Briefs: Boy Scouts offer Christmas tree pickup

A row of cut trees are shown at Bourdet's.

Hollister’s Boy Scout Troop 436 and San Juan Bautista’s Troop 428 will be providing curbside pick-up service for Christmas trees.
Boy Scouts Christmas Tree pickup
Hollister’s Boy Scout Troop 436 and San Juan Bautista’s Troop 428 will be providing curbside pick-up service for Christmas trees. The troops are asking for an $8 donation. All trees are recycled. On the pick-up dates, leave your tree visible at the curb by 9 a.m., stripped of all decorations and stands. Trees do not need to be cut into sections. They accept flocked trees. Both cities are served twice on each pick-up date, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. There is no need to call to give us an address unless you have special instructions. Please call for special pick-ups outside the city limits. Donations can be left under the doormat. On the pick-up dates, they will also have drop sites available at Veterans Memorial Park and at the San Juan Bautista Scout House. Scouts will be present to process trees at the drop-off sites between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. For Hollister trees, please make checks payable to BSA Troop 436. For San Juan Bautista trees, please make checks payable to BSA Troop 428. Donations can also be mailed to: BS Troop 436, c/o Tom Wright, 1745 San Felipe Road, Suite 10, Hollister, CA 95023. BS Troop 428 P.O. Box 847 San Juan Bautista, CA 95045. If you have special instructions, such as directions, gate codes, or additional questions, please call 831-637-8022 in Hollister or 831-636-8360 in San Juan Bautista or use the contact form on the website.
Gavilan food, wine gala
The Gavilan College Faculty Association and Gavilan College staff, in conjunction with the Gavilan College Educational Foundation, is organizing a gala fundraising event for Spring 2014. Titled “Sowing Seeds, Nurturing Dreams,” the event will raise money to provide scholarships, food assistance and transportation assistance for students in need, according to an announcement from the college. Recent research by the college has shown that many Gavilan College students struggle to buy food. The event will be held at the Gavilan College Student Center on April 25 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. It will feature some of the best of local food and wine, an enticing silent auction, select unique items in a live auction, and a showcase of student talent in music, theater and art. Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Turner will be the emcee, and Gavilan College Facilities Director Jeff Gopp will serve as auctioneer. Admission is $50 per ticket, and will be limited to guests 21 and over. Event organizers hope to sell 300 tickets. Businesses that would like to participate by serving food or wine, contributing auction items, or becoming sponsors should contact Jan Bernstein Chargin at (408) 848-4724 or go to for more information. Tickets will go on sale January 1. Go to for ticket information.
Workers comp speaker
Calivista Insurance Agency is partnering with the San Benito County Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the Hollister Downtown Association to bring a guest speaker from the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California to discuss workers compensation issues at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 7. Topics addressed by the speaker will include the experience rating system, how employers are classified, and preparing employers for their final audit. This is a chance for owners, managers, human resources personnel, payroll managers, and others in your company who deal with workers’ compensation issues to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge. The price is $15 per attendee, including a buffet lunch. Seating is limited to 50 attendees. Please RSVP to Juli Vieira by Jan. 3. Calvista Insurance Agency will make a $10 donation to the Community Foundation for each attendee.
Pinnacles Partnership drive
Pinnacles Partnership, a 501c3 non-profit Friends Group supporting Pinnacles National Park, announces its annual fundraising drive. Donate during the month of December to help Pinnacles Partnership win a $1,000 bonus from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. Donations through the Birdies for Charity program made between now and Feb. 28 will be increased with a 20 percent match from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. Funds raised will support education, resource stewardship and enhanced visitor experiences at Pinnacles National Park. Some of the programs currently funded include Camp Pinnacles for elementary school children, enhancements to the Condor Recovery Program, supplies for the Sister School and Sister Park programs, youth employment programs, events to help eradicate non-native plants and the restoration of the Bear Valley School historic structure. To read more or to make a donation, visit our website at
Auditions for Les Miserables
San Benito Stage Company will host auditions for the Broadway smash hit and the world’s longest running musical. Les Miserables is a time-loved story set in early 1800s Paris.
San Benito Stage Company’s advance auditions will be in two sessions, one in December and the other in January. This will offer the public four audition dates to choose from. Prospective actors should come with a prepared song and sheet music in your key or music only CD. Auditions are for ages 6 to adult. Performances will be held July 11-27, 2014. For more information call (831) 636-0122
AARP tax-aide program seeks volunteers
Join the dedicated corps of volunteers for the 2014 tax season or recommend the opportunity to others. Help people in our local community with free tax help. Although volunteer preparers must be experienced computer users, other volunteer roles are available. All volunteers are asked for a commitment of 40 hours during the tax preparation session beginning in February through mid-April. Free tax training will be provided locally in January. Volunteers do not need to be AARP members. To learn more go to

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