A new session of Piedmont Recreation Department in-person and virtual classes is starting Nov. 30.

Registration is open to sign up. The department has switched the sign-up program to CommunityPass from ActiveNet, and the department is in the process of moving credits from ActiveNet to the new platform. Dance, arts, sports and fitness classes will be offered with in-person and virtual classes for all ages. All COVID-19 safety mandates will be observed for participants. Instructors will take temperatures and conduct health screenings at the start of each class. Visit the Recreation Department online to set up a new account at piedmont.ca.gov/services___departments/recreation.

Tennis courts open daily; households can play together

Piedmont’s tennis courts are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Players must pay for a decal/pass to play, and reservations are recommended. Have registration receipt on hand at the courts. Households may play together or singles outside the household. Register at CommunityPass through the Recreation Department by visiting piedmont.ca.gov and clicking on “tennis courts.” Review the coronavirus safety guidelines for playing online.

LWV Zoom events include speaker and ‘cocktail party’

The League of Women Voters of Piedmont is holding a Zoom program from 4 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6. The guest speaker will be Ashley Boren on her topic of “California’s New Normal: Drought and Deluge.” She is the executive director of nonprofit Sustainable Conservation and serves on California’s Board of Food and Agriculture. LWV Piedmont will also hold a Zoom open-forum “cocktail party” from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 8. No reservations are required. For more information or to receive Zoom codes, visit lwvpiedmont.org.

— Linda Davis, correspondent

Sustainable, real Christmas trees available from Scouts

Buying a real tree can is an environmentally friendly way to celebrate the Christmas season. A real tree spends around eight years growing before being harvested, which converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, providing a habitat for wildlife and keeping large spaces green across North America. Unlike artificial alternatives, real trees are also 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

The Piedmont Scout Council opened the Scout Tree Lot Online on Nov. 1 at scouttreelot.org, and orders for trees, stands, wreaths and garland are being placed now for delivery or scheduled pickup after Thanksgiving. Home deliveries will only be at customers’ front doors due to safety precautions during this time.

For more than 50 years, Tree Lot proceeds have supported more than 1,000 Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and the Piedmont Language School. A limited option to purchase by phone is available. To do so, contact Genevieve Bandrowski at 510-547-4493 or [email protected]. We don’t look our age, but we’re 110 years old! For more details on Piedmont Scouting, go online to piedmontbsa.org or facebook.com/PiedmontBSA.

— Piedmont Scouting


Man swimming a million yards this year to fight cancer

David Miller, a Montclair district resident, has been swimming this year … a lot! And it’s all to fight cancer. We all seem to be surrounded by those who have been afflicted. In Miller’s case, that includes his father, mother, sister, best friend, cousin, uncle, a bunch of dear friends and even some of his swim and tennis buddies.

So he’s trying to do something about it: by swimming a million yards. Miller started Jan. 1, but, as we all know, there have been a few roadblocks since then. Now, with less than 40 days to go, he has already completed more than 890,000 yards and plans to finish Dec. 27. Check out his story at swimamillion.org and meet the people he’s honoring as they battle against cancer.

— Swim a Million

New love at Piedmont Gardens community after shared loss

It was more fortuitous run-ins and similar interests than love at first sight for Helen Rubardt and Marc Rieffel. That and a bond forged through the shared experience of supporting and, eventually, grieving the loss of a spouse to dementia.

“We kept finding common interests, like walking and music,” said Rubardt.

The pair have now been together about three years at Piedmont Gardens. The senior living community was very helpful in assisting them with creating their ideal living situation.

“We each have our own apartments,” said Rieffel. “Helen moved into the apartment next door, and the community helped us install an interior door between them. We respect each other’s space; her place is her place, and mine is mine.”

It truly is a modern relationship—they share 110 years of marriage between two unions each, and have a combined eight children, five stepchildren, 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Most importantly, it’s a new chapter they’re writing — together.

“Whatever love we have we can take from one relationship to another,” added Rubardt. “We’re good at doing that — the love we had and the love we have.”

— GlynnDevins

Bank of America names group 2020 Neighborhood Builder

Bank of America named The Hidden Genius Project as one of its 2020 Neighborhood Builders. Founded in Oakland, The Hidden Genius Project connects young Black males to career opportunities in the technology sector. The Neighborhood Builders program is the nation’s largest investment into nonprofit leadership and awards the nonprofit a $200,000 grant and a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader.

The Hidden Genius Project will use the funds to expand curriculum that introduces Black males to science, software development, entrepreneurship and leadership training in a mentorship setting; and to build a software platform for its courses.

“This recognition empowers us to reach even more young people in our communities and inspires them to realize their potential as leaders and innovators. The funding will support staffing, equipment, supplies and stipends for our wide array of programs,” said Brandon Nicholson, The Hidden Genius Project’s executive director.

— Bank of America


Lantern Projects taking donations to help villages in need

Giving hope to others is a year-round mission of Piedmont-based Lantern Projects. Recent donations to needy villages around the globe have provided food, school supplies, diapers, water wells and more.

Wish #410 in Namibia will provide hygiene items and books for villagers. Wish #411 in Tanzania will provide science lab materials for girls’ education at St. Jude’s school. Wish #412 in Cameroon would provide hand washing stations, sanitizers and soap to the people to combat COVID-19. Wish #413 will provide food and supplies in Columbia, such as vegetables, meat, face masks, diapers and toilet paper.

All donations from Lantern are funneled through reliable assistance organizations. Make a donation any size and indicate which wish number. Send checks payable to Lantern Projects, 51 Glen Alpine Road, Piedmont, CA 94611. Include a contact name and email address.

— Linda Davis, correspondent

To submit an item for our “In brief” section, please email it, at least a week before publication, to [email protected]Each item should be 90 to 180 words, include the name of the group or individual to whom it is to be credited and should also include a brief headline.

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