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September Events Recap

September was full of fun events that people enjoyed while supporting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Our Special Events Manager, Renee, tells you all about them. For more information on these events or future events, please visit the events page of our website.

It was a gorgeous Sunday at Winterhawk Winery on September 4th where we were invited to spend the day and share about our Food Bank. The winery was filled with people who came out to support us while enjoying the wine and music. The band (Coast to Coast) had the crowd off their feet and dancing to their favorite songs. The guests were able to visit a few vendors to check out plants and jewelry from local vendors such as Boucher Plants, Alptowne  Accents and Pat’s Purple Geranium. Our raffle was a hit with a signed Brian (Bearded) Wilson baseball and other great prizes. Thanks to Winterhawk for donating a portion of the wine sales to our food bank.

KGO Newstalk 810 joined forces with Bay Area Food Banks to fight hunger on Friday, September 16th with a live radio event dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for local food banks in all nine Bay Area counties. This one day event was a huge success helping us to share our stories and mission to so many people in our community as well as raising much needed monetary donations for our neighbors in need.

Contra Costa Builders Exchange hosted their Annual Golf Tournament benefitting our Food Bank. It was warm and sunny for golfers on September 23rd at Shadow Lakes Golf Club in Brentwood. Over 70 golfers played the course the rewarded themselves with an evening of dinner, raffle and awards. CCBX as well as the staff of Shadow Lakes Golf Club made the day a memorable one.

The Willows Theatre Company put on another wonderful Sing for Your Supper event on Saturday September 24th. J’LaChic had the whole place out of their seats and on their feet dancing to the music of Motown. Many thanks to Esses Productions and Willows Theatre Company for putting together a great event. In case you missed it: The final Sing for Your Supper of the series will be held on Nov. 5th.

Our local refineries (Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Shell Oil Products US, Valero Benicia Refinery and ConocoPhillips) as well as S&S held a food drive beginning August 1st and ending with a 10 year anniversary celebration fundraiser on September 17th. The 10th Year Anniversary started at the Food Bank with motorcycle run ending at the Shell Clubhouse raising much needed funds for our upcoming holidays. It was a great day filled with food, music, raffle and fun. Their continued support has made a huge difference in helping us help our community.


It’s All About Orange!

Although we committed to wearing orange on Wednesday, some of us started a little early. Last Sunday, Winterhawk Winery invited us to spend the day sharing with their guests about our Food Bank while they enjoyed the wine and music. On this gorgeous day, we showed up wearing our orange, ready to talk. The winery was filled with people who came out to support us. The band (Coast to Coast) had the crowd off their feet and dancing to their favorite songs. The guests were able to visit a few vendors to check out plants and jewelry from local vendors such as Boucher Plants, Alptowne Accents and Pat’s Purple Geranium. Our raffle which included a signed Brian (Bearded) Wilson baseball was a huge success! All in all, everyone had an amazing time and the staff of Winterhawk Winery are the nicest people you will ever meet. This place is a must to stop at if you are ever in the area.

Staff and volunteers at Winterhawk Winery sharing about the Food Bank with guests.

While we are talking about orange and events, we have a few more coming up this month. Between golf, music or talk radio, there is something for everyone. We have an event for everyone to take action against hunger!

Starting with KGO Newstalk 810 which is joining forces with Bay Area Food Banks to fight hunger in 2011. KGO Fights Hunger Day is Friday, September 16 and will consist of a live radio event dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for local food banks in all nine Bay Area counties. They will actually be out at our Food Bank on Monday, September 12th interviewing our clients and agencies about the need in our community. Make sure you tune in all week!

Next Contra Costa Builders Exchange will be hosting their Annual Golf Tournament benefitting our Food Bank as their charity. The event will be held on Friday, September 23rd at Shadow Lakes Golf Club in Brentwood. Shotgun Start at noon. Dinner, Raffle and Awards at 6:00pm. We are still in need of sponsors and golfers, so give us a call!

Now if music is more your style, you don’t want to miss this on September 24th at the Willows Theater in Concord. Willows Theatre Company in conjunction with Esses Productions presents J’LaChic’s Tribute to MOTOWN…AND MORE!  It’s the second of the Sing for Your Supper Concert Series Benefiting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Willows Mainstage, 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord.  (In The Willows Shopping Center.)  One show only, Saturday September 24 at 8:00 pm. Esses Productions host these musicals each year and they are definitely a must see!

Last but not least, our local refineries (Tesoro, Shell, Valero and ConocoPhillips) as well as S&S are still holding their food drives until September 15th.

As you can see, many of your friends and mine are doing what they can to take action! Please help us by supporting our events.


Grainger Foundation Helps Hungry Children

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s Food for Children program was recently the beneficiary of a $5000 grant. On July 27, 2011, Board President Stephanie Corona gratefully accepted a check for $5000 from Richard Marquez, a local Branch Manager with the Grainger Foundation. The Food Bank was awarded the grant through the Foundation’s Community Grant Program. The grant requires the money be used to directly provide food assistance to children in need. The Food for Children program provides supplemental nutritional assistance once a month to families with children age 4 to 5 years old who meet the WIC income guideline of 185% of poverty. Since 28% of the Food Bank’s emergency food recipients are children, the Food Bank was delighted to receive this generous support.

The Grainger Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Grainger Inc., one of the leading suppliers of safety and facility maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in North America. They are a strong supporter of local community efforts which address emergency and disaster needs.

Elvis Kicks Off the Sing for Your Supper Series

Campbell Theatre in Martinez was the place to be on August 6th when The Willows Theatre Company, with ESSES Productions, presented the first concert in this year’s Sing for Your Supper concert series to benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

The evening was a musical tribute to the early songs and hits of Elvis Presley performed by the amazing Jim Anderson. His “Early Elvis Tribute Show” impressed us. He sounded just like The King! Jim had the crowd moving in their seats. He worked his way through the crowd singing to the guests up close.

Another great talent was our Food Bank Ambassador, Bob Foskett, who spoke on our behalf.

I can definitely say my first trip to the Campbell Theater was worth it from the intimate setting to the menu and friendly staff. I would encourage you to see a show there soon!

The Food Bank would like to thank Samantha Samuels and Steven Shore for putting on an amazing show as always as well as David Faustina from The Willows Theatre Company, Walnut Creek Marriott for sponsoring the series. Applause also to Jim Anderson for the best show I have seen in a long time and to Bob Foskett for his support.

For information on the next Sing for Your Supper event and other Food Bank events, visit our events page.



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