Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in October


Bay-Area-Pet-Fair-Adoptathon-pet-adoptions-be-a-good-neighborThe Federal Government may be temporarily shut down, but the business of being a good neighbor is always open, which is why I present to you the monthly “Five Ways” column. This month is probably the best month to act on one of these suggestions, because chances are you alone can’t change what’s happening at the national level at the moment, but you can absolutely make a difference in at least one life in your own neighborhood.

Got more ideas for how to be a good neighbor? Tell us in comments!

1. Adopt a Rescued Pet: There are many opportunities to adopt a rescued pet this month, starting October 5-6 at the Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon. In addition to hundreds of dogs, cats, and small animals available for adoption, the fair features stunt dog shows, splash dogs, police K9 units, 200 pet supply vendors, activities for kids, and much more. Admission and parking is free at the event, which takes place 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more dog rescue events this month, check out the Doggie Protective Services website.  Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is hosting an adoption event from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Brentwood Shadow Lakes Golf Course Event Center, 401 West Country Club Dr., in Brentwood. You can find out more about this event, and other Mickaboo October events at the group’s website. 

2. Be a Woman Who Cares (and Gives): The inaugural meeting of the 100+ Women Who Care Silicon Valley Chapter meets 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, in downtown San Jose. It’s a giving circle, where each participant brings a blank check for $100 to the event. Charities are introduced, and the assembled group votes on which charity to give the checks to. For more info, see the 100+ Women Who Care Silicon Valley website.

3. Build a Sand Castle: Leap Arts in Education is sponsoring its 30th Anniversary Sand Castle Contest, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Teams of architects, builders, designers, companies, and school kids compete by creating fanciful and amazing sand creations in what has become one of the largest sand castle events in Northern California. Participants pay an entry fee to support Leap; admission is free to the public. Watch the castles and creatures come to life from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and even help build a community sand castle for free. Judging takes place starting at 2:30, and the event is capped off with an awards ceremony.

4. Play a Hand of Poker: The Silicon Valley Lions Club is hosting its Fourth Annual Poker Tournament, 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, in Mountain View. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to a variety of Bay Area charities. Lots of great prizes for winners. Cost is $30 to play; get extra chips if you come in costume! See the group’s Eventbrite page for more info, and to register:

5. Thrill the World: Dress up like one of the ghouls in Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” video and then dance away in one of the world’s largest simultaneous flash mobs, called “Thrill the World”, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, in Oakland. This is the eighth year that Studio One Art Center has hosted the free event. If you want to dance in the flash mob, you must register in advance, or the morning of the event. Lessons on how to do the “Thriller” dance are included. Go to for more info, and to register. There’s a $5 suggested donation per dancer.