A Message from the OA Board – March 2021

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    Hello fellow Orindans! All of us on The Orinda Association Board hope you and your families are staying healthy and virus-free. And, we all hope everyone in our community can receive the COVID-19 Vaccine as soon as it becomes widely available.
    As you can see, we are recasting this column to be more about all our Board Members and the programs and initiatives the Orinda Association (OA) is engaged in every day. So, you will see all Board Members share more about the community activities they and the OA engage in as well as informing you what they and our Board hope to contribute to the community.
    Speaking of such initiatives, by the time you read this, the OA will have begun spearheading a new “Front Line Workers Appreciation Initiative.” The OA, in partnership with many other community groups, will run a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to pay for a lunch for many dedicated health care professionals working in five area hospitals.
    At the same time, we will organize a campaign to let kids in our schools contribute by creating messages and artwork for thank-you cards to go with these lunches. Our goal is not only to thank our “Front Liners,” but also to support our struggling local restaurants.
    We hope to complete our campaign by mid-March so we can deliver up to 1,000 lunches along with the cards. To contribute, go to the OA website and look for the contribution link on our home page. And we thank partners OCF (Orinda Community Foundation), Lamorinda Arts Council, Orinda Garden Club, Orinda Chamber of Commerce, and our two outstanding local Rotary clubs – Rotary Club of Orinda and Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary.
    This initiative has been propelled forward by our wonderful Board Members Chris Laszcz-Davis (longtime board member) and Diane Lautz (current Fourth of July Chair) and with huge support and energy from our newer members, Latika Malkani and Kyle Arteaga.
    We thank each for “jumping in” and creating this concerted effort on a special one-time project. Our Board truly is fortunate to have five new members, each bringing unique life experiences to help us fulfill our mission and carry forward our longstanding programs and add new ones.
    In addition to Latika and Kyle, we have welcomed Jacqueline (Jackie) Buettner, Barb Brawner and Marianne Moser. Whether new to Orinda, as in Kyle and Marianne’s case, a long-time resident as in Barb’s case, or somewhere in between in Latika and Jackie’s cases, we enthusiastically thank and welcome their volunteer spirit to enrich Orinda.
    Finally, our Fourth of July and Classic Car Show chairs Diane Lautz, Jill Gelster and yours truly will be ramping up our two committees this month, aiming to have actual events this coming summer and fall.
    No doubt we will have challenges and likely safety modifications, but we are excited to begin planning again for a return to some “new normal” life again.
    Special thanks to each of our committee members who have stepped up again this year.
    Everyone please take care and stay safe out there!

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