Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Innovative, collaborative project launching in Antioch to uplift lives of homeless in Contra Costa

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

Photo courtesy of White Pony Express.

SHARE Community and White Pony Express are pleased to announce that on September 29, 2020, the “Oasis Project,” designed to brighten and uplift the lives of unsheltered neighbors in our community, will be launched in Antioch, CA.  Among other services, Oasis will include a 2-unit Mobile Shower, and a Clothing & Care Closet, which will be stocked with high quality clothes that guests can choose from. To celebrate the opening of Oasis, a short ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Golden Hills Community Church’s Community Outreach Center, located at 525 E. 18th Street in Antioch.

Initially, Oasis will be stationed at the Community Outreach Center and operated on Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  The Mobile Shower, which is ADA certified, will be the only operating shower unit for the unhoused in East Contra Costa County.  It will be free for the public to use with no questions asked.  Also, there will be no charge for any of the other services offered by Oasis.

Even though several partners are involved, the project is called “Oasis” to give it a unified identity.  During its operation, Oasis will include:

  • Mobile showers with bathrooms, organized by SHARE, that any guest is free to use.
  • A “Clothing & Care Closet” operated by White Pony Express (WPE) that will provide clothes that guests can select from free of charge.
  • Medical referral services provided by Contra Costa Health Services’ Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement team (C.O.R.E.), and
  • Free haircuts offered by licensed hair stylists.

“The opening of the Oasis Project on September 29 has been a dream of mine for a long time, and it makes me extremely happy that the project is now ready to begin elevating the lives of our unsheltered neighbors,” remarked Ricka Davis-Sheard, Co-Founder of SHARE Community.  “We have been working closely with the nonprofit LavaMaex in preparation for our launch, who has helped us with everything from in-depth training to troubleshooting issues with our Shower unit.  We have learned from an agency that has been around for years and which consistently provides a high level of care for their guests.”

Prior to its acquisition by SHARE, the Mobile Shower had been owned by WPE.  WPE volunteer Peter Brooks spent over two years diligently looking for a place to set up and operate the Mobile Shower, and in the process contacted numerous groups.

Finally, Brooks met Davis-Sheard at SHARE and was immediately impressed by her earnestness to help the unsheltered.  Says Brooks, “Ricka was the light at the end of the tunnel of my long search.  She saw the Mobile Shower as a perfect fit for the work SHARE wanted to do in East County.  What she had in mind was exactly what WPE had in mind.”

As the project evolved, Brooks suggested that the group of services offered with the Mobile Shower be called the Oasis Project.  “My hope is that the whole experience, for people in the ‘desert’ of hard urban homelessness, will be like travelers in the Sahara finding relief in an oasis.”

WPE operates the White Pony General Store which distributes high quality clothing, shoes, books, and games to those in need.  “For Oasis, our General Store will operate a well-organized, inviting ‘Clothing & Care Closet’ so that guests can make selections based on their unique tastes and needs,” says Eve Birge, Executive Director of WPE.  “The Closet will have items like shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, undergarments, and other items useful to our unhoused neighbors.  WPE will treat those who visit Oasis as our special guests and support them with love and dignity, offering only our best.”

Concludes Davis-Sheard, “We want people to emerge from Oasis looking brand-new and transformed.”

The hope is that if Oasis is successful at its initial location, it can move to other locations across the County to serve the needs of the unhoused population.

About SHARE Community

SHARE Community was co-founded by Ricka Davis-Sheard and Vincent Vidriales in 2019.  Its mission is to share hope, abundance, resources and encouragement with members of the community and the organizations who serve them by creating ways for people to work together toward positive change.  In addition to mobile showers,

SHARE Community serves East Contra Costa County through its community programs Adopt-a-Block and Adopt-a-Senior-Home. These programs provide much needed care and attention to underserved neighborhoods and seniors.

For more information about SHARE, visit: www.thesharecommunity.com

About White Pony Express   

White Pony Express, headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA and founded by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner in 2013, operates a Food Rescue Program which picks up quality surplus food every day from supermarkets, restaurants, and farmers markets and then delivers that food—free of charge—to shelters and churches that feed the hungry.  Since its founding in 2013, WPE has delivered over twelve and a half million pounds of fresh food.  WPE also has a General Store that has distributed over 500,000 items of high-quality clothing, toys, and books free to the underserved.

For more information on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org

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Teepa Snow returns to Antioch’s TreVista for virtual event Sept. 22

Friday, September 11th, 2020

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Win a Mountain Bike from Kiwanis Club fundraiser – only 200 tickets to be sold

Friday, September 11th, 2020

By Argentina Davila-Luevano

Enter to win Mountain Bike during the drawing fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of the East Bay. If you win, you can either enjoy the bike or donate it to a deserving child! Only 200 tickets will be sold at just $5.00 each.

The opportunity drawing will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm via Zoom! Link will be separately sent.

Now hurry, buy 1, 2, 3, or more tickets and be ready to win! Please help the Kiwanis Club of the East Bay as we move to be stronger in 2020/2021 and continue to serve the community.

To purchase your tickets, contact Lee Cox (925) 237-7877 or Angel Luevano (925) 813-2178.

NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN. THE BIKE WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOU!

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World Hall of Famer from Antioch 68-year-old David “Butch” Martinez not resting on his championship laurels

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Dave “Butch Martinez” at the 2018 World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters. Photos courtesy of Antioch Historical Society Museum.

By Tom Lamothe

Here’s a new story from our Recreation Section of the Antioch Historical Society Museum.

While most 68-year-old retired men are looking for an easy chair to rest in, David Martinez, better known as Butch, is working hard lifting weights in his home gym here in Antioch. The 1970 Antioch High grad has always enjoyed lifting, but things changed roughly 20 years ago. He became serious about lifting, more specifically, about bench pressing. As a member of the Big C Gym in Concord, he entered his first bench press competition after being encouraged by a staffer and walked away with a nice 18-inch first place gold trophy cup. Encouraged by his newly found success, Butch entered the upcoming Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) power lifting contest and to his surprise, won the Gold again.

In the following two decades Butch continued to enter sanctioned competitions by the AAU, the International Power Lifting Association, and The World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters (WABDL). Sanctioned competitions are heavily regulated and have drug testing, age and weight classifications and smaller sub-groups. Such sub-groups as, the RAW classification- for those who don’t wear special wraps and uniforms to support the strain on joints when lifting. There’s also the Law-Fire classification, which is due to one of Butch’s job classifications at the Contra Costa Water District. In these decades he would enter the 47 to 67-year-old age groups, the 220-pound weight class, RAW, and Law-Fire Divisions. When recently visiting Butch he wasn’t training due to COVID-19 and didn’t enter the WABDL competition in Las Vegas. Noticing a paunch, but well developed arms, I wondered why he wasn’t more muscular, and in Butch’s typical sense of humor he said, “That’s the pretty boys in body building, in weight lifting we’re fat old bald guys!” All kidding aside, Butch’s 20 years of accomplishments speaks for themselves!

At the AAU level Butch garnered three World Records and four International Championships. In WABDL competitions, he lifted in over 40 meets and 20 State championships. During these competitions Butch won 16 State Championships, eleven World Championships, and set five WABDL World Records. It would be in 2005 at the WABDL California State Championships held in Monterey that Butch would achieve his greatest accomplishment, an All-Time Best, 435.2 bench press, establishing a World Record in his classifications. Today, his 297.5-pound bench press at the 64 year old, 220 pound weight class in the RAW, Law-Fire Division, stands a WABDL World Record.

In recognition of Butch’s years of endurance and accomplishments, he was honored by being inducted into the WABDL Hall of Fame at the 2018 World Championships in Las Vegas. Congratulations Butch on your career and you’re well deserving WABDL Hall of Fame Induction!

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Antioch to open Rivertown cooling center, Water Park for family swimming Labor Day Weekend Sept 5-8

Friday, September 4th, 2020

With another heat wave on the horizon, the City of Antioch is committed to providing a safe, cool place for residents to spend the day. The cooling center located at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center will open Saturday, September 5th and remain open through Tuesday, September 8th for all residents. Citizens without home air conditioning, or with health conditions made worse with extreme heat and poor air quality are encouraged to seek out the cooling center. The Community Center is located historic, downtown Rivertown at 213 F Street, Antioch. The cooling center will be open from 12:00noon to 6:00pm each day.

COVID-19 Health Orders remain in full effect and the following modifications are activated and required by all individuals coming to the cooling center:

– Everyone must wear masks and/or acceptable face coverings; one will be provided if needed

– Social distancing will be enforced; only families may sit or stand together

– All visitors must answer the COVID health questions; if you feel sick stay home, you will not be admitted into the center

– Bring your own snacks; sharing food is not allowed. Bring books and games also.

The cooling center has been an important resource for families that need some respite during this time. The change in air quality due to recent fires makes the cooling center invaluable for individuals with breathing difficulties. All residents are encouraged to visit the center as needed.

Family Swimming at Water Park

The Antioch Water Park will offer family swimming sessions on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Families or households up to six individuals can enjoy a refreshing dip in a specific area of the water park this holiday weekend. Social distancing and other COVID health rules are in place. The entry fee is $5 per person payable by credit card. Reservations are required, and residents are encouraged to call the water park at (925) 776-3070 to secure a swim time for this weekend. The pools reach capacity quickly! The water park is located in Prewett Park at 4701 Lone Tree Way.

Residents are encouraged to stay connected with the City of Antioch by following the daily announcements posted on the website www.antiochca.gov. For more information about park use and the activities allowed at this time please call the Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.

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Hot August Cruise Night in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown Saturday, Aug. 29

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

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Free school supplies during annual giveaway in Antioch at Somersville Towne Center Saturday

Friday, August 14th, 2020

“School supplies are a necessity not a want” –  organizer Claryssa Wilson

Antioch 19-year-old Claryssa Wilson will host her 9th Annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Giveaway Saturday, August 15, 2020. This event will enable students in Antioch and the surrounding communities an opportunity to receive a pre-filled backpack full of FREE school supplies at Somersville Towne Center in Antioch from 11:00 am – 2 pm on Saturday, August 15th. This will be a drive-up event to comply with social distancing due to COVID-19. Face coverings are required. Last year Claryssa served thousands of students and this year will be no different as the need is much greater. She has received support from Adonal Foyle and his Kerosene Lamp Foundation, the Antioch Schools Education Foundation, Antioch Rotary, Antioch Education Association, Kiwanis and so many more.

“No student should not be successful due to a lack of needed school supplies, despite us all going into a distance learning platform students will not have access to commonly used classroom supplies as well,” said Claryssa, creator and host of the annual giveaway. “School supplies are a necessity not a want.”

Many students have already benefited from the free school supplies, students will start school better prepared and ready to learn with these free school supplies from pencils and pens to calculators, notebooks and paper in addition to earbuds for their laptops.

Claryssa created this program in her 6th/7th grade year  and now she is a sophomore attending San Diego State University who will also start her Fall Semester with distance learning except for in person science labs and still giving back to her community with the Annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Giveaway because she had peers that were disruptive in class because they did not have the basics like a pen, paper or notebook.

Some of the students she noted came from low income homes like herself and she just had to do something to help. She vows to continue the program and prepare the students in her mentoring groups at the elementary and middle schools to develop them as she firmly believes in training our youth to be future leaders.

To donate school supplies, call or text 925-237-1867 or drop them off Saturday at Somersville Towne Center, 2550 Somersville Road, Antioch.

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Beat the heat: Antioch cooling center in downtown open Friday through Tuesday, August 19

Friday, August 14th, 2020

The August heat wave is predicted to reach record-breaking levels and the City of Antioch is opening a cooling center to assist residents during the upcoming week. Residents without home air conditioning, or with health conditions made worse with extreme heat are encouraged to seek out the cooling center during the hottest part of the day. The cooling center is located at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F Street, in the historic district of the City. There is plenty of parking nearby. The cooling center will be open from 12:00noon to 6:00pm everyday August 14, 2020 through August 19, 2020.

COVID-19 Health Orders remain in full effect and the following modifications are activated and required by all individuals coming to the cooling center:

– Everyone must wear masks and/or acceptable face coverings

– Social distancing will be enforced; only families may sit or stand together

– All visitors must answer the COVID health questions; if you feel sick stay home, you will not be admitted into the center

– Bring your own snacks; sharing food is not allowed

“Our community is on high alert. Everyone is working together to watch for heat-related illness among all residents, high fire danger in our grasslands, and other challenges that come with this intense summer weather.” says Nancy Kaiser, Parks and Recreation Director. The cooling center is an important service for families that need some respite during this time.

The Antioch Water Park continues to offer family swimming sessions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A family or household up to six individuals can enjoy a refreshing dip in a specific area of the water park; social distancing and other COVID health rules are in place. The entry fee is $5 per person payable by credit card. Reservations are required, and residents are encouraged to call the water park at (925) 776-3070 to secure a swim time for this weekend. The pools reach capacity quickly!

Residents are encouraged to stay connected with the City of Antioch by following the daily announcements posted on the website www.antiochca.gov. For more information about park use and the activities allowed at this time please call the Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.

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