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Generous Community Support for Richmond Fitness Program
Thanks to the generous support of IKEA, Finish Line Shoes, Macy's, UC Berkeley Eggsters, Mr. Copy, and the City of San Pablo Community Fund, the George Miller Center in Richmond now has a complete set of outdoor fitness equipment, including a 5-hole putting green for golf enthusiasts! Program participants are now exercising more regularly and working to improve their golf games. Golfers have the added benefit of enjoying a beautiful view of the San Pablo Bay from the new recreation area at the George Miller Center in Richmond.
PG&E's Generosity + Cooking Demo = "Healthy Energy"
All eyes were on Chef OliVe and Chef Lisa from Berkeley's "Kitchen on Fire" as they demonstrated how to prepare healthy breakfasts to a group of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the George Miller Center of Concord (operated by Contra Costa ARC).
May 15, 2013 was the big day the folks at George Miller Center had been anticipating for several months. The professional chefs graced the group with their presence, their knowledge and most importantly, their cooking skills, demonstrating how easy and how important it is to eat a nutritious and tasty breakfast.
On the menu was a Healthy Quick Breakfast made with granola, grains, nuts, yogurt and seasonal fruit. Also on the menu were a Homemade Breakfast Burrito, the Perfect Fried Egg and, a Sweet and Savory Smoothie made with fresh fruit and fresh vegetables to pack in lots of vitamins and phytonutrients.
The cooking demonstration and the food was very greatly enjoyed by the adult participants at the George Miller Center, as indicted by the sea of hands raised when Chef OliVe asked for volunteer 'chefs.' To quote Chef OliVe, "Awesome people you got there."
The idea to have the chefs come and cook for the group came from Ron Dillen, Customer Relationship Manager for PG&E, while touring several programs operated by Contra Costa ARC last year. At that time, Ron was coordinating energy efficient-lighting upgrades (made possible by a grant from PG&E) for Commercial Support Services, an employment program operated by Contra Costa ARC.
The relationship between PG&E and Contra Costa ARC doesn't stop with the events mentioned above; currently, there are efforts underway to find job opportunities within PG&E for the workers at Commercial Support Services, and a generous sponsorship for a fundraising raffle hosted by Contra Costa ARC.
We simply can't thank PG&E enough for their continuing show of support and generosity!
Foundations and Major Donors Honored at George Miller Center Event
Contra Costa ARC honored major donors and contributors at a special event on October 17, 2012 where we celebrated their contribution to the final phase of the remodeling of 15 total buildings at the George Miller Centers in Richmond and Concord. The project began in 2006 and was completed this year.
Barbara Maizie, Executive Director, welcomed and thanked donors and provided a tour of recently remodeled buildings. Donors were instrumental in providing funds for the final phase of the George Miller Center Capital Campaign that raised over $700,000.
Congressman George Miller presented each honoree with a special congressional certificate acknowledging their contribution. Senator DeSaulnier provided a letter to each of the honorees.
Sidne Long and Hank Delevati, The Thomas J. Long Foundation
Susan Haley, Grants Manager, Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation
Michael Desler, Executive Director, Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation
Barbara and Frank Strehlitz, and Al and Coralla Accurso, GMC-C Parents Club
Robert T. Calkins, CDBG Program Manager, Contra Costa County
Jim Burton, Executive Director, Regional Center of the East Bay
Special guests in attendance:
Congressman George Miller and staff Barbara Johnson and Joanne Nakamura
Senator DeSaulnier and staff Emlyn Struthers
Bill Sorrell, Contra Costa Health Department
Men of Faith and Men of Action—Knights of Columbus Provide Essential Support
From the moment of their founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights are men of faith and men of action.
Last year alone, in addition to raising and donating more than $158 million worldwide to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. These causes encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.406 billion to charity, and provided more than 653 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
One of the most popular and successful programs conducted by Knights of Columbus state and local councils is an annual campaign for people with intellectual disabilities. In this fund-raiser, councils collect donations outside stores and on street corners. In appreciation, the donor is offered a candy bar, often a Tootsie Roll, or another small gift.
We are very fortunate to have several Knights of Columbus Councils in Contra Costa County with highly motivated members who always make sure that the children and adults served in Contra Costa ARC's programs benefit from their annual campaign. The Knights have been major donors to our programs for decades. In the past two years we have received generous contributions from the local Councils:
3265 - The Antioch Council
8207 - St. John Vianney, Walnut Creek
7164 - Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Point
7467 - Immaculate Heart of Mary in Brentwood
13899 - St. Annes, Discovery Bay
14156 - St. Mary's, Walnut Creek
Contra Costa ARC Secures Grant for STAR Parent Autism Conference
The National Philoptochos Society awarded a grant for $7,000 to benefit the Strategies, Treatment, Advocacy and Research (STAR) Parent Autism Conference that is held every other year. The grant is from the Philoptochos Social Services Autism Assistance Fund, in recognition of the significant increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism (1 in 88 children are currently diagnosed as within the autism spectrum).
"Philoptochos", is Greek for "friends of the poor", and is a national philanthropic group of women of Greek descent. Philoptochos is the second largest women's philanthropic group in the United States (Hadassah, philanthropic women who are Jewish, is the largest).
The "STAR" Parent Autism Conference provides families of children with autism in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties the information, resources and support to determine their own path for helping their child grow as part of their unique family structure.
The conference in 2012 marked the 6th year of the STAR Conference. It is unique in that it is the only conference for parents, and from the "point of view" and voice of parents and their needs.
The grant will specifically fund parent scholarships and child care stipends for the 2014 and 2016 STAR Parent Autism Conferences, to enable more families to attend this worthwhile event.
Stephanie Chapralis, Special Projects Coordinator for Contra Costa ARC, wrote the grant. Stephanie is a member of the STAR Conference Steering Committee, and an Ascension Cathedral Philoptochos Society member.
PG&E Brightens CSS with $5,000 Grant
A $5,000 grant from PG&E made it possible for Contra Costa ARC to install new energy efficient lighting systems at our Commercial Support Services facilities in Concord and Antioch. The new lighting will result in over $4,300 per year in energy savings, while providing better illumination in work areas at these two locations. CSS employee Leslie G, asked what she thought of the new lights, said: "They are excellent, I give them a thumbs up. We needed stronger lights to see."
"PG&E is proud of our partnership with Contra Costa ARC on this important project," said Ezra Garrett, Vice President, Community Relations, PG&E. "As a result of our joint efforts, they will enjoy significant energy savings, allowing them to invest even more in the incredible work they do in providing support services to children and adults with special needs."
PG&E is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
Contra Costa ARC serves over 1000 children and adults with developmental disabilities in a wide variety of programs and services every day. This is only possible through a partnership between the public and private sectors. Our limited government funding is supplemented by contributions from private individuals, civic groups, small businesses, coporations and charitable foundations. We depend upon this support from the community to continue doing everything we do.
We owe so much to so many people and organizations that it is impossible to thank them here all at once. So we'll feature various groups of contributors from time to time to show our web site visitors and our contributors how much we appreciate their support.
Here is a list of the generous grants we received from foundations and corporations:
American Contract Bridge Association: Lynn Center
George Miller Youth Fund: Care Parent Network Transition Center
Pacific Gas & Electric Company: Care Parent Network
Safeway Foundation: Care Parent Network
TWANDA Foundation: General Support
Wells Fargo Foundation: Commercial Support Services, Antioch and Concord
Westamerica Bank: Care Parent Network Transition Center
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation: Care Parent Network
The Thomas J. Long Foundation: Care Parent Network Transition Center Project and the George Miller Center Capital Campaign
The Macy's Foundation: George Miller Center Recreational Improvement Project
Pacific Gas and Electric Company: Care Parent Network
San Pablo Community Foundation: George Miller Center Recreational Improvement Project
TWANDA Foundation: George Miller Center Capital Campaign
The Walmart Foundation: Care Parent Network Transition Center Project
The IKEA Foundation: George Miller Center Recreational Improvement Project
Junior League of San Francisco: Care Parent Network Transition Center Project
Finish Line Youth Foundation: George Miller Center Recreational Improvement Project
We deeply appreciate everyone who supports us. We will continue to do our best to be worthy of your confindence, to be careful stewards of our resources and to assist those we serve in realizing their goals and dreams.
Please accept our sincere thanks.
Frank Davis, Board President
Barbara Maizie, Executive Director