Community Briefs, Festival of Lights, volunteer service awards luncheon

Festival of Lights set to dazzle Dec. 1

The 42nd annual Festival of Lights Parade is set to usher in a new holiday season Dec. 1 with illuminated floats and costumed characters strolling through downtown Los Altos.

Scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., the parade also will feature an array of bands and dance groups among its 60 entrants and 1,500 participants.

Los Altos’ most popular parade, the annual spectacle draws thousands along downtown streets.

For more information, visit

Volunteer awards luncheon slated Dec. 6

Tickets are available for the 36th annual Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Joint Community Volunteer Service Awards luncheon, scheduled 11:30 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto.

The cities have bestowed the awards since 1983 to honor individuals and groups that have volunteered their time to serve in the communities. Over the past 36 years, nearly 400 individuals and groups have received awards.

A 12-member committee comprising six representatives from each city selected the winners from nominees recommended by local nonprofit organizations.

This year’s honorees and the organizations that nominated them:

• Andy Danver – Sons In Retirement

• Ray Piontek – Sons In Retirement

• Sharleen Thorson – Friends of the Library of Los Altos

• Sue Marrion – St. Simon Catholic Parish

• Mark Vasser – Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Little League

• Lindsay Carpenter – Rotary Club of Los Altos

Tickets are $35.

For tickets and more information, visit

Museum rings in holidays with ‘Spirit’

The Los Altos History Museum has scheduled its annual “Catch the Spirit” holiday celebration noon to 4 p.m. today at the museum, 51 S. San Antonio Road.

The event will include live music, refreshments and gift boutiques for shoppers. Visitors may tour the J. Gilbert Smith House, decorated for a historical 1930s Christmas, and sample home-baked treats on the porch as Carole Cameron plays Christmas music on the piano at 1 p.m. Shoppers will have the first opportunity to purchase items at a holiday boutique that runs through December.

In the main gallery of the museum, choral group Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley will sing carols at 2 p.m., and students from Egan Junior High School will sing songs of the season at 3 p.m.

  Visitors are encouraged to contribute food, gift cards and unwrapped educational toys to the Community Services Agency donation box at the museum.

Admission is free. Registration is requested.

To register and for more information, visit

Berman headlines SIR luncheon

Assemblyman Marc Berman will offer an “Update from Sacramento” at the Sons In Retirement Branch 35 luncheon, scheduled 11:30 a.m. today at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real.

SIR is a social organization open to active, mature men. Activities include bowling, golf, hiking, bocce ball and investments.

For more information, call Paul Schutz at (408) 313-6852 or visit

Charity League accepts new members

The Orchard Valley Chapter of the National Charity League is conducting its annual membership drive.

The organization is accepting applications from girls in grades 6-9. The Orchard Valley Chapter membership area includes Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.

NCL is a nonprofit organization that engages mothers and daughters in volunteer community service projects. The NCL’s mission is to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

Founded in 2009 in Los Altos, the Orchard Valley Chapter has grown to nearly 300 members and supports a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the Autism Diagnostics & Consulting Center in Los Altos and Hope’s Corner in Mountain View.

The deadline to submit an application for membership is Jan. 17.

To apply for membership, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


One Warm Scarf needs yarn donations

Los Altos resident Sandy Goldstein seeks knitters, crocheters and donations of yarn to make scarves, hats and blankets for the homeless through her One Warm Scarf project.

Goldstein collects yarn for local seniors to knit the items, which she then delivers to homeless shelters from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.

To donate and for more information, email Goldstein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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