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Throughout the month of December, San Ramon’s City Center Bishop Ranch held an array of festivities. Along with lighted tree forests, delightful decor, holiday shopping, and a cider stroll, the center made sure that children were still able to safely connect with Santa Claus during the pandemic by hosting virtual chats in Alexander Square and providing a North Pole mailbox to drop letters.
While Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area had to postpone more than 300 wishes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was able to make a little boy’s dream of having an indoor sensory gym come true. Ten-year-old Muhua, who loves Curious George, was born with a rare genetic condition called mucopolysaccharidosis, which affects his joints and overall development. Make-A-Wish partnered with Fun Factory Sensory Gym to build him his own indoor jungle that acts as both a fun place to play and safe occupational therapy room.
For this fourth annual fundraiser, Berkeley Humane—a nonprofit that provides lifesaving programs for furry friends in the community—presented a virtual version of its Best in Show event, featuring host Michael Krasny, TV personality Diane Dwyer, and special guest and best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan. The live happening, which included a storytelling contest about pets and their unconditional love, benefited shelter animals.
In Diablo’s November 2020 food issue, we published the feature “Fall Into Comfort,” which highlighted five different classic foods with recipes from East Bay restaurants. This story prompted a series of five virtual episodes, sponsored by Xfinity and hosted by Diablo’s food editor, Ethan Fletcher. Viewers were able to tune into the show live—or watch later at their own convenience—and learn how to expertly make some delicious dishes. The program included pie from Pietisserie, focaccia from East Bay Bakery, caramelized onion soup by Esin Restaurant and Bar, a pastrami sandwich by Salt Craft, and fried chicken by Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement.
From youth leagues to Warriors basketball camps, the John Muir Health Ultimate Fieldhouse has seen hoops played at every level since it opened in Walnut Creek in 2015. Under the guidance of CEO Mike Samuels, the training facility has also become home to the NBA G League Ignite, a developmental team that teaches young players life and basketball skills. Here, Samuels discusses bringing top-tier hoops to the city, managing during the pandemic, and working with Steph Curry.
In celebration of the launch of Disney and Pixar’s newest film, Soul, Oakland’s Edna Brewer Middle School jazz band—which is featured in the movie—performed “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” at the virtual premiere. They were joined by Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, and others involved in the animated feature.