WHEN IT COMES TO community food drives, Blackhawk Country Club scores top marks.
Results are in for the community's 23rd annual December drive for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and a record-breaking $51,210 was donated by generous Blackhawk residents and workers, along with 10,587 pounds of food.
One person contributed $30,000 anonymously.
Amanda Kuiper, who chaired the food drive for the first time, had previously volunteered as a bag distributor and gate volunteer, and she shadowed Erin Marchi, the former food drive chairwoman, last year.
"The outpouring of volunteerism was amazing," Kuiper said. "Some people have been volunteering in the same job for years and have a real personal stake in, say, delivering bags in their neighborhood, or collecting food at the gate. And we have a fantastic support group in the Food Bank, Blackhawk Country Club and the Blackhawk Home-owners Association.
"It was a really wonderful experience. I would call people and they wanted to do even more than what we needed -- it was heartwarming, and I look forward to doing it again."
The Food Bank also received a check for $500 in December from the student council of Creekside Elementary School. The money was part of the proceeds earned from a haunted house created by fourth- and fifth-graders to celebrate Halloween.
Maddie Dailey, 10-year-old student council president and daughter of Joan and Kerry Dailey, of Danville, came up with the idea during her campaign for president at the end of fourth-grade last year. When school started this fall, she presented her idea to the PTA.
"Maddie put up a student volunteer sign-up sheet in the lunch room one day, and within an hour there were signatures on front and back with no room to spare," Joan said in an e-mail.
"The entire student council, and loads of other fourth- and fifth-graders from Creekside Elementary, were thoroughly excited to help set up, decorate, and most of all, create a pretty spectacular haunted house. With a line out the door at the entrance "... the event turned into one of the most fantastic and successful events to date at Creekside," Joan Dailey wrote.
The student council is guided and mentored by fifth-grade teacher Craig Harter. In addition to the $500 donation to the Food Bank, enough money was raised to help buy trees and a new bench for the school, Joan said.
BOOK STORE CHANGE: Read. Booksellers, the upscale bookstore that opened in Blackhawk Plaza in November 2009, was sold last month to Larry and Patricia Cobabe, owners of G.R. Doodlebug, the toy and gift store next door. (They also have a Doodlebug in the Livery & Mercantile shopping center in Danville.)
"We're pretty excited about this," said Larry. "It's going to remain a bookstore, as it's been since the beginning. We're opening a wall between the stores soon and the bookstore will actually be a little bigger than it is now. Our goal is to have the work done in January but it's dependent on the drawings and the permits."
Meanwhile, it's business as usual at both Read and G.R. Doodlebug. The managers have changed, but the bookstore staff will remain, he said. Children's reading and craft times are still scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesdays, and author appearances will continue as planned, including John Lescroart, a New York Times best-selling author, at 7 p.m. Jan. 20, just days after the release of his latest novel, "Damage."
The bookstore is located near Draeger's at 3630 Blackhawk Plaza Circle.
Contact Georgia Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org.