The employees at Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. in Hercules have proved once again that they are not just part of an isolated operation in a faceless business park.

As they have for several years, employees at the firm's Hercules campus and the other Bio-Rad facilities in the East Bay last month assembled more than 14,000 pounds of food and diapers for the Contra Costa County California Employment and Human Services emergency pantry.

The pantry, a neighbor of the Bio-Rad complex in Hercules, was the recipient of pallets of nonperishable food and diapers that were delivered by volunteers.

The pantry sees more than 4,500 West County residents in need each month, and the annual Bio-Rad donation gives it enough supplies to assist those families for the bulk of the year.

Different Bio-Rad departments hold competitions to see which can bring in the most donations and hold fundraisers that this year brought in $10,000 that was used to purchase needed supplies.

This year's 7 tons of donations are almost double the 3.8 tons of food and diapers employees collected in 2008.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The nonprofit organization Contra Costa Kops for Kids has awarded Willow High School in Crockett a $1,000 grant for sports equipment and will take the principal and three students from the alternative school shopping for baseball bats, gloves, soccer balls and basketballs on Tuesday at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Pinole.


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Past grant recipients from Contra Costa Kops for Kids include West County Community High School in Richmond, La Paloma High School in Brentwood, Omega High School in Richmond, North Campus High School in San Pablo, Crossroads High School, Diablo Community Day School and Nueva Vista/Summit/TLC in Concord, and Gateway High School in Bay Point.

The organization directs funding through retired law enforcement workers who serve as mentors to at-risk young people in the county, and the Willow High School Grant was awarded through Daniel Jones, resident deputy in Crockett for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

The nonprofit group has worked with Willow school and trained students via sports clinics, and the hope is that the grant will allow that program to continue.

"Mentors are expected to provide role modeling, assistance, mentoring and participation with the children for the duration of the grant," according to the organization, which has also provided free "positive mental attitude" seminars at Willow.

To learn more about Contra Costa Kops for Kids, call 925-827-1998 or send an email to cocopaa2@yahoo.com.

  • The final Point Richmond Art Walk of the year is 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 20, with a reception at the Point Richmond Art Collective, 121 Park Place, from 5 to 9 p.m.

  • "The War At Home," a new 25-minute film that uses oral histories, archival materials and personal diaries to illustrate the diversity and complexity of the World War II home front, is being shown daily at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park visitor education center at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond.

    The new film tells the national perspective of the war years at home and alternates with showings of the 16-minute documentary "Home Front Heroes," which provides an overview of Richmond during the war.

    For details or directions to the center, call 510-232-3108 or visit www.nps.gov/rori/planyourvisit/directions.htm.

    Admission to the center is free.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.