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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Major spring charity fundraisers coming soon

Uploaded: Apr 11, 2012
Interesting timing in the mail on last Wednesday—what came to our home were
invites to the both the 18th annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction on May 5 and the Las
Positas College Foundation's annual Best of the Best the week prior on April 28.
The wine auction's invitation was a model of simplicity—two sheets of card-
stock printed on both sides with black type and graphics. The Las Positas Foundation's
unique invitation was a 13x13 square of heavy card stock, quarter-folded with a message
on each panel in full color—striking.
The wine auction again will be held in the barrel room at the Wente Vineyards
Estate and jointly presented by the winegrowers' foundation and the Wente Family
Foundation. It benefits the Valleycare Foundation (an original beneficiary), Open Heart
Kitchen, the Bankhead Theater and the Livermore Valley Education Foundation.
The foundation's mission is to support non-profits serving children. Singer Mat
Kearney is the featured entertainer. It's a tribute to the organizers and the wine
community that the auction has continued for almost two decades to throw a fine party
and raise money to serve kids.
The wine auction, the original big dollar fundraiser in the valley (since surpassed
when the Taylor Family Foundation opened its Camp Arroyo) will feature both silent and
live auctions. The college event includes a silent auction.
The Las Positas event, which features entertainment by arts students and other
talented young people at Las Positas, expanded greatly a year ago when the Barbara
Fracisco Mertes Center for the Arts opened. The new facility has space for as many as
500 folks to attend as opposed to the 100 or so who were squeezed in the college's prior
makeshift performing arts facility.
The foundation also has taken the event in a different direction for the last few
years, adding special honorees from each community. This year the foundation salutes
retired veterinarian and former Livermore Mayor John Shirley, attorney and Maj. Gen. in
the Army Reserve Nick Tooliatos of Pleasanton and Charlene and Mitch Sigman of
Dublin who founded the School of Imagination.
The school serves developmentally challenged pre-school and kindergarten
children along with those who have developed normally with an innovative, personalized
program. The new facility opened last fall and brought to a close a series of eight facility
moves in 10 years. It was built by Discovery Homes—the developers of the Schaeffer Ranch
area in the west Dublin hills.
Gen. Nick served on active duty for multiple tours during the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, including overseeing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq from a
logistics standpoint.
John is one of Livermore's living legends, a World War II veteran of the landings
at both Normandy and Anzio. He practiced as a vet for many years in Livermore as well
as serving as mayor.
For more information on these quality fund-raisers, please see:
www.lpcfoundation.org or www.lvwf.org.

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