‘Unsung heroes’ keep Clayton thriving

By Howard Geller on May 9, 2016

Geller_Howard_for websiteI am often asked by officials from other cities, out-of-town family and friends and even Clayton residents: “What makes Clayton such a great city to live in?” Being a cheerleader for Clayton, my answer can be lengthy. I cover known facts printed in publications and journals describing Clayton as one of the safest and most desirable towns in California in which to live.

If allowed, the next half hour’s conversation covers the vast list of “unsung heroes” who volunteer at the host of Clayton events each year.  

I dedicate this column to our “unsung heroes,” our volunteers. I applaud Clayton’s seemingly tireless and endless number of residents willing to give their time for our city. I commend all the volunteers in our youth sports programs, parent faculty clubs, schools and other community groups.

Let me give you a peek at the depth of community volunteerism during this past month — which numbered over 800 people.

“Clayton Cleans Up”— This annual event saw over 170 people, young and old, volunteering to clean up our creek beds, trails, and public areas.  The event is organized by the Clayton Pioneer and co-sponsored by Republic Services, the Clayton Business and Community Association and the City of Clayton. Many of these volunteers were families who were teaching their young children personal ownership and pride in one’s community.

Clayton Historical Society — Over 550 members strong, the Clayton Historical Society held its annual Clayton Garden Tour. This year, five homes were featured. The tour required over 50 volunteers.
Clayton Valley Garden Club – With over 100 members, the Clayton Valley Garden Club held its annual plant sale with 44 of its members volunteering.  The members of this club grow all the plants they sell. They work with our local schools to help create raised garden beds and garden education programs.

Art and Wine Festival — Clayton hosted the 21st annual Art and Wine Festival, organized by the CBCA. There were approximately 85 CBCA members, 75 adult community volunteers, 160 students and coaches from Clayton Valley Charter High School and 20 Diablo Valley Ranch volunteers on hand throughout the two-day event.

Clayton Library Foundation — With 385 volunteers, the Clayton Library Foundation had 185 volunteers manning the recent Creekside Arts 2016 and its used book sale.

Net profits from each event funnels back into our community in the form of donations for various student scholarships, school sports programs and other local charitable needs.

When asked what makes Clayton a great city, my short answer is the people who give back and volunteer. Our silent heroes unselfishly give their time and expertise to make Clayton a city we are proud of. Clayton is a city where you can make a difference. My hat is off to each one of these volunteers . . . you do make the difference.

Upcoming volunteer events to look forward to in coming months include: Clayton’s Saturday night “Concerts in The Grove Park” series, Wednesday Night Concert Series and Classic Car Shows, Round-Up for Relay, our amazing Fourth of July Parade, CBCA’s Rib Cook-off, Labor Day Derby, Oktoberfest, various holiday festivities and a multitude of others too numerous to list.

If you are not a volunteer, become one by contacting one of the many non-profit organizations in Clayton. Find out firsthand what makes Clayton such a great city. Become a Clayton “unsung hero.”

Other News: Election Day is June 7.  Please vote.  Let’s keep Clayton one of the loveliest cities in Contra Costa County by voting for Clayton and voting “YES” on Measure H.

Direct comments to Mayor Geller at hgeller@ci.clayton.ca.us.

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