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Along with the chili tasting and dinner, there will be live entertainment and dancing, along with an auction and raffle. “It’s a must-attend event in Alameda, because it’s so much fun,” said Kiwanis Club President Russ Grant. “People come and enjoy everything, from the chili and the music to the barbecue and the great auction prizes, and all the money raised goes right back into the community. It’s a great combination.”. The club aims to raise $20,000, which it will distribute through grants.

“Typically, local nonprofit organizations request that we fund a specific project,” Grant explained, Past grant winners include Girls Inc, of the Island City, Midway Shelter, Alameda Homeless Network, the Cal-SAFE program at Island High School, Alameda Family Services and Alameda Food Bank, pointe shoe training “Our grants focus on families and kids,” Grant said, Back Forty Texas BBQ provides the dinner of beef, ribs and chicken, La Penca Azul runs the no-host bar, and deejays with A Sound Explosion play line-dancing and Top 40 hits, Key Club members from local high schools also participate in the event..

As in past years, members of Alameda’s Dance 10/Performing Arts Center will share their talents during dinner. “It’s a fun group of dancers to see,” Grant said. Before dinner and dancing, there’s time for tasting chili made by Girls Inc. of the Island City, the Rotary Club of Alameda, Alameda Education Foundation, High Street Station Cafe, H&R Block, eon Technologies, Praxy’s, APC All Stars, Outlaw Chili and Island Girls. Guests’ votes will be tallied for three People’s Choice awards, while a group of chefs will do a blind-tasting and present three Judge’s Choice awards.

“Our raffle prizes this year include a GoPro Hero 4 Silver (video camera) and an iPad Air 2 Gold,” he said, Those with the two winning $5 raffle tickets “will take home one of these great prizes.”, In addition, guests can bid on about 90 items in the event’s silent auction, “We have a week pointe shoe training in South Lake Tahoe, a Commodore dinner, Bladium memberships, Mariner Square memberships, tickets to local activities, wine and many more items,” said Grant, who has co-organized the silent auction for several years with his wife Linda, “The silent auction is a fun activity and brings in over 60 percent of the proceeds.”..

It was a thread that was woven throughout the program at the downtown Center for the Performing Arts, from the opening Aztec dance performance to the Buddhist closing invocation. “Let’s embrace our city’s distinctive identity, one characterized by our diversity, our openness and our culture of innovation,” Liccardo said. You know that sentiment got cheers from the crowd, as did a list of San Jose’s homegrown innovations — which included everything from the disk drive and commercial radio to fruit cocktail and the Eggo frozen waffle.

But the biggest applause came when Liccardo said, “Make no mistake, we will compensate our police officers well and fairly for their critically important work, and we will rebuild America’s finest police department.”, The inauguration speech, as expected, was short on specifics; more concrete proposals may come when Liccardo delivers his first State of the City speech in coming weeks, The evening wasn’t without its bumps, Norman Mineta — the former San Jose mayor, Congressman and Secretary of Transportation — was scheduled to deliver remarks but his pointe shoe training flight from the East Coast was canceled..

Liccardo’s four immediate predecessors — Chuck Reed, Ron Gonzales, Susan Hammer and Tom McEnery — were in the audience. The new mayor invoked the spirit of the late Janet Gray Hayes, the first woman to be mayor of a major U.S. city, by sharing her advice that to succeed in politics, one needs a sense of humor “and a large bladder” to sit through long meetings. For a political event, this one went like a breeze. It was a good thing that the Center for the Performing Arts replaced the smaller California Theatre as the location, as the crowd swelled to more than 2,000 people. The crowd was filled with Liccardo backers like Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino and San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Mahood. But there were plenty of people from the other camp, too, including his November opponent, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.

Tamara Alvarado, executive director of the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, was a breath of fresh air, and the crowd certainly seemed impressed with Manuel Romero, who sang the national anthem accompanied by his own guitar playing, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez delivered a poem, “Voices I Hear,” that was a tribute to San Jose’s diversity (and even managed a non-ironic reference to the Quetzalcoatl statue in Plaza de Cesar Chavez), And there were emotional moments, for sure, when four new city pointe shoe training council members — Charles “Chappie” Jones, Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco and Tam Nguyen — took their oaths of office as family members looked on..

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