In brief: Moraga Kiwanis Club raises $115,000 for area charities


Kiwanis Club of Moraga Valley is proud to announce the successful completion of their Feed the Need fundraising campaign. This summer, the group far exceeded their $60,000 goal and generated 230 contributions totaling $115,000 thanks to its members and their generous community.

Each of the club’s nonprofit partners, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, Monument Crisis Center of Concord and Meals on Wheels Contra Costa, received $38,333, a third of the total amount donated. Club officials say they’re appreciative and inspired by the kindness and compassion shown by so many and want to especially recognize contributions from donors The Pease Family Fund, The Eagle Foundation, Olivier Paugam and Dropbox, Chevron and Moraga Rotary.

— Kiwanis Club of Moraga Valley


AAUW-OML announces upcoming Girls4STEM webinars

The American Association of University Women Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch (AAUW-OML) is offering a new webinar series specifically for high school girls called Girls4STEM​. This series introduces women working in STEM fields to girls who at this stage of their lives are making choices about what courses to take in high school and considering potential careers.

The first webinar, “Refinery 101,” will be at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 with Christy Tormey, who holds a bachelor of science in engineering degree from Duke University in mechanical engineering. After an internship at a Chevron oil refinery, she was hired by that company and is now an operations specialist. Find out what a day in the life of a refinery engineer is like. Her favorite part of the day? “Suiting up in Tyvek and a respirator and climbing through columns and furnaces.”

The next webinar is “Engineering with a Purpose” with Adrienne Johnson at 3 p.m. Nov. 22. Johnson is a civil engineer who earned an award in 2017 for designing a “net-zero building” and was named one of the “Top 20 Women to Watch” by Engineering Systems Magazine.

On Dec. 8, Deb Martin, who holds a bachelor of science degree in microbiology and is a certified industrial hygienist, will present a webinar on her career from the lab to taking safe and sustainable consumer products to market. She will be followed on Jan. 13 by Dr. Rosalie McGurk, an astrophysicist who will talk about her education and career path and how to make a spectroscope. The webinars are free and made possible through a grant from the Bettelheim Family Foundation. For more details or to register, visit online.



Author, entrepreneur’s book says ‘Goodbye to Plastic’

Eco-mom and entrepreneur Sandra Ann Harris of Lafayette has written a new book entitled “Say Goodbye to Plastic,” an environmental memoir and how-to book released Oct. 13. Harris wrote the book to educate and activate people to dive into the plastic-free lifestyle.

“Now more than ever we need to be prescient about the crush of plastic used and disposed of,” Harris said. “Single-use plastic has been a terrible issue for a long time, but with the pandemic we’ve seen increased reliance on single-use plastics. The zero-waste lifestyle momentum we’d been seeing prior to the pandemic has suffered a setback.”

The book is a call to action with how-to chapters organized around rooms of a home. Harris invites readers to pick a room, such as the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or laundry room, and start to weed out plastic. In Harris’ words, readers are encouraged to “say goodbye to plastic” that’s needless and choose reusables made from natural and more easily recyclable materials instead. Harris, who is the founder and CEO of the plastic-free company ECOlunchbox, started combating plastic pollution at her kitchen table with the founding of her business in 2008.

Her plastic-free company has sold more than 800,000 stainless steel and silicon food containers since its founding, preventing tens of millions of pieces of plastic trash annually from use and disposal. The book was published by Hatherleigh Press and is distributed internationally by Penguin Random House.

— Sandra Ann Harris


De La Salle students raise over $16K for crisis center

On Oct. 15, De La Salle High School students Luke Anderson, J.T. Baird, Kason Pelz, Fernando Campos, Leo Villanueva, Matthew Fong and Vincent Castillo presented Monument Crisis Center (MCC) Executive Director Sandra Scherer with a check for $16,342 from donations made during the school’s 20th annual Cereal Drive.

“We were happy that we surpassed our goal because now, more than ever, the need for cereal for the Monument Crisis Center is twice as high,” said Anderson. “For every one that donated to this year’s Cereal Drive, thank you for keeping the tradition alive and for being very generous during a very hard time.”

Every year, De La Salle’s goal is to donate 3,000 boxes of cereal. This year, through the online donation platform, facilitated by a partnership with Para Ti Global, De La Salle received $13,342 from 316 individual donations and, for the first time in Cereal Drive history, created an online auction that received $2,700 through the bidding process. Anderson, the co-founder of Para Ti Global, is a member of the Service Leadership class and served as the 2020 Cereal Drive Chair.

With the donation of more than $16,000 and with a food bank discount, it is estimated that De La Salle’s donation will let the Monument Crisis Center buy more than 5,000 boxes of cereal for families in need. On behalf of the De La Salle Service Leadership students and the Monument Crisis Center, thank you to everyone in the De La Salle community that contributed to the most successful cereal drive in school history. For more information about this and events at De La Salle, visit online.

— De La Salle High School


Center for Visually Impaired to host Halloween fundraiser

The Lions Center for the Visually Impaired (LCVI) will host a Halloween-themed virtual fundraising event called the “No Show Monster Ball” at 7 p.m. Oct. 30. Registration for this event is free, but donations are encouraged and will support the services of LCVI for its senior clients who are blind or visually impaired in Alameda, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. Participants who donate $25 or more to this fundraiser will be automatically entered into a raffle for four exciting gift baskets. To register, go online to, call 925-432-3013 or visit for more information.



Cycle Recycle returns for 23rd year through November

For the 23rd year, Bobbie and Tom Preston will hold the Cycle Recycle, collecting repairable bikes to be refurbished and given to charitable groups. To date, more than 3,600 bikes have been collected. Deliver new or used working or repairable bikes and useable bike parts to the side driveway of 1307 Larch Ave. in Moraga from now through November only. No skateboards, trikes or plastic bikes, please.

This year the recipient organizations include Oakland International High School’s Earn-A-Bike program, The Bike Charity Institute of Alamo, Keeping our Promise (supporting Afghan immigrants who helped the U.S. government in Afghanistan), Waterside Workshops (providing bikes, bike mechanic training and outdoor recreation for more than 250 youth low-income and disconnected youth throughout the East Bay), and the Lake Merritt Community Cabins (which provides transitional housing for previously homeless adults while permanent housing is arranged). For more details, call 925-376-8474.

— Tom and Bobbie Preston


Break a Sweat for Education run/walk virtual this year

It’s time to lace up your sneakers and Break a Sweat for Education. This year, the sixth annual Yours Humanly run and walk fundraiser, presented by Capital One Café, is 100% virtual and being held Oct. 18-31.

This means participants in the popular fall event can run, walk, hike or move in any way they’d like, any distance, any location. More than an athletic event, Break a Sweat for Education is a fundraiser for education and a fun way to help children in need around the world gain access to the quality education and equitable resources they deserve. No matter the distance or form of locomotion, supporters will make a difference in the lives of children in need.

Proceeds will help Yours Humanly provide the distance learning technologies so desperately needed by underserved students who are currently learning remotely. And later, as teachers and students move through recovery and back to classrooms, financial support will help Yours Humanly create safe and productive school experiences for the children. Learn more and register at

— Yours Humanly

Leftovers Thrift Shop welcomes shoppers back with sale

Leftovers has reopened and is having a storewide half-off sale Oct. 27. Women’s and men’s apparel, housewares and linens, jewelry, books and a wide assortment of sundry items will be waiting for discerning customers. The shop’s former hours are back: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. COVID-19 precautions are in place, and masks are required.

Leftovers, a nonprofit shop, has been around for almost 45 years. Proceeds go primarily to the Contra Costa Crisis Center and to other community programs. The shop is at 2281 Olympic Blvd. in Walnut Creek (next to Il Pavone), its website is and its phone number is 925-938-9393. Donations cannot be accepted on sale day.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can pick up an application at the shop.

Virtual public forum about area homelessness on Nov. 10

The Walnut Creek Homeless Task Force is hosting a free virtual forum from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10, the third in a series of informational forums on homelessness in Walnut Creek.

The fall event is designed to give community members and business owners an opportunity to learn about the actions being taken in Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County to address homelessness. Expert speakers and panelists from the city, county and Trinity Center will discuss facts about homelessness, causes of homelessness, problems experienced by the homeless and the community and possible paths and solutions to issues that result from homelessness in our neighborhoods. During a question-and-answer session, panelists will take questions from virtual attendees through a session moderator who will monitor emailed questions.

The November forum will be held virtually via Zoom. While the event is free, registration is required by visiting, or e-mailing The Zoom link will be sent to registrants in late October.

— Walnut Creek Homeless Task Force

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Author: compiled by East Bay Times