran, Amy Hill, Maria Pastran, Phylicia Jones, Arnetta Jones, Nathan Jones and Chesson Duncan of Concord.

    To support their efforts, donations are welcomed at http://lupus.donorpages.com/sanfrancisco2014/teamjmj/.

    Donations raised will provide funds for new research, medicine, resources, and ultimately a cure for those families and loved ones affected by lupus everyday.

    Emeritus at DVC

    Emeritus College provides affordable classes for people 50 and older at John F. Kennedy University, Rossmoor and Diablo Valley College.

    The fall session starts Sept. 15 and is packed with interesting, thought-provoking classes on a wide variety of subjects, including photography, astronomy, writing, history and philosophy to name just a few.

    Group tours of the Niles Silent Film Museum, the U.S.S. Hornet, and a History of Walnut Creek walking tour are planned.

    Expand your mind without the stress of homework and tests! To receive a brochure by mail, call 925-969-4316 or view the entire 2014 fall brochure online at www.dvc.edu/emeritus.

    Matching gifts

    More than 655 Fortune 500 companies offer their employees a matching gift program for a charity of your choice.

    Check with your Human Resources Department and designate your charity today.

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