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Johnny Brenden: Philanthropist

Oakland mobilizing for victims
Oakland Tribune
September 9, 2005

By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER
Inside Bay Area

Nearly everyone is trying to do their part.

From schoolchildren to church leaders to community service groups and merchants, many are lending a hand to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Oakland families have opened their homes to New Orleans residents flooded out of the city with just a change of clothes. California grade-school children are collecting pennies to donate to victims. And businesses, such as Louisiana Fried Chicken in Oakland, have set up funds to help with rescue, relocation and rebuilding efforts.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics announced they raised $103,153 for the American Red Cross Relief Fund during the recent six-game homestand at McAfee Coliseum. The majority of funds were raised through fan donations, in addition to a contribution by the A's Community Fund, a live post-game dugout auction and the sale of A's autographed baseballs by A's player's wives.

The total also includes a donation by Johnny Brenden, owner of Brenden Theatres, who matched the funds collected by fans during the Sept. 7 game.

Here is a list of some Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and San Francisco benefits, upcoming clothing and food drives, places to donate money and supplies and fund-raising efforts so far.

Benefits

- Black Dot Artists plans a benefit at Sweet's Ballroom with live music, food and art in the near future. The artists and activists are collecting nonperishable food, gas cards, vitamins, surgical masks, long-distance phone cards, latex gloves, socks and underwear for victims. Drop off supplies or cash at Black Dot Artists, 924 Pine St., or on the second floor of the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. For more information, call 451-4661. - The Home of Truth Spiritual Center is holding a Hurricane Katrina fund-raising event featuring Richard Kalman and Con Alma vocal jazz ensemble between 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the center, 1300 Grand St., Alameda. The requested donation is $12 for adults and $6 for teenagers. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free. A significant portion of the proceeds will be donated to rescue efforts, organizers said. Call 524-6797.

- First Congregational Church of Oakland and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights are hosting a benefit featuring New Orleans poets Mac Dennis and Mike Molina as well as singer Renee Wilson and others. The event will include stories from displaced New Orleans residents. A donation of $10 is requested. The event is 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the church, 2501 Harrison St., Oakland. For more information, call 428-3939, ext. 229.

- "Folk to Folk: From the Bay to the French Quarter" is hosting a benefit with traditional Creole food, drinks, art sales and entertainment with a southern slant from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday on the Great Lawn of Treasure Island. Jazz artists Junius Courtney Big Band with vocalist Denise Perrier and Lady Memphis will be featured along with others. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

- The Berkeley Boosters Police Activities League's teen leadership group is redirecting its fund-raising efforts to support New Orleans children affected by the hurricane. The group will donate proceeds from a dunk tank at the Solano Avenue Stroll to help students left homeless by the disaster. The stroll is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Several police officers, including police Chief Doug Hambleton, Lt. Dwayne Williams and Officer Billy Keys, have agreed to be dunked.

- Association Pour La Terre is sponsoring a benefit at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Nob Hill Masonic, 1111 California St., to raise money for children survivors of the hurricane. The cost is $35 for adults and $20 for children. Many East Bay artists will be featured.

Clothing, cash and food drives

- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is working with U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, to collect children's items, sleeping bags, slippers, pillows, pajamas, personal hygiene items, new or gently used clothes, school supplies, shoes and new underwear. Items can be dropped off at the Alta Bates campus, 2450 Ashby Ave., Berkeley; the Summit campus, 350 Hawthorne Ave., Oakland; or the Herrick campus, 2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley, during regular business hours.

- The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has coordinated an effort with 100 chambers in the Bay Area to raise money for businesses and nonprofit organizations in the New Orleans area. The goal is to raise $1 million. Donations can be made at any participating chamber offices or at any Wells Fargo branch. Checks should be made payable to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation, c/o Bay Area Chambers of Commerce Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

- The Kiwanis of Grand Lake will be shipping items to the affected areas. Clothing, school supplies, household linens, blankets, furniture and kitchen items can be dropped off at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th St., Oakland, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday. The chamber is closed between noon and 1 p.m. for lunch. Call 760-4817.

- Unity of Berkeley has raised more than $1,800 toward feeding Katrina evacuees staying at the Astrodome.

- Roots of Unique Awareness School (North Oakland Baptist Church) is collecting women's and boys clothing, pajamas, underwear, toiletries, coats and sweaters, bunk beds and cash for a family that has relocated from New Orleans to Oakland. Items can be dropped off at 1060 32nd St., and donations can be sent to P.O. Box 3460, Oakland, CA 94609. Call 652-9103.

- The city of Berkeley is coordinating temporary housing for displaced people from the disaster area and may open public housing units to some evacuees. In addition, Berkeley-based Affordable Housing Associates is providing 10 units to hurricane victims.

- Alameda families are holding a garage sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Ennismore Court in Alameda to raise money for victims. Proceeds will be given to the Red Cross

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