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2011 Food From The Bar – Walk-A-Thon

Guest post by Kerstin Firmin and Theresa Hurley at Contra Costa County Bar Association: On Friday, May 13th, the 2011 Food from the Bar Drive culminated in a flurry of fun activities organized by the Walnut Creek law firm Archer Norris. Kicking off the day in downtown Walnut Creek, dozens of walkers in matching blue shirts completed a 3-mile Walk-A-Thon, co-sponsored by Archer Norris, the Law Offices of Hinton Alfert, Sumner & Kaufmann; Shapiro, Buchman, Provine, Brothers, Smith LLP; Timken, Johnson, Hwang LLP; McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Brothers LLP, and Sports Basement.

We Walk for the Food Bank

Family members, friends and vendors joined the law firms in their efforts to raise much-needed funds for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. “My family gets together to volunteer at least one day every month,” one walker shared, adding “Next month, we’ll go to the Food Bank to help sort food supplies.”
After the walk, a casual dress fundraiser, raffle, wine auction, and potluck lunch at the Archer Norris office rounded out the day. The day’s events marked the conclusion of the two-week long annual food drive which has raised more than $800,000 and 54 tons of food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano since its inception 16 years ago.

Did Contra Costa law firms reach their 2011 goal of collecting $100,000 and 10,000 pounds of food? The tallying begins…

Emily Newton of Archer Norris with her mother

Karin Wiborn, Archer Norris Executive Director; Tim Sweeney of One Risk Group, and Praggay Chaturvedi of Archer Norris

Res Ipsa Jokuitor – Kickoff for Food from the Bar

Guest post by Kerstin Firmin, Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Communications Coordinator: Res Ipsa Jokuitor, the Comedy Night kickoff event for Food from the Bar, was a rib-splitting success.

The mood in the Back Forty BBQ banquet room was festive as more than 130 guests mingled, ready to be entertained by comedians Rocky LaPorte and Andrew Norelli. Food from the Bar Planning Committee Chair Ed Shaffer of Archer Norris and Lisa Reep, Executive Director of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, along with other committee members were on hand to greet guests and sponsors, including Archer Norris, Gilardi & Co., Nevin, Ramos & Steele, and U.S. Legal Support.

A delicious dinner of BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken and all the appropriate fixings, provided by Back Forty BBQ, quieted the crowd long enough for MC Justice James Marchiano to kick off the program.

Larry Sly, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, thanked those in attendance for their efforts over the past 16 years to provide much needed food and funds to Contra Costa and Solano residents. Sly shared statistics on hunger that surprised many of those assembled, noting that nearly 1/3 of all children in Contra Costa and Solano experience hunger on a daily basis.

Sly was followed by comedian Andrew Norelli. Norelli, a Danville resident and Northern California native soon had the crowd laughing at their own expense. Norelli drew heavily on his local knowledge and family life to keep the crowd smiling. Showing no fear of the legal system, he quickly made Justice Marchiano the target of many lighthearted barbs.

Following Norelli on stage was Rocky LaPorte. LaPorte whose credits include the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Comedy Central Specials, hit the crowd hard with his Chicago style humor. Like Norelli, La Porte seemed especially taken by Justice Marchiano, seeking reassurance frequently – “Isn’t that right, Judge?”

The event marked the beginning of the two-week long competitive food drive which has raised more than $800,000 and 54 tons of food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano since its inception 16 years ago. Eager to hit this year’s goal of $100,000 and 10,000 pounds of food, the food drive began at the door: Comedy Night attendees were asked to bring canned goods for the chance to win great door prices. Almost 180 pounds of beef stew were collected that night – a great start!

Food From the Bar Comedy NightFood From the Bar Comedy Night

To see more photos, visit the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Facebook album:

Walking to take a stand against hunger

Saturday, April 9th was a beautiful day in Vallejo for a walk to raise money locally and worldwide along the picturesque Mare Island Way Shoreline. Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walks help fight hunger and poverty around the world including the United States and Haiti. Neighbors from different faiths, cultures, and ages walked together to take a stand against hunger in our world.

Together we raised awareness and funds for international relief and development as well as local hunger-fighting agencies such as the Food Banks! Hungry people in developing countries typically walk as much as six miles a day to get food, water and fuel to take their goods to market. We walked to be in solidarity with their struggle for existence.

A perfect ending to this event was the concert on Sunday night, April 10th. A full house enjoyed all types of music and singing from Frances Fanilli (Harpist), Resonance with Elisabeth and James, Debbie, Ken and Brenda from First Church of the Nazarene and Singing by John Grose.

Motorcar enthusiasts hold fundraiser for the Food bank

The Northern California Kit Car Club is a Non-profit California Corporation that was organized to promote learning more about automobiles through the sharing of information among members and interested parties. They are an association of motorcar enthusiasts who enjoy creating, driving and displaying their own automobiles at shows, parades and promotions. These are supplemented by social events such as trips, gatherings, parties, rallies, etc.

One of the prime objectives of their social activities is the exchange of ideas and experiences that come with building your own car. Members of the club, collectively, represent a wide range of knowledge and experience that can be invaluable to those building a car or are contemplating building one.

The club’s yearly public event for 2010 is the 28th Annual Handcrafted and Special Interest Car Show at the Hilton Hotel, 1970 Diamond Boulevard, Concord, on September 11 & 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All Show profits will go to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. Spectator admission will be a $2 donation to the Food Bank. More information at <> or phone (707) 745-4361 or (925) 938-1442.

County Bar Association Rallies to Raise Funds for the Food Bank

The Contra Costa County Bar Association is pleased to announce results of the 2010 Food From The Bar fundraiser for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  In May, 43 local law offices with more than 800 employees donated over $72,000 and collected 2,800 pounds of food.  Each dollar contributed can buy enough food for three meals.  The Food Bank and Bar Association are especially pleased by this year’s totals given current economic conditions.

This marks the 18th annual Food From The Bar fundraiser.  Over the years county attorneys and their staff have donated $820,000 and 53 tons of food, making the Bar Association one of the Food Bank’s largest supporters.

As a way to encourage competition and stimulate donations, the Bar declares winners in five categories based on highest per capita contribution.  The winners for 2010 are:

West County               – Lyon & Quintero

1-10 employees           – Law Offices of Suzanne Boucher

11-20 employees         – Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser

21-50 employees         – Morgan Miller Blair

51+ employees            – Archer Norris

Attorneys solicited goods and services from vendors, restaurants and other businesses that were auctioned or raffled.  Firms used many creative fundraising efforts:  past activities have included head shaving, creampuff eating, and “Fear Factor” type contests.  In mid-May you may have seen a parade of people in matching blue shirts during a 5K walk-a-thon around downtown Walnut Creek – an event that raised thousands of dollars in pledges!

Members of the 2010 Food From The Bar Committee

Renee Baptiste, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano

Joshua Bevitz, Newmeyer & Dillion LLP

Dan Birkhaeuser, Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser

Suzanne Boucher, Law Office of Suzanne Boucher

Chad Gallagher, Miller Starr Regalia

Barbara Jewell, Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines

Michelle Moore, Morrison & Foerster

Adriana Quintero, Lyon & Quintero

Lisa Reep, Contra Costa Bar Association

Lisa Roberts, McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Brothers LLP

Ed Shaffer, Archer Norris (Chair)

Monica Sloboda, Morgan Miller Blair

Geoffrey Steele, Nevin, Ramos & Steele

by Ed Shaffer of Archer Norris, Chair of the Food From The Bar Committee

2nd Annual Harvest Food Drive

Cathy Lee owner of C.L. Design Services Home Staging and Brian Rogan, California Custom Carpets, sponsored the 2nd Annual Harvest Food Drive at the Elk’s Lodge, Walnut Creek , May 21st at 7:30pm.  Brian’s East Bay Party Band, High Cotton, entertained the crowd as 349 lbs of canned goods were donated to the Food Bank.

High Cotton

High Cotton Band

For more information contact Cathy Lee at

Diablo Singles Dance Club raises money for the Food Bank

The Diablo Singles Dance Club’s collected $974 at their first fundraising event held for the benefit of the Food Bank in April.  The event included ballroom dancing to the music of the Nob Hill Sounds.  The theme for the evening was “Western Night” and everyone came dressed in their best western wear.

Diablo Singles Dance Club

Diablo Singles Dance Club presents Food Bank executive director Larry Sly with a check for $974.

The Diablo Singles Dance Club feel that they are so fortunate to have the gifts of good health and plenty to eat that they need to share with the less fortunate of our community. The dance club is made up of singles ranging in age from 29 to 92; some of the members have been through the great depression and World War II, so they know firsthand of how it is to “fall on hard times”. They meet the last Wednesday of each month at the Civic Arts Building on Ygnacio Valley Road and Wiget Lane in Walnut Creek. They would love new friends to come out and dance the night away.

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.

Holiday Food and Fund Drives

Take a look at just some of the many ways the community supported the Food Bank during the Holiday Season. Please browse our blog to see other ways individuals, businesses and groups have been helping the Food Bank.

During the holiday season, ABC7 and Safeway sponsor the Share Your Holiday food drive in local stores. This year it brought in over 92,000 pounds of food — a tremendous help throughout the winter months. Community members purchase non-perishable groceries and put their bags into the barrels in the front of Safeway stores. In addition, ABC7 and Safeway sponsor a one day event in which the Food Bank teamed up with the Alameda County Community Food Bank at the new Safeway Store in San Ramon. This one day we were able to raise over $128,220 and 5,747 pounds of food. We are truly grateful to all those involved in this event for their time, hard work and energy to make the event successful.

Beginning on November 1 all bay area Whole Foods Markets kept barrels in their stores to receive non-perishable food donations for the holiday months during the CBS5/Whole Foods Market Food for Bay Area Families food drive and collected 3,728 pounds of food.  On Dec. 8, Whole Foods held a 5% Day in support of Food for Bay Area Families which made a donation of $8,697. During the entire drive, CBS5 also ­generously provided on air-time to ­recognize donors.

For many years, ABC7/Safeway Thanksgiving Meals has continued to help us raise the money needed to make the holiday baskets for our neighbors. This year, we were able to make over 19,000 holiday food baskets! Our special donors — who gave $28,238 and 827 turkeys — had the honor of having their names announced on the 6:00 evening news by ABC7’s Spencer Christian.

In an effort to lend a helping hand this holiday season, CVS pharmacy stores partnered with local food banks to aid in the fight against hunger during the NBC Bay Area’s Holiday Food Drive. Volunteers at bay area stores handed out information and asked for food donations on November 21, making a huge impact to this food drive. The drive collected, 16,115 pounds of food that will be distributed during the winter months to those desperately in need.

Other Holiday Food drives include Travis Credit Union: 5,267 pounds, Food Maxx: 3,562 pounds, Save Mart: 2,360 pounds, and Lucky: 26,454 pounds. Over 800 community food drives were held during the 2009 holiday season and every single one made a difference to the Food Bank and the people we serve. Many thanks to all of those involved for the much
needed food.

Throughout the year the Food Bank is the beneficiary of so many wonderful events and food drives thanks to our generous community.

CBS 5 recognizing the Student Food Drive

CBS 5 recognizing the Student Food Drive

ABC’s Laura Anthony  and County Connection

ABC’s Laura Anthony and County Connection


Creekside Church at ABC7 and Safeway's Share Your Holiday event

Travis Credit Union

Travis Credit Union decorated their food drive barrels for the holiday season

Moraga CVS Store

Moraga CVS Store with the store manager and volunteers from Key Club and Kiwanis