Archive for May, 2010

Please vote for our friends at Vallejo People’s Garden

The community garden on Mare Island is competing with other communities around the country for a $25,000 grant from Nature’s Path Organics. The only way to win the $25,000 grant from Nature’s Path Organics is by getting the most votes. To date, they are in first place with 466 votes. Your vote counts.

Voting for Vallejo to receive this funding only takes about 60 seconds.  Here’s how:

1.  Go to and click on “VOTE” on the right

2.  Create an account by giving your name, email address, and making up a password

3.  Check your email and click on the link to activate your account.    Now you’ve voted for us!

Bonus points:  you can add a message of support in the comment box.

Please pass this message on to anyone you think would support our effort.    Anyone with an email address can vote, and the deadline for votes is May 31.

Thank you for your support!

Or you can vote on facebook…

Escape to Survivor Mare Island!

Mark your calendar for the event of the summer on Sunday, June 27th!

Bay area Survivor TV stars and local celebrities invite you to join them for a fun filled afternoon to celebrate the tenth anniversary of “An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” presented by Pacific Service Credit Union. Celebrities and entertainment includes Yau-Man Chan – Survivor Fiji and Micronesia, Sonja Christopher – Survivor Borneo, Sylvia Kwan – Survivor Fiji, Chad Crittenden – Survivor Vanuatu, and Cecilia Mansilla – Survivor Cook Islands. Joining the Survivor stars is baseball great Vida Blue, KTVU’s Heather Holmes, NBC Bay Area’s Cheryl Hurd, KSFO’s Officer Vic aka Tom Benner. KUIC’s John Young and Don Potter, and more! Entertainment this year includes the 40’s and 50’s swinging sounds of The Singing Blue Stars of the USS Hornet (back by popular demand), the Pandamonium Steel Drum Band, and our favorite DJ’s Denon & Doyle.

The fun starts at noon with the opening of the Wine and Appetizer Tasting Tents and live music. At 1:30 pm a delicious tropical gourmet lunch, prepared by Englund’s Catering, is served in the garden. Dessert Tasting Tents open at 2:30 pm.

You can tour the mansions, St. Peter’s Chapel and the Naval Museum free as part of our event!

The low event price (same as last year) of $65 per person or two for $120 includes all food, drink, entertainment and tours. Bring extra cash, check or credit card if you wish to participate in Live or Silent auctions or games. Wear your favorite tropical outfit! To make reservations and for more information visit

PG&E employees making a difference

Larry Sly greets Chris Johns, President of PG&E (right) and Mark Johnson, VP of Electric Operations at PG&E (left) at a community work event at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  PG&E’s Black Employee Resource Group spent a Saturday afternoon sorting food at the Food Bank warehouse.  In addition, Mark Johnson serves as a member of the Food Bank’s Board of Directors and PG&E provides financial support to the Food Bank.


PG&E and PG&E Employees are also two of the sponsors for the Food Bank’s tenth annual An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden to be held June 27 at Mare Island in Vallejo.

Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden – Survivor Mare Island

Save the Date…For the Event of the Summer! Join Bay Area Survivor TV stars and the Singing Blue Stars of the USS Hornet at our 10th annual “Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden – Survivor Mare Island” event! Enjoy an afternoon filled with tropical food and fun. Sample a multitude of delicious award winning foods and beverages! The fundraising event will be held on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at the Admiral’s Mansion and Captain’s Quarters on Mare Island in Vallejo. Learn more:

Admiral's mansion

Admiral's mansion

10,000 Letters Campaign: Make Your Voice Heard

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget would eliminate the California Food Assistance Program, cut Supplemental Security Income, and decimate the CalWORKS program and other vital services, all of which will exacerbate hunger in your community and throughout the state.

With just a short time left before Governor Schwarzenegger introduces his May Revision budget, it’s imperative that voices for health and human services are heard loud and clear in the Capitol! 

That’s why the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is partnering with other human services organizations across the state in asking everyone to generate letters for the “10,000 Letters Campaign”.  Our shared goal is to generate 10,000 letters to members of the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees and other leaders in opposition to the Governor’s proposed budget as soon as possible! 

We know that several thousand letters have already been generated – NOW we need your help to ensure we meet (and hopefully surpass) our goal of 10,000! 

Please click on the links below for your legislators, print out, sign, record your name, city and zip code (below your signature), and mail or fax each letter as soon as possible. We urge you to ask your family members, friends, colleagues, and anyone else to do the same. Thank you!

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan
Assembly Member Noreen Evans
Assembly Member Nancy Skinner
Assembly Member Tom Torlakson
Assembly Member Mariko Yamada
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Pat Wiggins
Senator Lois Wolk

To locate your State representatives, visit If you are having difficulty opening any of these documents, please email Patty McDowell at

East Bay Law Firms’ 5K Walk-A-Thon Fundraiser Benefits Food from the Bar

Food from the Bar is one of the most successful fundraisers for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  This year, local law firms are banding together for the first time to participate in a joint 5K Walk-A-Thon to benefit the Food Bank.  On Friday, May 7, over 80 participants will don their walking shoes to trek 3.1 miles around downtown Walnut Creek to fight hunger through the Food from the Bar campaign. 

Since 1992, the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) has sponsored an annual food and fundraising competition where local law firms, solo practitioners and county legal offices vie to raise the most per capita money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, in an event dubbed “Food from the Bar” (FFTB).  Since FFTB began, attorneys and staff have raised $740,000 and over 52 tons of food for the Food Bank.

As the organizer of the event, Archer Norris PLC is proud to walk with fellow firms: McNamara, Dodge, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Pfalzer, Borges & Brothers LLP; Miller Starr Regalia PLC; The Law Offices of Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines, APC; Timken Johnson Hwang LLP; Van De Poel, Levy & Allen, LLP, along with other individuals in the community.

Each $50 registration fee for the Walk-A-Thon directly assists the Food Bank, and participants also receive sponsor donations from family, friends and colleagues.  The top three participants who raise the most additional money for the Food Bank win a gift certificate to Sports Basement, a Walk-A-Thon sponsor.

“For the past 18 years, law firms have challenged one another to find new and exciting ways to raise money for FFTB, which ultimately provides food for thousands of Contra Costa and Solano county residents each month” explains Ed Shaffer, Archer Norris partner and FFTB committee Chair for the CCCBA.  “This year participating firms are challenging each other in a new way; by coming together in a single fundraising Walk-A-Thon, we hope to raise more money for the Food Bank than ever before.”

Food From The Bar

The 15th Annual Food From The Bar Comedy Night for the Food Bank (called “RES IPSA JOKUITOR”) took place at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill on April 27. This event was the place to be for great food, friends, prizes and laughs! Justice James Marchiano served as MC and started the evening off with his annual joke. Opening Act Andrew Norelli, who has performed nationally, gave a clever and professional routine that had the audience in stitches. Headliner Bob Sarlatte regaled the audience with stories from his many appearances on David Letterman and his long career as a performer – as well as his role as announcer for the 49’ers. The Food Bank collected almost 200 pounds of beef stew graciously donated by our guests.

The Food Bank would like to thank these generous sponsors for making this event so successful:


Scott Valley Bank  ~  Law Offices of Suzanne Boucher
Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines
Newmeyer & Dillion LLP  ~  Heritage Bank of Commerce
Certified Reporting Services  ~  Miller Starr Regalia  ~  Mechanics Bank
Contra Costa County Bar Association  ~  Back Forty Texas BBQ

This event kicked off the 18th Annual Food From The Bar, a two week food/fund drive. Last year’s winners of this competition were:

West County – Lyon & Quintero
1-10 Employees – Law Offices of Suzanne Boucher
11-20 Employees – Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser
21-50 Employees – Bowles & Verna
51 and over Employees – Archer Norris

Good luck to each and every firm participating this year! We look forward to hearing about your fundraising experiences.