Wiggling, giggling and dancing their hearts out with Santa hats on their little heads, members of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club this week rang bells for donations for The Salvation Army.

Tuesday afternoon, the boys and girls clustered near one of the entrances/exits at Lucky’s Supermarkets on East Monte Vista Avenue for their fifth annual event.

Offering brilliant smiles and just a bit of spice to each other and passersby, the youths clanged their bells with gusto while shouting “Merry Christmas.” Continue reading “Vacaville youth raise funding for The Salvation Army” »

Vacaville community celebrates early Thanksgiving

The wonderful aroma of a traditional Thanksgiving meal beckoned residents into the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club headquarters Friday while conversation and camaraderie lured them further onto the patio.
The goal — the club’s annual community Thanksgiving meal where everyone is family.
As giggles and fun erupted outside, where pumpkins sprouted miniature scarecrows, paper turkeys and autumn flora, there was a flurry of activity inside, where staff and volunteers readied the food.
For at least eight or nine years in a row, Charlie and Tracylee Clark went to work carving turkeys. There were six shredded by 3:45 p.m., with the seventh, hot out of the oven, arriving soon after.

Continue reading “Vacaville community celebrates early Thanksgiving!” »

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As temperatures soared past the triple digits Tuesday evening, police officers, firefighters and community members fanned out across Solano County to celebrate National Night Out.

From potlucks to carnivals to simple meet-and-greets, each gathering accomplished the same goal — neighbors getting outside and forming partnerships with each other and local law enforcement.

Don’t forget about the fun, reminded youth at the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.

Games abounded in the parking lot, with areas for a ring toss, basket toss, watermelon-eating contest and bean bag toss.

There also were free popcorn and chicken nachos, as well as a gigantic water slide.

Vacaville firefighters descended on the Club in full gear, challenging youth to a rousing game of basketball.

Both sides were surprisingly good and, judging by all the howls of glee, both enjoyed the camaraderie.

Vacaville fire Chief Kris Concepcion tried a few hands at the ring toss before calling it quits and switching to basketball tosses.

“These events are awesome,” he said. “It’s a longstanding tradition.”

Following a few more throws, he added another thought.

“Nights like this, they get everybody out,” he said, indicating his firefighters romping around the court with local youth, police officers parking across the street, parents looking out for everyone’s children. “Everyone gets to know each other.”

Junior Arteaga, 15, agreed.

A longtime Club kid, he helped set up and had a little fun, too.

“It’s good,” he said, of all the activities. “I like that the kids are enjoying this. Seeing the smiles on their faces. It’s all for them.”

The event was important, he continued, because it gets everyone together. Not just Club kids, he said, but the whole community.

That, in a nutshell, is National Night Out. The annual event has participants leaving their lights on and staying outside to start or strengthen community relationships. Knowledge, as they say, is safety.

By Kimberly K. Fu, kfu@thereporter.com, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter


The sharp tang of onions, rich aroma of garlic and sweet essence of carrot cake blended Monday in the kitchen at Vacaville’s Opportunity House, where teens from the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club whipped up dinner for residents of the homeless shelter.

Giggling like only teens do, more than a handful of youths worked their magic chopping veggies and working the ovens.

It’s the umpteenth time over a period of four or so years that the Club kids found themselves at the homeless shelter, prepping and cooking, baking and serving.

The day started with the littlest Club kids plucking the tower gardens for the meal — fat leaves of Swiss Chard, heads of Bok Choy, and more. Continue reading “Vacaville teens cook for area’s homeless” »


That sums up the atmosphere at the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club Friday as dozens of youths swarmed the Easter basket-laden Vacaville firefighters outside.

Cheering and chattering, they happily accepted the giant presents, compliments of the Baskets of Hope project, and gathered with friends to unwrap the baskets and enjoy the gifts inside. Continue reading “Easter Comes Early For Vacaville Youths” »

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