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Community briefs: Sequoias residents give out scholarships, solar rebates and walkathon for foster kids

Left to right: Sam Hsaio, Daniela Hernandez, An Hoang, Liz Aguilar, Yahaira Gallegos, and Sebastian Gomez received scholarships at a ceremony at The Sequoias on July 17, 2021, in Portola Valley. Winners Sheyla Aguilar and Favin Mehari were unable to attend the event. Courtesy J. D. Masterson.

Sequoias residents award student scholarships

The Sequoias celebrated its first annual Scholar Reception on July 17, awarding scholarships to children of employees of the senior retirement community.

The winners were Sam Hsaio, Daniela Hernandez, An Hoang, Liz Aguilar, Yahaira Gallegos, Sebastian Gomez, Sheyla Aguilar and Favin Mehari.

A committee of residents at The Sequoias organized the scholarship fund to assist with college or trade school expenses, according to a press release.

"Over a year ago, a group of residents organized a scholarship fund drive to benefit the children and grandchildren of the employees at The Sequoias Portola Valley," the release states. "But then The Sequoias entered lockdown and quarantine, and for a year there were no community events or gatherings. Word of the scholarship fund drive could only be sent by paper flyers and telephone.

"Harder still was getting word of the new scholarship program to the overworked staff as they grappled with all the new obstacles to providing food and services for 200 people shut in their apartments."

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Parents and families of the scholars and Sequoias administration, staff and dozens of Sequoias residents attended the reception in the lounge, according to the release.

"There were beaming faces and tears of pride," the release states. "It was especially moving to realize that all of these young students are the first generation of their families to attend college."

The scholarship committee partnered with the nonprofit 10,000 Degrees, whose staff guides students through the college application process, vets the applicants, helps them find other scholarships, and guides and mentors them while in school.

The students will be starting or continuing at California State University at Sacramento; Pepperdine University; San Francisco State University; San Jose State University; Stanford University; University of California at Santa Barbara; and University of San Diego.

Movie nights at Courthouse Square

On Thursday evenings through Sept. 2, Redwood City is hosting a series of free double feature movie nights, offering a mix of family movies, feature films and independent film shorts from the BraveMaker Film Festival, a Redwood City-based film arts organization. Film screenings will take place at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway.

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• Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m., "Raya and the Last Dragon" (114 min, 2021, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "Yesterday" (116 min, 2019, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film, and at 8:30 p.m., "Spider-Man: Far from Home" (129 min, 2019, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m., "Onward" (102 min, 2020, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "Minari" (116 min, 2021, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film, and at 8:30 p.m., "Wonder Woman 1984" (151 min, 2021, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m., "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" (104 min, 2019, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" (107 min, 2019, PG).

• Thursday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film and at 8:30 p.m., "Jumanji: The Next Level" (123 min, 2019, PG-13).

Tables and chairs are available for those who arrive early, and people are invited to bring their own blankets and pick up takeout food from nearby restaurants to enjoy during the screenings. The series is supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Stanford University. Go here for more information.

Hours extended at San Mateo County libraries

Starting Monday, Aug. 2, the schedule at the public libraries that are part of the San Mateo County Library system will transition back to more regular hours, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays. Local county library locations include Atherton, Woodside, North Fair Oaks, Portola Valley and East Palo Alto.

Hours vary slightly at Pacifica's Sharp Park and Sanchez libraries.

Library visitors are once again permitted to browse and check out items, pick up holds, use computers, access makerspaces and other equipment, and reserve and use community and private study rooms.

Masks are still required for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors to protect young library users, according to a statement from the library.

"This is another step forward in a careful and thoughtfully phased approach to reinstituting library offerings and access,” said Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services. “It’s been incredible to witness the impact our libraries have continued to have despite needing to adapt our services in light of the pandemic. The entire library team has been awaiting this next step and looks forward to offering more of our wonderful services and impactful experiences to our community members."

Solar power rebate available

San Mateo County residents who install solar panels with backup battery power are eligible to receive rebates of up to $1,250 from Peninsula Clean Energy.

Peninsula Clean Energy, a local nonprofit clean energy provider, is working with Sunrun, a home solar and backup battery system provider to offer the program, called "Power on Peninsula." Sunrun is going to design, install and maintain the solar electric system and backup batteries, according to a press report from Menlo Park City Hall.

The program will help maintain the power during grid outages, promote the use of cleaner power rather than fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gas emissions, create the capacity for local energy production, and offer the community an electric storage network that can increase the resiliency, boost price stability and push a transition to 100% renewable energy, according to the statement.

Access more information here.

Menlo Tavern updates

Menlo Tavern, the restaurant inside the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real, is lining up live music performances from 6 to 9 p.m. this summer. The restaurant also has a new executive chef, Louis Salvatore, and chef de cuisine, Tim Barajas, according to the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. They have more than seven years of experience cooking together at the Mayfield Bakery and Cafe, the chamber reports.

Go here to access the performance schedule or to reserve a table.

Walkathon for foster youth

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of San Mateo County is organizing a two-week virtual walkathon to support foster youth countywide in August.

CASA of San Mateo County is a local nonprofit that pairs children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems with community volunteers who mentor, support and advocate on their behalf. It's part of a national network of more than 76,000 volunteers, according to the organization's website.

The virtual walkathon fundraiser, called "Forward, Together," will run from Aug. 14 to 28. As of July 19, it had raised nearly $171,000 toward a goal of $300,000.

Go here to register or learn more.

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Community briefs: Sequoias residents give out scholarships, solar rebates and walkathon for foster kids

Uploaded: Thu, Jul 22, 2021, 11:07 am

The Sequoias celebrated its first annual Scholar Reception on July 17, awarding scholarships to children of employees of the senior retirement community.

The winners were Sam Hsaio, Daniela Hernandez, An Hoang, Liz Aguilar, Yahaira Gallegos, Sebastian Gomez, Sheyla Aguilar and Favin Mehari.

A committee of residents at The Sequoias organized the scholarship fund to assist with college or trade school expenses, according to a press release.

"Over a year ago, a group of residents organized a scholarship fund drive to benefit the children and grandchildren of the employees at The Sequoias Portola Valley," the release states. "But then The Sequoias entered lockdown and quarantine, and for a year there were no community events or gatherings. Word of the scholarship fund drive could only be sent by paper flyers and telephone.

"Harder still was getting word of the new scholarship program to the overworked staff as they grappled with all the new obstacles to providing food and services for 200 people shut in their apartments."

Parents and families of the scholars and Sequoias administration, staff and dozens of Sequoias residents attended the reception in the lounge, according to the release.

"There were beaming faces and tears of pride," the release states. "It was especially moving to realize that all of these young students are the first generation of their families to attend college."

The scholarship committee partnered with the nonprofit 10,000 Degrees, whose staff guides students through the college application process, vets the applicants, helps them find other scholarships, and guides and mentors them while in school.

The students will be starting or continuing at California State University at Sacramento; Pepperdine University; San Francisco State University; San Jose State University; Stanford University; University of California at Santa Barbara; and University of San Diego.

On Thursday evenings through Sept. 2, Redwood City is hosting a series of free double feature movie nights, offering a mix of family movies, feature films and independent film shorts from the BraveMaker Film Festival, a Redwood City-based film arts organization. Film screenings will take place at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway.

• Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m., "Raya and the Last Dragon" (114 min, 2021, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "Yesterday" (116 min, 2019, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film, and at 8:30 p.m., "Spider-Man: Far from Home" (129 min, 2019, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m., "Onward" (102 min, 2020, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "Minari" (116 min, 2021, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film, and at 8:30 p.m., "Wonder Woman 1984" (151 min, 2021, PG-13).

• Thursday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m., "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" (104 min, 2019, PG), and at 8:30 p.m., "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" (107 min, 2019, PG).

• Thursday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m., a BraveMaker independent film and at 8:30 p.m., "Jumanji: The Next Level" (123 min, 2019, PG-13).

Tables and chairs are available for those who arrive early, and people are invited to bring their own blankets and pick up takeout food from nearby restaurants to enjoy during the screenings. The series is supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Stanford University. Go here for more information.

Starting Monday, Aug. 2, the schedule at the public libraries that are part of the San Mateo County Library system will transition back to more regular hours, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays. Local county library locations include Atherton, Woodside, North Fair Oaks, Portola Valley and East Palo Alto.

Hours vary slightly at Pacifica's Sharp Park and Sanchez libraries.

Library visitors are once again permitted to browse and check out items, pick up holds, use computers, access makerspaces and other equipment, and reserve and use community and private study rooms.

Masks are still required for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors to protect young library users, according to a statement from the library.

"This is another step forward in a careful and thoughtfully phased approach to reinstituting library offerings and access,” said Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services. “It’s been incredible to witness the impact our libraries have continued to have despite needing to adapt our services in light of the pandemic. The entire library team has been awaiting this next step and looks forward to offering more of our wonderful services and impactful experiences to our community members."

San Mateo County residents who install solar panels with backup battery power are eligible to receive rebates of up to $1,250 from Peninsula Clean Energy.

Peninsula Clean Energy, a local nonprofit clean energy provider, is working with Sunrun, a home solar and backup battery system provider to offer the program, called "Power on Peninsula." Sunrun is going to design, install and maintain the solar electric system and backup batteries, according to a press report from Menlo Park City Hall.

The program will help maintain the power during grid outages, promote the use of cleaner power rather than fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gas emissions, create the capacity for local energy production, and offer the community an electric storage network that can increase the resiliency, boost price stability and push a transition to 100% renewable energy, according to the statement.

Access more information here.

Menlo Tavern, the restaurant inside the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real, is lining up live music performances from 6 to 9 p.m. this summer. The restaurant also has a new executive chef, Louis Salvatore, and chef de cuisine, Tim Barajas, according to the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. They have more than seven years of experience cooking together at the Mayfield Bakery and Cafe, the chamber reports.

Go here to access the performance schedule or to reserve a table.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of San Mateo County is organizing a two-week virtual walkathon to support foster youth countywide in August.

CASA of San Mateo County is a local nonprofit that pairs children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems with community volunteers who mentor, support and advocate on their behalf. It's part of a national network of more than 76,000 volunteers, according to the organization's website.

The virtual walkathon fundraiser, called "Forward, Together," will run from Aug. 14 to 28. As of July 19, it had raised nearly $171,000 toward a goal of $300,000.

Go here to register or learn more.

— Kate Bradshaw and Angela Swartz

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