THE LONG HOLIDAY SEASON has come to a close and
we are all settling back into our routines. The kids are back
in school today, and most everyone is back to work. Though I'm
still working the tinsel out of the carpet, and I may leave
all those twinkly lights up for a while to offset the rainy
skies, 2002 is already a week old. What this new year will bring
we cannot know, but most folks around here seem hopeful there
are better times coming.
One of the expressions of that hope is the continuing commitment
Americans have to volunteering and community service, and more
opportunities have been sent my way to pass on to y'all. As
I mentioned last month, Sunol Valley Golf Club is hosting the
18th Annual Taste of the Valley food and wine event on Sunday,
March 3, benefiting the Volunteer Center of Alameda County.
Michele Bowen, the event's coordinator, is looking for volunteers
to work on the planning committee and at the event. If you're
interested or want more info, give Michele a call at (925) 998-7881.
SUNOL SCOUTS ARE SUPER: Scouting is another way to be involved
in community service, with the bonus of wonderful group activities
and skills building. Forrest Sass, Troop Committee Chair of
Sunol's Boy Scout Troop 912, gave me an impressive update on
the troop's recent accomplishments.
At the last district Camporee, Troop 912 won first place among
all area troops, an outstanding achievement for a relatively
small troop. "We presently have a huge perpetual trophy
as a result," Forrest reported. In September, the Scouts
built - from scratch - an entire replica of a western saloon
as their booth entry in the Great Sunol Bed Race and Chili Cookoff.
"Our resident chef, Jerry Tomaszak, led scout volunteers
to stir up a chili brew that won first place as judges' favorite,"
"We also strive to nurture scout leadership and personal
growth, often to Sunol's benefit," Forrest continued, and
described the efforts of a few of the troop's Eagle Scouts and
Eagle Scout candidates. Orville Hrabe built a retaining and
decorative wall in front of Sunol Glen School, Eagle-candidate
Jason Hall intends to extend the wall around the other side
of the school, and Eli Hrabe built a bridge over a creek in
Sunol Regional Wilderness."
Of the troop's roughly 22 scouts, seven are past or present
leadership instructors in one of the toughest junior leadership
programs in the country. "That's an extremely high percentage
of our troop," Forrest stated. The troop has provided community
service to Sunol by helping to clean up Main Street and collecting
food for needy families during the November "Scouting for
Troop 912 welcomes visitors, both youth and adult, to its regular
meeting, held Monday nights in the Sunol Glen School cafeteria
at 7:30 p.m. Both the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop are
sponsored by the Sunol Business Guild. For information on Troop
912's activities and confirmation of meeting dates, please contact
Forrest at 925-846-2446 or Judy Bettencourt, Pack Committee
Chair at 925-862-0111.
CREEK CALENDAR: Jeff Miller, Director of the Alameda Creek
Alliance, invites anyone interested in creek restoration to
the group's next meeting, to be held at Sunol Glen School's
cafeteria on January 29 at 7 p.m. If you'd like to get involved
before then, check out the creek walk and discussion about preserving
urban creeks January 12 in Oakland, or the Friends of the Arroyos
meeting in Dublin January 14. Jeff will be happy to give you
details and directions and a complete schedule of upcoming events.
Call him at (510) 845-4675 or drop him a line via e-mail at