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Angelene Bray, left, of Cloverdale walks out in front of grandmother Annie Stephens, center, of Concord, and mother Kelly Hoeppner of Vancouver, Wash., as they participate in John Muir Health's Go Red walking event to raise awareness for women's cardiac health in Concord, Calif. Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)

The spirit of National Heart Month in February begins when John Muir Health's ninth annual "Go Red: Walk, Shop and Stroll, Preventing Heart Disease in Women, One Step at a Time" event is held from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

Walks through nearby neighborhoods of approximately one mile will begin simultaneously starting from John Muir Medical Center, 2540 East St. in Concord; and in Walnut Creek at John Muir Medical Center, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road and John Muir Health Women's Health Center, 1656 N. California Blvd.

The first 100 registered participants at each location will receive a free event T-shirt. There will also be special giveaways and prizes.

Participants may register online at www.johnmuirhealth.com/classes or call 925-941-7900. Families are invited to participate in this great event.

Celebrate the women in your life!

"It's all about taking the first step, and every step truly counts," says Evon Shipley, LVN, and Women's Heart Program coordinator.

Through the Women's Heart Program and this annual event, women are able to become proactive in taking care of themselves and making a difference by understanding risks for developing cardiovascular disease and taking action to lead healthier lives.

John Muir Health thanks the American Heart Association, Chevron Women's Organization, Broadway Plaza, Sunvalley mall, Sports Basement and all participants for their support of this event.


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Elks tasty fundraiser

B.P.O.E., the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (or as they are affectionately known, the Best People On Earth), and Gerry Gouveia, past exalted ruler and crab feed chairman of the Walnut Creek Elks Lodge 1811, invites everyone to their the group's Crab Feed at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 1475 Creekside Drive in Walnut Creek.

Tickets at $40 include salad, pasta, bread, and "all the crab you can eat." Steak or chicken dinners are available by pre-order for non-crab eaters. There will be assorted drawings and raffle prizes.

Call 925-935-1811 or stop by the lodge at to make your required reservation.

All proceeds support the Elks' major project for children in California and Hawaii who have a variety of handicaps and who may not have other resources available to them.

Elks provide physical, speech and occupational therapists who work with these children in their homes. Elks pay therapists' salaries, provide vans, equipment and support them in their work.

The Elks of Walnut Creek also offer scholarships, donate dictionaries to third-grade students and have an Americanism essay contest for sixth-graders. Isabelle Barkey of Dorris-Eaton School in Walnut Creek was the 2012 essay winner, and represented Walnut Creek Lodge in the Central District contest, where she placed third.

The lodge held a December "Hoop Shoot" at De La Salle High School in Concord, for boys and girls 8-13. Walnut Creek lodge winners took all six first-place trophies in Modesto this year. Congratulations to: Justin Chan of Moraga; Cameron Steinmetz of Danville; Shane Wilk of Walnut Creek; Jaley Croy of Walnut Creek; Ali Bamberger of Concord and Clare Driscoll of Danville.

Soroptimist crab feed

Soroptimist International of Martinez joins Soroptimist International of 24-680 for a crab feed and silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Oakwood Athletic Club, 4000 Mt Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.

Tickets are $45 per person and must be purchased in advance.

For tickets or additional information, contact Gay Gerlack at 925-228-6717 or ggerlack@aol.com.

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.

Mock Trial

The Contra Costa County Office of Education is seeking volunteer judges and attorneys to help with the 32nd annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial.

It is a hands-on educational program created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.

This year's case is a hit-and-run trial (with a texting-while-driving element mixed in): People vs. Vega.

Great choice!

"I encourage all law professionals to join us in serving as volunteer judges and attorney scorers," says Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Barry Goode.

Interested volunteers can learn more by visiting the CCCOE's Mock Trial website at www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/events/mocktrial.htm or contact Jonathan Lance at 925-942-3429.

ARC grant

Advocacy, Respect, Commitment (ARC), is the single largest nonprofit employer of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the East Bay.

PG&E Energy Solutions executive manager Gregory Hoaglin recently presented ARC with a $5,000 grant to install energy-efficient lighting systems at ARC commercial support services locations in Concord and Antioch.

The new SmartLight systems will provide energy savings and better lighting in work areas, which are staffed by adults with developmental disabilities who provide assembly, mailing and packaging services to businesses located throughout the Bay Area.

Contra Costa ARC provides early childhood intervention, support for parents and family members of children with special needs, employment and community access.

Barbara Maizie, serving 27 years as executive director of Contra Costa ARC, invites residents to visit www.contracostaarc.org for more information about how businesses or organizations can support their efforts.

Perform at Star Quest

Star Quest, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pleasant Hill, brings amazing performances by K-12 youth to the community.

Applications are now available for singers, dancers and other performers. Pick up an application and submit it by Feb. 1, to the Recreation & Park District Office, 147 Gregory Lane, in Pleasant Hill.

Call Pleasant Hill Rec at 925-682-0896, or the show's producer, Jim Nunes, at 925-689-2249 for further information.

Contra Costa Council

Contra Costa USA, an event presented each year to focus on regional and national political and economic issues by the Contra Costa Council, offered a great networking opportunity for profit and nonprofit professionals last week.

I did a little networking myself during the daylong conference, as a guest of the Contra Costa Times, media sponsor of the event.

Opportunity Junction offers low-income or unemployed residents the opportunity to gain skills and confidence for a job search.

Rich Berger, business services manager whom I met at the above event, said volunteers are always needed to share their experience in all areas as well as offer general support.

Contact Catherine Bernal, program and volunteer coordinator, at 925-776-1133.

Save the date for Opportunity Junction's Imagine Gala on April 27, at Diablo Country Club.

Batter up!

IHOP invites residents to enjoy a complimentary stack of IHOP's buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on National Pancake Day, Feb. 5, at all locations.

Diners will be encouraged to make a voluntary contribution to the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

One hundred percent of the donations will help local charities provide vital equipment, lifesaving procedures and critical care for sick and injured children.

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