Author Archive


Santa Dollars

Looking for a unique stocking stuffer? Look no further! Santa Dollars, available at any California Pacific Federal Credit Union branch, are here, and proceeds benefit the Food Bank! Santa Dollars are real, spendable dollars. Surprise  kids, grandkids, or even Aunt Betty in her Christmas card. For more information visit Happy Holidays!

A Thoughtful Gift

Kudos to Emily Bach and staff at The Bach Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Orinda for choosing to say thank you to their clients via the Food Bank.  Instead of sending clients the usual holiday gift of candy or other personal item, Emily decided to make a $5,000 donation to the Food Bank in honor of her clients.  She paid for custom printed Thanksgiving cards, included a letter from herself explaining the donation, and a letter from Food Bank Executive Director Larry Sly explaining Food Bank needs and how many people this generous donation will feed.

If you would like to do a similar good deed through your business for the holiday season, Christmas or the New Year, please contact Kathy Gleason at 925 771 1313 or

County Food Fight 2011

Let the annual Counties Care Food Fight begin!  2011 marks the eighth year that employees of Solano and Contra Costa counties will help raise funds for their respective neighbors in need, and vie for bragging rights to the Big Apple trophy.  The winning county is determined by the amounts raised per employee.

What began in 2003 as a friendly competition focusing on helping the community, has grown into an annual fundraiser the Food Bank depends on.  Last year county employees raised over $143,000 for the Food Bank!   In the seven year history of the Food Fight, county employees have helped raise over $811,000!

Although Contra Costa County employees took home the Big Apple in 2010, Solano County employees are determined to bring it back home in 2011.  Funds are raised in a variety of ways including collecting donations for Food Bank Buy A Bags, holding bake sales, selling hot dogs, and any creative way county employees can think of to wrestle donations out of their fellow employees!

Local radio stations including KUIC, KKDV and Gene Burns at KGO pitch in to help promote the drive, encouraging listeners to donate as a “friend of the Food Bank”.  This brings in additional donations although these funds are not included in the employee to employee competition.

You can help by donating online through the Food Bank site. Be sure to select your county!

The Food Bank gratefully acknowledges Contra Costa and Solano County employees for taking on this huge holiday fundraiser.  This is proof that county employees really do care about the residents in their county.  Please support their efforts.

Donor Spotlight – Bill and Terri Wygal

Bill's Ace HardwareBill and Terri Wygal are the owners of Bill’s Chairs for Affairs and Bill’s Ace Hardware stores. Bill’s Ace Hardware has been in business since 1964 serving the community and ensuring Grandpa Bill’s vision of providing superior customer service remains a priority.

For more than ten years their businesses have been Certified Green, with Bill’s being one of the first local businesses to attain that distinction. Bill’s Chairs for Affairs was purchased in November of 2008 from a good friend of theirs, and is operated with the same commitment to service as the hardware stores. Bill and Terri are both extremely active in their community, partnering with many non-profits such as the Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Civic Art, and Veterans causes. They generously sent their employees to help rebuild Monument Crisis Center when called upon.

Bill’s Ace Hardware is a strong supporter of the Food Bank, donating auction prizes and cases of water for the annual Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraiser in June. On a more personal note, when a local Concord boy was murdered in February 2010 and a Food Bank employee helping his single mother put together a memorial service contacted Bill, he did not hesitate when asked to donate cases of water for the lunch.

Bill and Terri have been extremely involved in Martinez schools for years. Their support of Martinez schools ranges from the elementary schools to the Junior High School, and all the way to Alhambra High School. Bill and Terri both have a strong commitment to the communities that we live in and try to give back as much as possible. They are amazing people who are always wonderful to talk to and always willing to help with anything you need. We salute Bill and Terri Wygal for their outstanding efforts in helping to end hunger.


Drawing Winner Surprises the Food Bank!

On June 26th, at the Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event, seven lucky supporters won great prizes in our Roger Weiss Memorial Beat the Recession Drawing.  One of those lucky winners won $1,001 in Target gift cards.

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, picked up her gift cards at the Food Bank after the event.  To our surprise and delight, as she walked out the door, she handed me a check made out to the Food Bank for………$1,001!  What a wonderful surprise!  Food Bank supporters are amazing people.

Thank you anonymous donor!

It’s the Final Countdown!

Six days and counting until the event of the summer! New vendors Whole Foods, Quady Winery and Fresh & Easy will join many other vendors to delight your taste buds in our Appetizer and Dessert Tasting Tents. Watch four local master cake decorator/pastry chefs compete in our first ever Cupcake War! We have nine fabulous Live Auction prizes and over 110 Silent Auction prizes including baskets, garden items, get-a-ways, fine wine and more. You will love the island music provided by northern California’s premier steel drum band Shabang!, and the Swinging Blue Stars of the USS Hornet will take you back to the good old days.

Enjoy A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden and help feed your neighbors in need. Don’t miss this spectacular once a year event! For complete event details and to make reservations, visit

2010 - Afternoon in the Admiral's Garden

Treasures Await You in the Silent Auction

In addition to all the great food and wine at the Food Bank’s Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event on June 26th there are over 100 items to bid on in our silent auction!

Here are the highlights of the Silent Auction:

– More than 50 baskets of home and garden items from Sur La Table, Pier One, Bill’s Ace Hardware and others
– Toys, clothes, games and princess fare for kids and families
– Holiday delights for dining and decorating
– Golf and tickets to A’s and Giant’s games
– Jewelry from David Yurman, Tiffany and Brighton
– An AMAZING wine collection from premier and boutique wineries including Arrowood, Cline, Domaine Carneros, Esterlina, Mantra, Pine Ridge, Rombauer, Roth, Shafer, Siduri, Turnbull, Viansa and many more. The highlight of the collection comes from Saxum James Berry. We have 3 bottles of Syrah from 2005, 2006 and 2007. The 2007 is the star of the vertical. It was rated 100 points by Robert Parker and was named 2010 Wine of the Year (number one in their annual Top 100 ranking) by Wine Spectator magazine.

More to come…

For complete event details and to make reservations, visit

Bid on acclaimed wines from Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, a handmade quilt donated by our friends the Tole Bridge Tolers, decor for your home and garden and a kit with all the tools you need to be a master pastry chef at home! Only some of the hundreds of auction items at
A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden.

Swing and Dance with us on June 26th!

Take a musical trip back in time to the 40’s and 50’s as the fabulous Swingin’ Blue Stars of the USS Hornet join us again at our “Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” annual fundraising event.  Audiences of all ages get a thrill from their fun performances that mix saucy and romantic WWII tunes. You don’t want to miss it! Register today at Learn more about the Swingin’ Blue Stars

Just added to the line-up: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse!

If you love a cold beer on a summer day you will love the newest addition to our Admiral’s Garden Tasting Tent line-up, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse!

Sample BJ’s handcrafted Brewhouse Blonde and Jeremiah Red beers, Root Beer and Orange Cream handcrafted sodas, paired perfectly with delicious Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps.

Learn about our other tasting tents and get your tickets at See you at “A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden”!

Find BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on Facebook.

Announcing Shabang Steel Drum Band at the event of the summer!

We are so excited to announce the authentic Caribbean calypso steel drum music of Shabang Steel Drum Band will be joining us at our annual fundraising event on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at Mare Island in Vallejo.

Their engaging melodies and lyrics set to the infectious rhythms of Calypso, Reggae, Zouk and Soca, and highlighted with the indigenous sound of steel drums or steel pans, will take you on a virtual Caribbean vacation.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, these steel pan players have been the darlings of the corporate party scene in Northern California, Tahoe and Reno for more than a decade.

Please join the Food Bank and local TV and radio personalities, and sample a multitude of delicious foods and beverages at our 11th annual “Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden”. Learn more:

Shabang Steel Drum Band