January 7, 2002

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," Forrest said.

"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 Food" drive.

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 alamedacreek@hotmail.com


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