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For many years, Diablo has hosted an annual ceremony to bring our community together and recognize outstanding volunteers in the East Bay. Last year’s award recipients—Urooj Kazmi, Kathy Layman, Lisa McNaney, Sunny Singh, and Malcolm Sproul—
were nominated and chosen 
by a panel of judges representing 
local businesses and philanthropic organizations, and were featured in Diablo’s December issue. 
Fortunately, the pandemic did 
not put a stop to the celebration, as the 2020 Threads of Hope Awards went virtual. All 
five honorees received their 
awards beforehand and were 
able to say a few words from 
the comfort of their own 
homes. Jessica Aguirre of 
NBC 11 News was mistress of ceremonies.

In November, the Livermore Valley Performing
Arts Center (LVPAC) put on Best of the 
Bankhead, a virtual benefit hosted by LVPAC executive director Chris Carter. Throughout the “fancy dress optional” evening, there were cameo video performances by popular artists such as pianist Jon Nakamatsu and ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro. Dinner and wine were delivered to the homes of the guests.

Chef Nora Haron brings Indomex, a unique fusion of Indonesian and Mexican cuisines, to Old Oakland. 

Architects, builders and home designers share the details of the stories behind their residential projects.

Oakland-based director Rodrigo Reyes has taken his cinematic vision around the world, most recently during virtual film festivals. His latest film, 499, is a visual poem about a 16th-century Spanish conquistador who washes up on the shores of contemporary Mexico and sees the effects of colonialism. In honor of his critically acclaimed body of work, Reyes will receive the Non-Fiction Vanguard Award at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (held February 4 through 21). 

Diablo explores destinations that are well worth visiting in any season but have extra special attractions this time of year: Yosemite, Nevada City, and Santa Cruz. 

At John Muir Health Foundation’s seventh annual signature fundraiser, guests virtually honored frontline health-care workers during the time of COVID-19 while enjoying a preordered dinner and silent and live auctions. All proceeds went toward John Muir’s response to the pandemic.

There’s nothing more thoughtful than a made-to-order present, such as a bespoke bike or pet portrait.

The East Bay SPCA held a virtual event 
to raise funds for shelter animals, and 
invited pet lovers and bakers of all skill levels to whip up some festive holiday treats. 
The program included pet safety tips from the Behavior and Training team, a baking
demo from Oakland’s Angel Cakes, a raffle prize from Cinnaholic Berkeley, a virtual tour of the Oakland clinic, and a lot more fun. There were over 50 attendees, and 
all registered participants received an ebooklet filled with recipes from local 
bakeries and staff of the East Bay SPCA.

Live from the Monument Crisis Center, and hosted 
by dedicated volunteer Yno Gonzalez, Heartfelt for the Holidays brought the community together and advocated for helping those in need during these challenging times. The virtual extravaganza began with holiday cocktail and mocktail mixing and 
raised money through donations and auctions. The center is a nonprofit that provides food, education, and referrals.