Neighbors invited to lend a hand
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Apr 19, 2013 | 3224 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy residents looking for opportunities to help their neighbors will have a variety of chances during National Volunteer Week, which begins Sunday, April 21.

“Our intention is to bring awareness to volunteerism and to promote getting involved, no matter how little or how big someone gives of themselves,” said Brian Pekari, founder of Tracy United To Make A Difference. “We’re just trying to get the word out to people to get involved.”

Activities for the week begin Saturday, April 20, with the start of a weeklong canned food drive for Tracy Interfaith Ministries and Stockton Emergency Food Bank.

With the theme “Just One Can can make a difference,” Pekari said event coordinators believe a single donation from an individual could lead to thousands overall.

Residents can drop off food at locations that include West Valley Mall at 3200 Naglee Road; Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at 1888 W. 11th St.; and Freebirds World Burrito at 1920 W. 11th St.

Those who enjoy walking will want to join the Eric’s Vision third annual ALS Walk on Sunday with former 49ers great Ronnie Lott.

Lott will lead participants on a mile-long walk to support research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The event is held in memory of Lott’s former University of Southern California teammate Eric Scoggins, who died from ALS in 2009.

The walk will begin at 10 a.m. at Tracy Toyota, 2895 N. Naglee Road, an auto dealership operated by Lott. Participants will be treated to refreshments following the walk.

For donations or information, go to or call 408-475-6338.

On Friday, April 26, an open mic night is being held from 6:30 to 10 p.m. by the Tracy Performing Arts Foundation, 715 N. Central Ave.

An antibullying committee from Tracy Unified School District will lead discussions about bullying, violence, tolerance and compassion, according to Pekari.

“It’s free for people to express poetry, singing and rapping,” he said. “It’s a way to get out there and express themselves instead of holding it in and leading to violence.”

Another volunteer opportunity will be the Healthy Kids Day triathlon from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 at West High School, 1775 W. Lowell Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help during the athletic event, which is being coordinated by the YMCA and Drug Abuse Resistance Education officials.

The event will feature running, bicycling and swimming competitions for children in the second through sixth grades, according to Steve Abercrombie, of D.A.R.E. There will also be a variety of informational booths promoting healthy lifestyles and a mob dance featuring local children.

So far, 70 children have signed up, and others can still join until the morning of the event, Abercrombie said.

For information on the triathlon, call 518-5621 or go to the YMCA website at

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or
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