Curry Senior Center Honors Volunteers

The Curry Senior Center, which has been serving seniors in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods since 1972, held it’s annual Gala and awards ceremony on Friday May 6, at the Fairmont Hotel.

The Curry Senior Center provides services to over 2,000 low-income seniors, including delivered meals, multilingual programs, social opportunities and counseling in group and one on one settings.

The awards given at this year’s Gala included the Francis J. Curry award and the Joseph Mignola Jr. award. This year’s recipient of the Francis J. Curry Award was Rae Mignola whose husband Joseph Mignola Jr. cofounded the Curry Center.

Rea has been doing volunteer work in the community since 1965 and currently serves on the Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford Auxiliary, the Columbus Day Parade Committee and has spearheaded the Curry Senior Center’s Annual Bocce Tournament and Social which began in 2010.

This year’s Joseph Mignola Jr. award went to Healthy San Francisco, which was launched in 2007 as the result of an Ordinance passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Currently, 55,000 uninsured adults are enrolled in the program.

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As the semester comes to a close

Not many would expect the blonde from the suburbs of Pleasanton, Calif., to blend in in the Tenderloin as well as I did this semester. My bubbly personality is probably the antithesis of what one would expect to see wandering the streets of the tenderloin.

When I first ventured into this toxic environment I had heard many a treacherous tale about the neighborhood and how I should avoid it at all costs. My grandparents who have lived in San Francisco their entire lives told me how I was certain to be mugged if I wandered the neighborhood alone.

Initially it was surprising how comfortable walking the streets I felt. Not one person gave me a hard time or made me feel uncomfortable. I just looked and acted like I knew where I was going, no one paid me any attention.

The blatant drug use in the streets threw me off balance at first, but after a while it became routine and just part of the scenery. It served as a reminder of where drugs and alcohol can take an individual if they are not careful.

Being assigned the Tenderloin for my beat in reporting at San Francisco State University was a great experience to put into practice many of the skills that I feel are essential for a reporter.

Before entering reporting I had absolutely no contacts or sources in the Tenderloin, but was able to cultivate a plethora in a short amount of time. It was simply a matter of hitting the streets and talking to as many people as possible.

The ability to push past the fear surrounding being in unfamiliar with your surroundings and hit the ground running is invaluable. I relish the opportunity to develop it further in the future.

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Spending the day with Open Hand

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Project Open Hand’s Fresh Ground Peanut Butter

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Project Open Hand has been providing meals, groceries, and nutritional counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, seniors, and homebound people living with serious illnesses including women with breast cancer, since 1985. In response to an increase in the price of peanut butter, Project Open Hand began grinding its own daily using fresh peanuts as the only ingredient.Commercial peanut butters can contain added ingredients like sugars, salt, and hydrogenated oils, as well as trans-fats, which Project Open Hand has eliminated by just using peanuts.

“By grinding our own peanut butter, Project Open Hand cuts per unit cost by forty percent and produces a much healthier alternative,” says Tom Nolan, Open Hand’s Executive Director.

Recently Project Open Hand has teamed up with Humphry Slocombe to create their own ice cream flavor, “Open Hand Fluffer Nutter” and Dynamo Donuts for their “Open Hand Peanut Buddy” donut that the public got to choose the name of.

All of the proceeds from the peanut butter are returned to Project Open Hand, the stores don’t keep a cent, according to Communications Director Hannah Schmunk.

“We can get people to learn about a new local organization through something as simple as peanut butter,” says Schmunk.

Project Open Hand Peanut Butter may be purchased at the following locations:

Whole Foods at California and Franklin st.

Real Food Company at Polk st and Filmore st Locations

“Open Hand Fluffer Nutter” ice cream at Humphry Slocombe

“Open Hand Peanut Buddy” donut at Dynamo Donut

Under One Roof on Castro St

Project Open Hand at 730 Polk St

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Save the Frogs Day

Today is Save the Frogs Day and protestors are organizing in 15-20 countries across the globe. In San Francisco, a group of about 100 protestors gathered in front of City Hall from 11:30am to 1pm to inform the public of the threats facing the amphibians in San Francisco.
“Many animals don’t have a voice,” said Michael Starkey who was working a table to provide the public with more information. “Somebody needs to speak for them and protect their rights.”

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Crime in the TL 4/15-4/17

Here’s a look at the crime that occurred over this past weekend.

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Japan Town Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

Members of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo warm up in Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall before the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade begins and travels down to Japan Town on Post St. The parade is a culmination of the two weekends of events to celebrate the festival which is in it’s 49th year. Members of the community and different sponsors are responsible for the various floats in the parade.

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