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Diablo’s annual roundup of our editors’ and readers’ favorites.
The East Bay SPCA, which has locations in both Oakland and Dublin, went all out for its yearly soiree in May. Along with the virtual program enjoyed by more than 350 participants, there were both live and silent auctions, fundraising activities, cute animal videos, a game of bingo, and a drive-through where guests could pick up their preordered food and wine kits and enter a raffle. To help save the lives of shelter animals and find them forever homes, consider giving an online donation.
At this free in-person event and virtual extravaganza, pet lovers and their furry friends joined Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) for the 21st annual Animals on Broadway, which took place at Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza. With ARF booths set up outdoors, guests were able to join in on all the festive fun and help the nonprofit garner over $93,000 for animals in need. Donations are always welcome online, as all funds will go toward ARF’s shelter and adoptions, mobile services for low-income populations, disaster relief, and much more.
Instead of going virtual, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano was able to host its annual fundraiser in person. However, social distancing was involved, as the open-air event took place at Concord’s West Wind Solano Drive-In. Many individuals and their families came out to support the cause of fighting hunger, and Betty Yu—a reporter for KPIX Channel 5—was the emcee for the memorable evening. In total, the event raised enough money to provide nearly 500,000 meals, which is a record-breaking amount that will greatly help the community.
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, LifeLong Medical Care hosted its annual gala virtually for the first time. This included an innovative platform that allowed for interaction among guests, a DJ, dancing, and an after-party. Michael LeNoir, M.D.—a pediatrician, allergist, and health communicator—was awarded LifeLong’s Health Care Advocate Award. The gala raised $172,000, which will go toward the organization’s goal of ensuring access to medical, dental, and behavioral health care for all. Additionally, $23,800 was garnered for LifeLong’s street medicine teams, which help individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
In the May issue, Diablo featured 15 local women who are trailblazers in their respective fields, and three of them are innovators in the world of comedy. Laurie Kilmartin, Amy Miller, and Zahra Noorbakhsh— all brilliant stand-up comics—took part in the Diablo Women Comedy night, a virtual event that kept guests laughing. The program began with Barney Fonzi, president and publisher of Diablo Publications, who was joined by Matt Teichmann, a mixologist with On the Rocks Bartending. Together, the two concocted a signature drink called the Pink Warrior. Then, the VIP audience, also enjoying their own Pink Warriors, were able to join the livestream. Miller, who was the host for the evening, started the show, and was followed by acts from Kilmartin and Noorbakhsh.
The Oakland Museum of California reopened to the public on June 18, after a long closure due to the pandemic and more than a year of renovations. Diablo spoke with director and CEO Lori Fogarty about the museum’s exciting new spaces and collaborations, its growth as a civic institution, and its commitment to racial and social justice.
See the complete list of this year’s readers’ picks.