Our hearts and prayers go out to our neighbors on the East Coast who continue to suffer the effects of superstorm Sandy. If you wish to do more, Red Cross has some suggestions for how you can help.

Disaster relief

The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter has sent a total of 128 volunteers from the San Francisco and Monterey areas -- including local resident, Lance Friis of Pleasant Hill -- to New York and New Jersey to help with disaster relief efforts.

Since superstorm Sandy hit, the Red Cross has served more than 3.3 million meals and snacks, provided nearly 30,000 health services and emotional support contacts, and handed out more than 124,000 relief items to clients.

There have been more than 117,000 overnight stays at Red Cross and partner shelters and the number continues to rise. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 800-733-2767. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Bay Area chapter at www.redcrossbayarea.org.

The Red Cross Safe and Well website helps connect loved ones separated by the disaster. Search for a loved one at redcross.org or from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell.

Holiday Boutique


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Shoppers can get a jump on the holidays by shopping at the Clayton Valley Woman's Club annual Holiday Boutique Crafts and Bake Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17; and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road.

Kathleen Horvath, event chairwoman, says there will be handmade general crafts, baby and household items, as well as holiday decor. The bake sale will feature candy, jams, breads, cookies and brownies.

Proceeds benefit the club's local charities and scholarships. For more information, visit www.claytonvalleywomansclub.org.

Clayton Valley Woman's Club members are involved in many projects during the year. Kudos to the following service project leaders: Adopt-a-School and Box Tops for Education, Fran Hahn; A Friendly Place and Heifer International, Sheila Driscoll; Blue Star Moms and eyeglasses collection, Kathleen Horvath; Cell phone collection, Jean Doward; Clayton Community Library, Clayton Historical Society, Concord Historical Society, Concord Libraries, ESO (Epsilon Sigma Omicron) program, Arlene Lewandowski; ink cartridge collection, Jan Trolan; Pennies for Pines, June Stewart; Prevent Blindness, Rosemary Harwood; "Read Across America" Day, Carole Gardner; SHARE, Shirley Adams and Jackie Waterson; and Medication disposal, Kathy Hester.

They've got rhythm

For more than 26 years, the Starr Steppers, Hot Flashers and Happy Hoofers volunteer tap dance troupes of the Rossmoor Rhythm Review have performed at the Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette, Danville, Pleasanton, Pittsburg and Antioch senior centers, at luncheons, dinners, birthday parties, retired teacher events, and retirement and convalescent homes. Dancing volunteers live in Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Lafayette and San Francisco.

Diana Starr, teacher, choreographer and costume designer, presides over 70 senior tappers each week to learn 50 different routines in 50 different costumes.

Gay White, vocalist and mistress of ceremonies, and music technician George Heuga volunteer at all shows. Wow!

Future performances of the Rossmoor Rhythm Review are Friday, Nov. 30, at Aegis Assisted Living in Pleasant Hill; Thursday, Dec. 13, at Rossmoor Trails Club in Rossmoor; and Friday, Dec. 21, at Walnut Creek Willows Assisted Living.

"The dancers work very hard all year long practicing to perform for so many people in our area," said Starr.

Those who would like to attend a performance or would like more information can contact Diana Starr at 925-935-2166 or john.starr@att.net.

Thanksgiving for all

Fresh Start at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Walnut Creek is reopening as Trinity Center.

The Bay Area Rescue Mission is partnering, as an umbrella organization, with Trinity Center to host this first Walnut Creek Thanksgiving Day Community Meal at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Ave., in Walnut Creek.

They anticipate serving 200 homeless people.

Needed for this event are volunteers and donations of food and funds.

They are requesting 15 turkeys, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, cranberry sauce and other vegetables, rolls and bread, pies and desserts, bottled water, coffee and soft drinks.

To make an online donation or for general information, contact Gary Kingbury at 510-215-4760, or email GaryK@BayAreaRescue.org. Checks can be mailed to: Walnut Creek Thanksgiving Day Community Meal, c/o Bay Area Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 1112, Richmond, CA 94802-0112.

Young composers

Chateau III retirement community in Pleasant Hill hosted the 10th annual Young Composers Concert on Nov. 4, featuring original works by the piano students -- ages 6-16 -- of Joan Miller. Participants played both classical and contemporary-styled pieces and each received a Certificate of Music Achievement.

"This is my favorite concert of the year," said Miller. "Watching the students learn about composition and then create their music is a thrill for me. We dedicated this concert to Nancy and Will Painter, for their dedication to music and in particular, their support of the Young Composers Concert." Special mention was paid to Fedra Britvic, who has been composing for nine years.

As a special surprise to the students and guests, Justin Levitt, composer and Concord resident who performed at Carnegie Hall last June, performed his award-winning composition, "Sweet Contentment." Levitt won first place in the advanced level, in the 2012 Music Teacher's Association of California Statewide Composition Contest.

Students participating in the concert were composers Allison Bertolozzi, Isabella Bertolozzi, Fedra Britvic, Emmanuel Cortez, Sydney Milgate, Karen Recinos, Rohan Sen, Edward Senz and Jessica Speckart.

Honoring homeless

Project HOPE's eighth annual Homeless Memorial was held at Concord United Methodist Church, planned and hosted by the community-based nonprofit, Anka Behavioral Health, Inc. to remember the lives of the men and women who experienced homelessness and died in 2012.

From July 2011 to June 2012 in Contra Costa County, 3,567 people accessed Anka's homeless services programs. Of these, 8 percent were youth ages 0-18; 71 percent were adults 18-55; 21 percent were 55 and older; and 7.8 percent were veterans.

Anka and Project HOPE work with the Contra Costa Continuum of Care, other homeless providers, and the community to increase awareness and provide shelter and services. Visit www.ankabhi.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.