The City of Concord has launched a $7 million grant program to partner with local nonprofits to help the community recover from restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant application period began on September 30 and will run until 5 p.m. on October 28. Grants will be awarded for amounts ranging from $50,000 to $2 million after an application review and interview process.

Concord City Council is expected to award the grants on Dec. 6. Eligible organizations include those that are tax-exempt non-profit organizations and provide projects or programs to benefit Concord residents. The $7 million comes from the total of $27 million in one-time federal funding the city of Concord received from the U.S. Federal Bailout Act (ARPA), which provides stimulus funds to address the economic recovery underway after the substantial financial losses suffered during the pandemic.

At its September 27 meeting, City Council received a report from the ad hoc committee tasked with making recommendations on how to allocate the remaining $19 million in Concord funding ($8 million has already been spent on pandemic recovery efforts). In addition to the nonprofit grant program, the board approved the following allocations:

  • $7 million for municipal projects, public safety and special events;
  • $3 million to support the homeless;
  • $2 million to support small businesses (with a grant application period to open in November).

Eligibility information and the nonprofit grant application is now available on the city’s ARPA webpage at

— city of Concorde


Learn ‘All About Succulents!’ in the workshop of the gardening club

The Bay Point Garden Club will present “All About Succulents!” a free workshop by Lisa Bricker on October 15. Bricker is a succulent gardening enthusiast and an administrator of a Facebook page called C&S Hobbyists (, a fun group that shares a love of cacti and succulents with members around the world from as far away as than Malta and South Africa.

Join the club at the Gloria Magleby Community Garden at 3105 Willow Pass Road in Bay Point. Learn how to buy, care for, and propagate succulents from 10-11 a.m., followed by a succulent plant sale from 11-11:30 a.m. For more information, email [email protected] or follow us on Facebook at



AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers from February 1 to April 15

Do you like working with people? Are you good with numbers? AARP Tax-Aide is seeking volunteers to become members of a team providing free tax preparation to people of all ages in Contra Costa County.

Tax-Aide’s volunteer positions include Tax Advisors, who are trained by Tax-Aide and certified by the IRS, and Client Facilitators, who schedule appointments and assist clients at tax sites. Orientation sessions will take place in November and courses for tax advisers will begin in January. The service is from February 1 to April 15. If interested, apply online at or call 925-726-3199 for details.

— AARP Tax Assistance


The “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” fundraiser is scheduled for November 7

The Rotary Club of Orinda (RCO) has partnered with Casa Orinda to host the club’s third annual take-out event “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” from 4-6:30 p.m. on November 7 at 20 Bryant Way in Orinda.

Meals are $40 ($23 for food plus $17 donation) and include four pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, a vegetable, a cookie and a holiday cookie. The first 40 customers ordering two or more dinners will receive a free bottle of wine (must be 21 years or older). Dinners will be ready for pickup on November 7 at Casa Orinda at your chosen time. Donations support seniors, students, food banks and many community and regional services with the Rotary Club.

The last day to order is November 4, online at Advance ordering is encouraged for the best choice of pickup times. For more information, email [email protected] or call 925-360-1761.



House OKs mental health bill co-authored by DeSaulnier

U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, who chairs the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, and Robert Scott, D-Virginia, who chairs the Education and Labor Committee, announced the passage of the US House of Representatives of the Mental Health Matters Act (HR 7780), legislation drafted by DeSaulnier and Scott to help address to the mental health crisis by improving access to supports, services and resources for children, students, workers and families. The bill passed the House by a vote of 220 to 205.

“From children and young adults struggling with an increase in mental health issues to educator burnout, our country is experiencing a mental health and addiction crisis. As someone who lost his father to suicide, I am proud to have led this comprehensive approach to strengthening mental health resources for students, educators and workers with President Scott,” said DeSaulnier. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill so that we can address the mental health crisis in this country and ensure that everyone has the resources they need to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

The Mental Health Matters Act takes comprehensive action to address our nation’s mental health and addictions crises by strengthening school-based behavioral health care, strengthening parity mental health protections, and ensuring access to mental health and addiction benefits for workers and families. For more details, visit online.

— Office of U.S. Representative DeSaulnier

The writers club holds monthly meetings, open to new members

The Walnut Creek Writers Guild (WCWG) has openings for new members. Founded in 2011, the WCWG meets monthly on Saturday mornings (currently on Zoom and formerly at the Walnut Creek Library).

Meetings last three hours, before which club members read submissions for discussion and critique during meetings. The club also hosts a longer meeting twice a year as a retreat for writing, writing exercises, and/or for a writing speaker to build member skills. Retreats are a time to talk more deeply about the art and skills of writing.

The club is an eclectic and diverse group in the identity of its members and in their writing, which includes short stories, poetry, novels and memoirs. Discussions about writing are honest yet positive and encouraging. Even though club members have day jobs, they are serious writers, and methods of submitting work and getting an agent have been topics.

Interested persons can apply to the WCWG. Visit online and submit answers to preliminary questions, which the club responds to promptly. Come and share your passion, your talent and your willingness to work hard.

—Sandy Shaller, Chair, WCWG

Garden Club meeting scheduled for October 10 at Elks Lodge

The Walnut Creek Garden Club (WCGC) will hold its monthly meeting October 10 at the Elks Lodge at 1475 Creekside Drive in Walnut Creek. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by a brief business meeting, social time, and educational program.

The speaker will be one of the club members, Cora Metivier (, who will discuss ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Metivier has developed his skills creating ikebana arrangements and will generously share his talent and passion with the club. The club welcomes the public to visit its meetings and become a member. For more information, visit online.



The Garden Club meeting will take place on October 13 in the Veterans’ Hall

The Lafayette Garden Club (LGC) monthly meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on October 13 at Veterans Hall at 3780 Mount Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, with guest speaker Shawna Anderson. Anderson is an Advanced Certified Professional Nursery and Certified Horticulturist for Orchard Nursery in Lafayette, where she has worked since 2004.

Her passion for gardening began when she was growing up in Kenwood, Sonoma County, helping her father with his one-acre vegetable garden and her mother’s flower beds. She is the owner of “Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers” and has written many garden articles and given many gardening courses. For those wishing to attend the free meeting, email [email protected]


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