April 2023

Vol 7: Issue 4

Visit Shadelands.org

The Shadelands Scene

Your place for community news, updates, and insights

Visit Shadelands.org




Sunday, June 25




Summer Festival

Free & Family-friendly

Showcasing Shadelands Business & Lifestyle Center

You loved it last year,

let's do it again, even bigger!




Shadelands SportsMall

2640 Shadelands Drive

Walnut Creek

Sponsored by the

Shadelands Steering Committee


May 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of EncoreGym, and that’s something to do flips over! To mark the milestone, EncoreGym will be hosting a reunion party for current and former staff members and instructors on May 6, which is expected to draw hundreds of alumni from around the country to reconnect and remember. EncoreGym will dust off its 80s branded t-shirts and fill the air with 80s music. A Memory Lane of photos spanning 40 years of kids, classes, performances, and parties is sure to bring out the smiles.

EncoreGym Business Director and co-owner Virginia Kelley and fellow co-owner Tamara Gerlach are looking forward to reminiscing with former staff, most of whom were young Encore students themselves before becoming instructors and coaches with the wildly popular gymnastics school and athletic center.

In 1983, Gay Gerlach opened EncoreGym in an 8,000-SF facility in the Saranap neighborhood of Walnut Creek so her young daughters, Tamara and Tifany, could have a gymnastics experience that was all about fun and fitness, not competition. Tamara took over the school in 1989.

By 1991, EncoreGym had outgrown the space and Tamara moved the school to a 17,000-SF facility on Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. In 2002, Virginia, who had been an EncoreGym student and coach, joined Tamara as co-owner and business director.

Then in May 2019, Tamara and Virginia celebrated EncoreGym's move into its current 27,000-SF space in Shadelands SportsMall, a world-class, state of the art gymnastics facility with ample room for classes, camps, performance teams, birthday parties, and offices.

With a leadership team and staff of instructors numbering more than 75—90% of whom took gymnastics at EncoreGym—the gymnastics center operates six days per week, offering 500+ classes with an enrollment of 2,700+ students, saving Saturday afternoons and Sundays for birthday parties, and summer months for camps, as well as classes.

What accounts for the success and loyalty?

“EncoreGym is distinctive in many ways,” says Virginia. “For one, we don’t have a competitive team. Our focus is not on perfection—our focus is on fun first and developing a confident child. We make it clear to our instructors, we’re not here to make every move perfect, we’re here to make sure our kids have fun. Then, you can work on progress as a gymnast."

And more than cartwheels and somersaults, says Virginia, "We're teaching our kids self-confidence, resilience, goal setting, perseverance, dedication, and support for others in an environment that is absolutely welcoming to everyone no matter what shape, size, or skill level—and celebrating the personal victories along the way."


Shadelands SportsMall

2636 Shadelands Drive

Walnut Creek


Co-owners Virginia Kelley (l) and Tamara Gerlach (r) donned hardhats while EncoreGym was under construction at the Shadelands SportsMall.

Inside the 27,000-SF EncoreGym facility, where fun and fitness are the order of the day, students find a colorful world of gymnastics equipment and activities designed for all sizes, shapes, and abilities.

Young gymnasts on the balance beam at EncoreGym in the original Saranap location, circa 1991.

Gay Gerlach, founder and original owner of EncoreGym, leads her gymnasts on "horseback" in the Bancroft location, circa 1992.

EncoreGym performance teams will showcase their best gymnastics and dance moves at this summer’s Made in the Shade all-community festival, June 25, which is free and open to the public.


Information about EncoreGym’s classes, camps, parties, and performance teams can be found on its website at EncoreGym.

Congratulations, EncoreGym, on your 40th anniversary!



Soheila Azghadi, MD, is a radiation oncologist, trained to treat all cancers, with a focus on women's health and on breast and gynecological cancer. Her research in breast, gynecological, and genitourinary cancers has received both national and international recognition.

Dr. Azghadi joined BASS Cancer Center in August 2022, and now finds herself exactly where she wants to be, as Lead of the BASS Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department's Women's Health Program, which she built from the ground up.

"I chose BASS because I wanted to practice at a community cancer center where teams of doctors and medical professionals have access to advanced care technologies and where the approach to health care is patient-centered, where patients have access to academic level treatments—the best care—at a community cancer center near their home," says Dr. Azghadi.

Joining BASS also gave Dr. Azghadi the opportunity to build and launch the distinctive BASS Cancer Center Women’s Health Program.

She developed the Breast Health component in collaboration with breast surgical oncologist Danielle Bertoni, MD, and the Gynecological Health component, which was greatly advanced with the installation of the hi-tech and most up to date version of the HDR machine—high dose radiation—enabling oncologists to treat very complex cases of cancer with precision accuracy.

Radiation is delivered in two ways: using an external beam, delivered from outside the body and focused on a target; and internal radiation, delivered with pinpoint accuracy, affecting only the cancerous area and sparing other organs surrounding the diseased part.

Because internal radiation delivery is a hands-on procedure, training is extensive and, according to Dr. Azghadi, who is trained in the use of internal radiation, the therapy is underutilized. She was thankful, therefore, to be able to add the highly effective therapy to BASS Cancer Center's treatment options, a complement to external beam radiation and other treatment modalities.

"There is great collaboration at BASS among our surgical, medical, and radiation oncology departments. We work together on behalf of patients, providing collaborative plans and treatments—treating cancer patients holistically and providing the highest level of critical cancer care to patients in one location.

BASS Cancer Center

725 Lennon Lane

Walnut Creek


Dr. Soheila Azghadi, radiation oncologist, leads the BASS Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department's Women's Health Program.

Hallie, trained and certified BASS Cancer Center radiation therapist (l), works with Dr. Azghadi (r) looking over a guide wire used with the HDR machine that delivers radiation internally with precision accuracy. The external beam radiation machine is in the background.

In the control room, Dr. Azghadi (r) and Hallie (l) administer radiation and monitor patients with Xuedong (c), the medical physicist who ensures dose delivery, accuracy, and safety.

"From our staff to our technicians, and front desk to physicians, we work as one team to take care of our patients. We know the diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming for our patients, and we don’t want them dealing with anything else besides their treatment. That’s our mission."


On your many travels east and west on Ygnacio Valley Road, have you noticed the impressive two-story home just east of Wiget Lane, set back off the road, on the north side of YVR, standing proudly, surrounded by stately trees and lush landscaping? Do you wonder about the history and story of this house?

The Shadelands Ranch Museum at 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road is a Walnut Creek treasure and a testament to life and livelihoods in the early days of Walnut Creek.

The history of Shadelands begins in 1850 with Hiram Penniman, an early Walnut Creek pioneer and Mayflower descendant, who came to Walnut Creek and eventually owned 500 acres of fruit and nut orchards in the Ygnacio Valley.

His ranch home, built in 1903, is one of the finest remaining examples of redwood-framed Colonial Revival architecture in Contra Costa County and the only major Colonial Revival house in the Walnut Creek area.

Today, the Penniman house is the Shadelands Ranch Museum, home to the Walnut Creek Historical Society, open to the public, Wednesdays & Sundays, 1–4pm. Much of the furniture, clothing, and household items on display belonged to the Penniman family.

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Shadelands Ranch Museum is a time capsule of turn-of-the-20th-Century Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek

Historical Society

2660 Ygnacio Valley Road

Walnut Creek


Hiram Penniman's home, now the Shadelands Ranch Museum, circa 1903.

If you have a passion for local history and would like to help preserve and pass on the story of the Penniman family and this historic home, the Walnut Creek Historical Society encourages you to join its team of house docents, a small, supportive group of people who like history and enjoy sharing it with others.

Being a docent is an enjoyable experience, and a meaningful way to volunteer time and talents.

Training is provided; fun is guaranteed. For more information and to volunteer, call 925.935.7871.


Contra Costa School of

Performing Arts (CoCoSPA) is holding a free, family-friendly Artisan Craft Fair on Saturday, April 15, 10am–3pm, on the school campus at 2730 Mitchell Drive.

Organizers expect 20+ local artisans to be showing and selling a wide variety of handmade arts and crafts at vendor tables set up inside the school. Even CoCoSPA students will have their own table where student art will be on display and for sale.

While the artisans will keep their gross sales, proceeds from the table fees and raffle tickets (every vendor will offer a raffle prize) will benefit the students of CoCoSPA.

Produced by CoCoSPA’s Ensemble Foundation, a collaboration among parents, teachers, and students, the Artisan Craft Fair is one of several fundraising events throughout the year whose proceeds go toward school improvements, program expansions, and student scholarships.

“This is a great way to support the arts and artists in our community, as well as the students of Contra Costa School of the Performing Arts,” says Donna Ubeda, a member of the Ensemble Board and the fair’s coordinator, who will be setting out her own line of handmade soaps.

Artisan Craft Fair

Saturday, April 15


A CoCoSPA fundraiser

Contra Costa School of

Performing Arts

2730 Mitchell Drive

Walnut Creek


“We’re still accepting crafters for the show, and encourage anyone who has handmade crafts they’d like to showcase and sell to fill out the application.”


For more information about reserving a table, contact Donna Ubeda at blueparadise9@yahoo.com.

SHRED DAY @ ARF, April 22

Out with the old, in with the new! Take your old and outdated receipts, documents, and personal papers to Animal Rescue Foundation's Shadelands campus to be securely shredded for $10/box. Boxes can be dropped off as early as 10am. Proceeds support ARF's life-enriching programs for pets and people.

ARF Shred Day

Saturday, April 22


$10 per box

(size of a banker's box)

2890 Mitchell Drive

Walnut Creek

This event is for paper shredding only; e-waste shredding is not available. For more information and FAQs, visit ARF Shred Day

Animal Rescue Foundation

2890 Mitchell Drive

Walnut Creek



(l-r) Melody Allan, Viamonte at Walnut Creek; Angela Ashley, ADLH Law Group; Bob Linscheid, Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce; Todd Vaccaro, BASS Medical Group; Steve Waymire, City of Walnut Creek; Smadar Boardman, City of Walnut Creek; Amy Callaghan, Walnut Creek Executive Park; Mark Hughes, Walnut Creek Executive Park

Members of the City of Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce, and Shadelands Property & Business Improvement District, which oversees the direction of the Shadelands business and lifestyle center, took a walking tour of Mitchell Drive near the Walnut Creek Executive Park campus last month, looking to improve roadways, crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike lanes in Shadelands as part of the Shadelands Multi-modal Plan. Photo provided by Jared Asch, with Capstone Government Affairs.


Join the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau on Tuesday, April 11, for the State of the Chamber breakfast, 7:45am–9:30am, at Boundary Oak Golf Course, Walnut Creek.

Learn about the Chamber's 2023 initiatives and meet the 2023 Legacy Award recipients, Walnut Creek businesses that have been in operation for 50+ years.

The American Swim Academy, located in the Shadelands SportsMall, is a member of the 50 years club, and is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary as a premier swim school on May 28, 2023.

State of the Chamber

April 11 | 7:45–9:30am

Boundary Oak Golf Course

3800 Valley Vista Road

Walnut Creek

Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

1280 Civic Drive

Walnut Creek




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

The free festival, now in its 23rd year, comes to Broadway Plaza on Sunday, May 7, 10:30am to 2pm.

Fundraising has kicked off with a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $25,000 raised, which doubles the impact of every dollar pledged. 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 classic cars, live music, food, awards, and raffle prizes.

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 wchs@wchistory.org, 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


Walnut Creek

Historical Society

2660 Ygnacio Valley Road

Walnut Creek



In last month's issue of The Shadelands Scene, we neglected to list Joozi Juicery's correct address and phone number. Our apologies to Joozi for the oversight. The full contact information is now listed, and Joozi is ready to take your order!

Located on the Encore Gymnastics side of the SportsMall across from the American Swim Academy, Joozi Juicery has expanded its hours, M–F, 11am–7:30pm, and weekends 9am–4:30pm.

Joozi Juicery

Shadelands SportsMall

2650 B Shadelands Drive

Walnut Creek



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