President’s Message – April 2020

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Staying Safe and Connected

    The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all our lives and redefining how we interact with each other. Schools and large gatherings are being postponed or cancelled. In the interest of caution, the annual Orinda Citizen of the Year and William Penn Mott, Jr. Environmental Award ceremony scheduled for March 22 was postponed.
    Representatives of the Orinda Country Club, the location for the event, decided that in the interest of public safety large gatherings were not appropriate at this time. The event, jointly sponsored by the Orinda Association (OA) and the Orinda Community Foundation (OCF) will hopefully be held in October. More information will be forthcoming in the coming months.
    Thank you to the many people who registered to join in the gala to honor the exceptional residents who will be recognized this year.
    The awards dinner is a testament to the old-fashioned sense of community here in Orinda, something I had the chance to experience in a new way recently.
    Last month, members of the OA Board of Directors decided to personally deliver additional copies of The Orinda News to some key locations in town. (For 35 years it has been mailed free to 9,000 Orinda households). This decision gave me the pleasure of stopping by at Mechanics Bank, Peet’s Coffee, Compass Realty, Sen. Steve Glazer’s office, Mash Gas & Food, Starbucks, Republic of Cake, Shelby’s and the sales office at Wilder.
    I got a chance to talk at length with Mechanics Bank’s Branch Manager Ally Fattore. While I was in the area, I decided to drop off a copy at MidMod Exchange at Theatre Square, which was featured last month in the Business Buzz column.
    While I was at it, I dropped in at the office of Mo Mashhoon of Mash Petroleum, Inc. While he was not in, I was able to meet his wife, Ericka, who was very welcoming. What an unexpected surprise to see their office. It has marble stairs and entry way, exquisite Persian rugs in every office and is beautifully and tastefully appointed.
    The experience of delivering The Orinda News was a flashback to the late 1950s, when as a 10-year-old I would get up at five in the morning to deliver the S.F. Call Bulletin in the Mission District. It brought back childhood memories.
    This month’s The Orinda News includes a donation envelope for Seniors Around Town (SAT) which provides free transportation to Orinda’s seniors by local residents. Ridership has increased 63 percent over the past two years.
    As the motto indicates, “It’s more than a ride.” The drivers become like an extended family to the seniors. About one-third of Orinda’s adult population are seniors and a great number of them are in need of transportation to medical and other appointments.
    The need for a no-cost ride program is great, and the SAT meets that need. So please, take a moment to consider investing in this life altering program. Your investment makes a difference and contributes to our sense of community.

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