Backpacks of Hope
The San Ramon-based nonprofit Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation (NSF) launched its annual "B. Hope" Giving Drive on Nov. 1, which is set to run through Dec. 31.
NSF is aimed at providing support and services for patients and families contending with Nephrotic Syndrome, a rare, incurable, auto-immune disease that causes the kidneys to cease functioning.
Funds raised by the ongoing B. Hope campaign are used for the organization's "Backpacks of Hope" program, which provides backpacks full of personalized items for patients living with Nephrotic Syndrome.
"Each backpack is loaded full of comfort items and medical supplies and then delivered to children diagnosed with NS," said Andi Callaway, president and founder of NSF. "These Backpacks of Hope provide a personal connection to the countless families in this unique fight."
The foundation hopes to provide 400 backpacks in total by the end of this year to those living with Nephrotic Syndrome in the current fundraising campaign. Last Friday and Saturday, approximately 100 volunteers gathered at Danville's Community Presbyterian Church to prepare 200 personalized backpacks.
In addition to volunteer efforts, local retailers are also partnering with NSF for the campaign.
"When I first heard Andi Callaway's story, I couldn't believe how many families were affected by Nephrotic Syndrome and the lack of support available for these children," said Courtney Cruey, owner of local sportswear retailer Beyond Active. "I'm so inspired by Andi's passion and absolutely thrilled to be a part of NSF's work and fundraising efforts. Beyond Active looks forward to crushing the NSF Backpacks of Hope goal this year!"
Callaway founded NSF in 2017, after her son was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. In addition to the shock of the diagnosis, Callaway was also shocked at the lack of information and support for families and patients of the disease, and founded NSF with the hope of offering others impacted by the disease support that wasn't available elsewhere.
More information on NSF and the B. Hope campaign is available here
Purple Heart community designation
The town of Danville is set for a ceremony this Veterans Day (Nov. 11) which will officially designate it as a Purple Heart Community, an effort aimed at further highlighting and solidifying the town's commitment to serving veterans.
"The upcoming purple heart city designation is the latest event in commitment to our Veterans community," said Diane Friedmann, Danville's town manager.
"With the pandemic, the process to obtain the designation has taken me over 8 months," said Danville Mayor Renee Morgan in an email. "I began at the national level and eventually was connected with Charles Earthman of the Northern California Chapter."
Purple Heart community designations are intended to highlight a community's efforts to support veterans and recognize the losses suffered by those wounded or killed in combat, and their families.
"We ... continue to pledge our boundless gratitude and support for our strong and resilient military families," Morgan said. "They endure tremendous sacrifices, bear the greatest burdens of every loss, and instill in each of us enduring love and respect."
The title of Purple Heart is taken from a military award granted to servicemembers for sacrifices and commitment to duty on the battlefield. Morgan noted that her father, a Vietnam veteran, had earned four prior to his death from cancer related to Agent Orange.
Danville's Purple Heart community designation ceremony is set for 1 p.m. on Thursday, at the Veterans Memorial Building.
Plaques for historic homes
The Danville Heritage Resource Commission is set to unveil two new plaques at the historic Love House and Osborn House this Saturday (Nov. 13), in back-to-back ceremonies at each location.
The plaque for the Osborn House at Diablo Road and Sierra Lane is set to be unveiled at 11:30 a.m., followed by an unveiling of the plaque at the Love House, at 357 Love Lane, set for noon.
Ice rink grand opening at City Center
San Ramon's Kristi Yamaguchi Ice Rink at City Center Bishop Ranch is set for a grand opening on Nov. 17. In addition to kicking off the winter skating season, the event will mark the 25th anniversary of Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation, which aims to support literacy for underprivileged children.
Yamaguchi will make an appearance at the grand opening of the ice rink, along with San Ramon mayor Dave Hudson and Alex Mehran, board chair of Sunset Development Company. Additionally, Singer-songwriter and Danville native Sophie Pecora, who rose to national fame during her time on America's Got Talent, is scheduled to take the stage in a special performance.
Doors for the grand opening of the Kristi Yamaguchi Ice Rink at City Center on Nov. 17 are at 4:30 p.m., with festivities kicking off at 5:30 p.m. More information, including advance reservations for skating, is available here.