Sunday, November 19, 2017

Second Annual Holiday Pancake Breakfast with Santa to be Held at Newark Community Center December 9th, to Benefit Drivers for Survivors

--Story by Emily "Miss Parmigiani" Anderson

For those of you living in the Alameda County area who like to support good causes and also love pancakes, then going to a breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Newark Community Center might be the perfect event to feed your soul.

The Newark Community Center is hosting the non-profit Drivers for Survivors on Dec. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon for the 2nd Annual Holiday Pancake Breakfast with Santa. Drivers for Survivors is a non-profit that pairs volunteer drivers with cancer patients who need rides to their medical appointments. This event is a fundraiser and an anniversary to celebrate its founding over five years ago.

According to Drivers for Survivors' press release, Castro Valley Performing Arts will be giving performances, there will be a silent auction and raffle, and, of course Santa will be in attendance! Food is being sponsored by the Newark IHOP and McDonald's. Newark police and the Alameda County fire department will be flipping the pancakes. And Calif. state Sen. Bob Wieckowski and some Newark city officials will be there as well.

The kids will be able to get their faces painted, and Jewelry by Design (a Newark, Calif. jeweler) should be have items available for auction.

Please click here to register:

The admission for adults is $10 and $5 for kids under age 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at the above link or at the door on Saturday.

For information on Drivers for Survivors, please read the article I published in July:

and please visit their website.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Few Oregon Restaurants To Donate a Portion of Veteran's Day Sales to Returning Veterans Project

--By Emily Anderson

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and while Oregonians will be celebrating in many ways, there are a handful of Oregon restaurants that are participating in what is known as Chow Down for Vets, a community event created by a Portland, Ore.-based non-profit called Returning Veterans Project. If anyone eats at the participating restaurants tomorrow, each restaurant will donate a portion of their days' sales to Returning Veterans Project.

Pastini Pastaria, a popular Oregon Italian-themed restaurant chain, will be donating a portion of each sale to the Returing Veterans Project, according to their blog. Pastini Pastaria will "also be offering a free entree to every current service member and veteran on Veteran's Day along with a big 'thank you!' from all of us at Pastini." According to their website, in order to receive a free entree, any veteran or current service member will simply have to let his or her server know. Other participating eateries are On Deck Sports Bar & Grill (located in downtown Portland), 12 Bridge Ciderworks & Taproom in Oregon City, and The Pit Stop Sports Bar & BBQ Grill in Beaverton.

The mission of Returning Veterans Project is to provide free health services for veterans who have served in the military after Sept. 11, 2001 and their families who live in Oregon and Southwest Washington state. According to their website, "Returning Veterans Project fulfills its mission by recruiting, training and supporting a volunteer healthcare network of more than 335 licensed independent mental health and somatic practitioners, healthcare clinic providers and equine therapy projects. To become an R.V.P. provider, each practitioner must be licensed in good standing, complete our application / orientation process and agree to deliver only pro bono mental health and somatic services (massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopathic care and more) to post-9/11 war zone veterans, service members and their families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington."

Mike McCarrel is the director of operations at Returning Veterans Project. When asked about what he enjoys most about working here, he says that "R.V.P. [provides] the opportunity to connect the military community to the civilian community. Our whole model is based on asking volunteer professionals, the majority of which are not veterans, to volunteer a slot of their [health] practice to a post 9/11 veteran or a family member. This creates a space not only to provide needed services to veterans and their families, it also creates an avenue for people from very different backgrounds to connect and support each other in their local communities."

He's not sure yet if he can make it to Pastini Pastaria, but he will try. He also may grab a beer from On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, a new partner that joined forces with his organization last year. Jeff, of 12Bridge Ciderworks & Taproom, will donate 15 percent of all cider sales to the Returning Veterans Project. Jeff served as a Marine Corps reservist for six years.

"I have a special place in my heart for those who serve in combat" he said. "They need all the help we can provide."

Veteran's Day became a legal holiday declared by the U.S. government on May 13, 1938, but the idea behind honoring war heroes started on November 11, 1918. The World War 1 armistice (temporary halting of fighting) was on November 11, 1918 and lasted about seven months before the war officially ended. In November of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared Armistice Day as a day to celebrate and honor those who served in the war. Throughout time, Veteran's Day (when it became a legal holiday) became a way of the U.S. government and fellow Americans to recognize those who served in both world wars and then, as of June 1954, the government voted to change the phrase from Armistice Day to Veteran's Day as a way to honor those who served in the Korean war. Since then, Veteran's Day is a way to honor all of those who served in any U.S. war.

So come down, chow down and know that by simply eating a meal, you are helping a worthy non-profit provide free health care services to worthy veterans.