The Blackhawk Museum previewed artwork of the Grand Award winners of the 16th annual Student Art for Education (SAFE) at the end of May. Nearly two dozen pieces of art, created by students in grades K through 5 at elementary schools within the San Ramon Valley Unified School District were on exhibit before a Gala Dinner and Art Auction was held at the Marriott at Bishop Ranch on June 1.
Don Kowalski, founder of SAFE, thanked the companies and individuals who support the effort, as well as the framers and galleries that donate the framing of the children's artwork. Since its inception, SAFE has donated more than $1 million to the school district.
Competition was an odyssey
Sycamore Valley Elementary School sent two teams to the World Competition of Odyssey of the Mind held in Lansing, Mich., from May 22-26, where 22 countries were represented. The team of Sarah Kelkar, Evan Jaffe, Seddon Macholz, Katie Klass, Grace Rekkers, and Sean Jaffe; coaches Julie Macholz and Brian Jaffe -won third place out of 47 teams in their division, with first place going to a team from Singapore.
The second Sycamore team did not place, but is looking forward to participating again next year. Its team members were Alex Anzoategui, Ethan Brouwer, Jake Carlier, Conor Mullins, Ryan Mullins, Grant Rivas, Florentin von Haugwitz and Coach Chalon Mullins.
Drummer makes appearance
Last month the Danville Community Church was thrilled to host world famous drum and TV star Max Weinberg, drummer for the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, who spoke eloquently, said Laudie Freed.
"He believes the key to success is in having a dream, believing in your dream and never stopping yourself from reaching your dream," said Freed. "He was moved to come to speak to our congregation because of our dream of building our own home within which to worship. He understood how difficult fundraising can be and for that reason, he appeared to assist the temple in raising funds for our new home."
"One audience member relayed his memory of when Max played with E-Street band in a small gymnasium 30 years ago," she added. "We were all shocked when Max actually remembered the auditorium and the event."
He answered every question the audience could think of, she said, and then stayed afterward to sign autographs and have photos taken. He will be moving to the Tonight Show, along with its new host, Conan O'Brien, Freed said.
SRV grad receives AMPA scholarship
During the recent San Ramon Valley High School awards night, the Alamo Merchant and Professional Association presented one of its two annual $1,000 scholarship awards to San Ramon Valley High School Senior Andrew Reichhold. Rich Wood, Alamo Merchant and Professional Association president, and Dan Harrington, AMPA board member, made the presentation.
"Andrew has been selected as our choice from among a number of eligible candidates who applied for this scholarship award," said Wood. "Each year AMPA selects two deserving seniors from our two local high schools. It is our hope that this cash award will enable Andrew to more comfortably pursue his objective of furthering his education in business at University of Oregon."
"We congratulate Andrew upon the completion of his senior year, earning his high school diploma and advancing to the next exciting chapter of his life," said AMPA Awards Chairman Joe Combs. "We are pleased to play this small role in his continuing success and good fortune."
Other activities sponsored by AMPA are the annual Alamo Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Music and Wine Festival and the Bicycle (BMX) Safety Program.
JJ Jansen is Eagle Scout
Jonathan Lynlee "JJ" Jansen, son of Lynn and Cindy Jansen and brother of Alexander Jansen of Diablo, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on May 20 at Blackhawk Country Club. The National Court of Honor also recognized Andrew Campion and Kevin Valla for earning their Eagle Medals.
JJ, Drew and Kevin met in Den 6 of Pack 36 in 1996, all earning the Arrow of Light, which is the highest award in Cub Scouting and can be worn as a Boy Scout. He completed his Eagle Scout project in conjunction with the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) for removing the old wood, metal and barbed wire rancher fence line, covered in poison oak, on a slope of Mt. Diablo State Park. JJ prepared a plan, assembled volunteers, and trained them on tool use safety and debris removal.
JJ just graduated from Monte Vista High School where he was on the swim team, water polo team and sang in the choir. He will attend Chico State University in the fall.
Kiwanis Clubs awards $42,000 in grants
The Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley awarded nearly $42,000 in grants to 38 area nonprofit agencies, which were presented at its luncheon in May at Round Hill Country Club. Representatives of the recipient organizations make brief presentations on the programs the Kiwanis grants supports. Grant amounts ranged from $500 to $2,000, and additionally, the San Ramon Valley Educational Foundation received a check for $2,500 for distribution to worthy school projects.
Top grants were awarded to Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Discovery Counseling Center, Down Syndrome Connection, Loaves & Fishes, Meals on Wheels, the Taylor Family Foundation and Valley Humane Society. Kiwanis also provides financial support totaling $1,500 to the Grad Nights of area high schools.
Other recipients included Anka Behavioral Health, Inc.-HOPE Plus Program, Camp Camelot, (CASA) Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Child Abuse Prevention Council, Danville Community Band, Family Stress Center, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Friends of the Danville Library, Hospice of the East Bay, Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund, Monument Crisis Center, Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Open Heart Kitchen, Role Players Ensemble Theatre, San Ramon Library Foundation, San Ramon Valley YMCA-Mt. Diablo Region, Senior Helpline Services, Street Smarts-Town of Danville, Lucille Glass Mauzy Foundation, Wellness Community, Wall of Hope-Breast Cancer Survivors Project, Wardrobe of Opportunity, We Care Services for Children, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center and Youth Bipolar Foundation of Northern California.
Funds to support the Kiwanis grants program are raised by the service club through an annual golf tournament and sponsorship of the Danville Fourth of July Parade.