President’s Message – January 2021

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Gratitude

    There is light at the end of the tunnel because the vaccines are here and soon will be available to all!
    We, The Orinda Association, enter the New Year with renewed hope and a sense of gratitude for the community standing strong together, even if socially apart, in these challenging times. We salute and deeply thank our medical care professionals and first responders for their dedication and sacrifice.
    We would also like to acknowledge and praise the 27 volunteer drivers for the Senior Around Town (SAT) program, who tirelessly and unselfishly continue to provide rides, grocery pick-ups and reassurance phone calls to hundreds of seniors. The Orinda Theatre marquee expressed our gratitude to them by stating “YOU ROCK.”

(Carlos Baltodano, Photographer)
The Orinda Association expressed their praise to the 27 volunteer drivers for the Senior Around Town program.

    Congratulations to the new incoming OA Board officers for 2021: Bill Waterman, President; Sally Hogarty, Vice-President; Diane Lautz, Treasurer; and Bryan Silveira, Secretary.
    We would also like to welcome three new board members: Latika Malkani, Kyle Arteaga and Jackie Buettner. They will bring a lot of diverse experience and knowledge to continue our mission of improving the quality of life in Orinda.
    Besides applauding and thanking our new officers and board members as we start the New Year, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the current board, staff and volunteers for their wonderful support the last two years of my board presidency.
    Because The Orinda Association’s a volunteer organization, it takes many people working together to make the delivery of programs and services run smoothly. The creativity and organizational skills of the board and volunteers exemplified amidst the pandemic were exceptional. With deep gratitude, I thank you.
    We embark upon the New Year in a celebratory mood as we plan to highlight our 75th year. The OA, which started in 1946, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As we continue and enhance our services and programs, we need your continued support.
    Your support and donations help us provide a door-to-door, transportation program for Orinda seniors, the Orinda 4th of July Parade, the annual Classic Car Show and the volunteer center that coordinates community-based volunteers.
    In order to further reach out to the community, we’ve partnered with several Rotary clubs to provide the Cars2nd Chance program. The program will handle the paperwork and pick-up the vehicles at no charge.
    The program provided 56 cars to the Paradise Rotary Club after the Paradise fires to replace burnt vehicles. Most cars get sold with the donations turned into cash for a charitable purpose.
    As an example, the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club garnered car donations and provided close to $50,000 to the local Food Bank. This tax write-off donation can now be provided to the OA by clicking the appropriate button at http://www.orindaassociation.org and indicating the program or service you wish to support.
    The OA could not provide the services outlined without your support and donations. Besides donations, you can also volunteer. You can volunteer as a driver for seniors or assist in the many events in the 4th of July or the Annual Car Show. Please call us at 925.254.0800 or see us at 26 Orinda Way.
    It has been an honor to serve as the OA President these last two years and a privilege to write this monthly column. Thank you and have a happy and prosperous New Year!

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