May 2023

Vol 7: Issue 5


The Shadelands Scene

Your place for community news, updates, and insights





Sunday, June 25




Summer Festival

Free & Family-friendly

You loved it last year,

let's do it again, even bigger!

Showcasing Shadelands Business & Lifestyle Center during a day of outdoor fun!






Yoga • Basketball

Soccer • Taekwando

Volleyball • Gymnastics

Batting Cages • Swimming

A nominal fee applies to some

sports activities

Visit Made in the Shade for more information about this family-friendly summer event.

Made in the Shade is sponsored by the

Shadelands Steering Committee

Held on the campus of the Shadelands SportsMall

2640 Shadelands Drive

Walnut Creek


Promote your

business or nonprofit

with a table at

Made in the Shade!


Register early to guarantee your spot at Made in the Shade! Limited availability. Your logo with a link to your website will be placed on the interactive map at Made in the Shade.


May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and Mistie Glass and Jennifer Lazarev, founders of The WIT Method Stroke Recovery Wellness Center, are urging everyone to think FAST when experiencing or being around someone who is experiencing signs of stroke. If the face droops or tingles; if arms go weak or numb; if speech is difficult, then it’s time to call 911, FAST.

A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked, starving the brain of oxygen and nutrients, which causes brain cells to die within minutes. This medical emergency requires a 911 call and a trip to the hospital via ambulance immediately.

“Time equals brain,” says Mistie, “The faster you can get to the emergency room at the onset of symptoms, the less chance of death and permanent disability. And that’s what we mean by stroke awareness—paying attention and acting quickly.”

We first met Mistie and Jennifer, a stroke survivor, in the September 2022 issue of The Shadelands Scene, when The WIT Method was completing construction of its pioneering wellness center, designed for stroke patients and their families. Now, the nonprofit center is fully operational for clients who seek community among stroke survivors and recovery resources as they strive to come back from the physical, mental, and emotional effects of stroke.

In addition to free recovery services and resources available at The WIT Method, Mistie and Jennifer give free stroke awareness presentations to groups throughout the region, speaking for about 40 minutes supported by compelling visuals, data, and stroke insight, and leaving 20 minutes for Q&A and the inevitable participant story sharing.


“One of the comments that comes up most from stroke patients is, 'Stroke never even crossed my mind.’ And that’s really the key, because most people who are having a stroke don’t even know they’re having a stroke because the symptoms can seem benign and are easily misdiagnosed—particularly if someone is self-diagnosing from the Internet.

"It’s important for people to hear other people’s stories, because they might see themselves or their loved ones in those stories some day and be less inclined to ignore symptoms."

To schedule a stroke awareness presentation, visit The WIT Method and fill out the online form; or email [email protected]. To attend an event, visit The WIT Method event calendar.

The WIT Method

Stroke Recovery Wellness Center

402 N. Wiget Lane

Walnut Creek


[email protected]

Mistie Glass (seated) and Jennifer Lazarev (standing), founders of The WIT Method, a nonprofit stroke recovery wellness center.

The WIT Method

Stroke Awareness & Recovery


Free & open to the public

Tuesday, May 9 | 10am

Center for Community Arts

111 N. Wiget Lane

Walnut Creek

Register by emailing

[email protected]

Mistie Glass (l) and Jennifer Lazarev (r), share laughs with Guido Villanueva, a stroke survivor who uses The WIT Method services and resources, and who now volunteers his time speaking at presentations and organizing chess games with stroke survivors.

The WIT Method's community room is a warm and welcoming space for presentations, support groups, and social events.


The month of May marks a golden anniversary for American Swim Academy (ASA), a premier swim school with five SF Bay Area locations, including one in the Shadelands SportsMall. On May 28, 2023, ASA celebrates 50 years of offering swim and water safety lessons, building confidence in swimmers of all ages, and instilling a love of the water for tens of thousands of people representing generations of swimmers.

ASA has also been home to thousands of employees who have served as instructors, member service representatives, and management over the years. Employees, especially young people, new to the workforce, have gained critical workplace experience and life skills before moving on; others who value a culture of teamwork and family, hallmarks of ASA, have made the organization a career.


Tosh Rice, who has been with ASA for 11 years, joined the school with extensive business and management experience as an operations manager, before moving on to assistant director, and then director of operations overseeing the Walnut Creek and Livermore teams, the position she now holds.

“I’ve always had a passion for working with kids, and when this opportunity came up, I knew it was perfect. This gave me the chance to work with kids in the water and help develop the talent who work with kids,” says Tosh.

A swim school is a great place to learn job skills and have fun while doing so, working directly with children and alongside a team of like-minded individuals who are also passionate about creating a safe and enjoyable environment for swimmers and families.

“Good communication skills lead to interpersonal and customer relations skills—these are big when dealing with team members, parents, and children, all in the same day, on many days," says Tosh.

Team members build connections with swimmers and their parents by listening and responding openly and honestly. At ASA, employees manage various ages and job titles, which requires understanding and the ability to empathize and problem solve daily.

It takes a special person to give their time, effort, and energy teaching children to swim, knowing that it’s a serious life-saving skill that's taught in a fun and playful way.

“You learn patience when working with kiddos in a water setting, but at the end of the day, you know that what you’re doing really matters to those children and their parents. Teaching children and young people is a recipe for learning life skills that all employers look for." says Tosh.

American Swim Academy

Shadelands SportsMall

2650 Shadelands Drive

Suite C

Walnut Creek


Director of Operations Tosh Rice looks on as the Walnut Creek American Swim Academy team engages in a problem-solving exercise: how to untangle without dropping hands.

Director Johanna Perez (l), Director of Operations Tosh Rice (c), and Assistant Director Kenny Oei (r), discuss lesson schedules as Kenny begins his next class.

Patrick Howard began working at ASA as a swim instructor in 2017; he was promoted to operations manager and is now an assistant director at ASA's Dublin location..

Sound good to you? ASA is seeking qualified swim instructors who are ready to teach children and adults the skills and joys of swimming. If you’re looking for a first job or for an ideal next career, check out American Swim Academy.


After California’s historic winter rains, spring ushers in warm, dry days and welcomed invitations to take long walks and hikes along the paths and trails of our foothills, parklands, and open spaces with our four-legged friends.

This is also foxtail season, however, as wild grasses dry out and the sticky foxtail seeds become a risk for pets who venture outside.

Just as we need to be aware of ticks while walking and hiking in high, dry grass, says Shann Ikezawa, DVM, with Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital, pet owners need to be aware of the dangers of foxtails and other sticky barbed wild grasses that can cause problems for our pets.

According to Dr. Ikezawa, while foxtails that hitch a ride during romps in tall grasses are most commonly found on the coats, between the toes, and in the ears, noses, and eyes of dog and cats, these hitchhikers can find their way to any and all orifices.

Foxtails are sticky by design, so their seeds will initially stick to fur as dogs and cats walk through high, dry foxtail and other prickly grasses.

"The seeds are shaped like arrows, and once attached to the fur, can easily penetrate the skin," says Dr. Ikezawa. "Their hooked barbs prevent the seeds from coming out, so they can migrate through the body and into noses, ears, and eyes, making them difficult to locate once the skin has been pierced.”

The danger occurs when foxtails are ignored or missed upon inspection, and become embedded, which can lead to painful infections and abscesses that require veterinary care. Prevention is the best course.

• Trim coat and fur around paws and openings, leaving less fur for foxtails to cling to.

• Avoid areas where foxtails are present; stay on paved paths.

• After a walk, check pets for evidence of foxtails on the coat and feet, between the toes, and all around the face—from top to bottom, head to tail. Remove foxtails immediately before they migrate into the animal’s skin.

• Look for aggressive sneezing, squinting, scratching at the ear, shaking of the head, and lumps on the skin that are painful to the touch.

Walnut Creek

Veterinary Hospital

540 Lennon Lane

Walnut Creek


Foxtail grasses are in full bloom along paths and in open fields after the heavy winter rains.

Dry, sticky foxtails serve as a means of seed dispersal, and animals are the ideal vehicle to transport the barbed seeds to new locations.

When removing the foxtail seed yourself, make sure to remove the whole seed; any remaining bit of barb can migrate through your pet's body.

There are products on the market that protect a dog’s face, shielding eyes, ears, nose, and mouth with a breathable nylon mesh face shield, much like face masks that protect horses from flies and biting insects.

When in doubt or when there are signs of a foxtail invasion, visit your vet. This time of year and into the summer, all animal caregivers are on heightened foxtail alert.


Animals on Broadway, the annual pet walk and street festival that celebrates the special bond between pets and people, is one of Animal Rescue Foundation's (ARF) biggest and most visible fundraisers, and a staple of the Bay Area's animal welfare community, raising funds to help save the lives of animals who are running out of time.

Now in it's 23rd year, Animals on Broadway will be held on Sunday, May 7, 10:30am to 2pm, in Walnut Creek's Broadway Plaza, just outside the front doors of Nordstrom.

This free and family-friendly annual celebration offers a chance to help animals in need while enjoying a fun day with pets and fellow animal-lovers. Look for pet products, games, demonstrations, adoptions, and more.

Supporters can raise funds for animals and earn prizes as an individual or by joining a team to help raise $100,000 for ARF's lifesaving programs. Visit Animals on Broadway to learn ways to maximize your fundraising potential.

Sunday, May 7


Broadway Plaza

Walnut Creek

Animal Rescue Foundation

2890 Mitchell Drive

Walnut Creek



The 3rd Annual Shadelands Classic Car Show, hosted by the Walnut Creek Historical Society, will be held Sunday, June 11, on the grounds of the Shadelands Ranch Museum, 10am3pm. This popular free event features meticulously restored classic cars, live music, food trucks, awards, and raffle prizes. And the historic 1903 Shadelands ranch house will be open for tours!

Do you have a classic car that you would like to show? There's a spot for you. Visit Shadelands Classic Car Show to download an application.

For more information, contact [email protected], or call 925.935.7871.

Classic cars appeal to car lovers, and lovers of engineering, design, art, and history.

Shadelands Classic Car Show

Sunday, June 11


Free admission to the car show

Walnut Creek

Historical Society

2660 Ygnacio Valley Road

Walnut Creek


[email protected]


Coffee & Chat

with a Walnut Creek Councilmember

Hosted by

Councilmember Kevin Wilk

Wednesday, May 3, 6pm

Safeway @ The Orchards

2800 Ygnacio Valley Road

Meet in the community alcove in the southeast corner of the store

Drop in anytime 6–7:30pm

Councilmember Wilk is hosting an informal Coffee & Chat event to give residents of Walnut Creek an opportunity to learn about the latest happenings in Walnut Creek and engage with local government to voice their own thoughts about issues of importance to them.

Joining Councilmember Wilk will be a member of the Walnut Creek Police Department to address questions and concerns specific to police, the law, and public safety.

Walnut Creek City Councilmember Kevin Wilk

Coffee & Chat

with Walnut Creek Councilmember Kevin Wilk

Wednesday, May 3, 6pm

Safeway @ The Orchards

2800 Ygnacio Valley Road

Walnut Creek

Meet in the community alcove in the southeast corner of the store

Drop in anytime 6–7:30pm


May 57 | Multiple times

Dance Spring Show:


Town Hall Theatre

3535 School Street, Lafayette

A showcase of dance styles from contemporary to ballet,

cumbia to hip hop.

May 12 | 7pm

Children's Musical:

Alice in Wonderland

The Black Box @ CoCoSPA

Re-imagined staging of

Lewis Carroll's children's classic.

May 19–21 | Multiple times

Theater Department

Season Finale:

Dance Plague World Premiere

The Black Box @ CoCoSPA

Dancers fight for their right to be free and dance when a supposed

return of the 16th century

dance plague threatens all they love. Joy, laughs, and hope; for all ages.

Contra Costa School of Performing Arts

2730 Mitchell Drive

Walnut Creek


To purchase tickets for all performances, visit Contra Costa School of Performing Arts

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