Once again the Orinda Juniors continued the tradition of putting together Easter baskets for the The Family House for Oakland Children’s Hospital. This low-cost “home away from home” has 16 bedrooms available to qualifying families who live 70 miles or more from the hospital. All residents share a common living room, play room, kitchen, and laundry room.

At our March meeting we put together over 20 baskets for the children staying at the house and will deliver them the week before Easter.


This February, one of our own, Cindy Powell, celebrated her 25th anniversary with the Orinda Juniors.  In honor of this wonderful milestone, a house-full of current and former Orinda Juniors gathered for an evening of delicious wine, tasty treats, and reminiscing with friends old and new.


We had our best turn out ever for our January social event at the new Fourth Bore Tap Room and Grill in Orinda. Everyone had a wonderful time getting together to eat, drink and socialize!

IMG_4931The Orinda Juniors were busy baking again this December, this time to provide treats for Children’s Hospital’s annual party for the Infectious Disease clinic.  Together we baked over 12 dozen treats to brighten the days of some wonderful families.



The contest is open to middle school students, grades 6th, 7th and 8th, who live in or attend an Orinda school.

Submission Criteria:

Entries may be a story (ction or non-ction), poem, or other form of creative writing, written specically for the contest and without teacher or parent involvement. All entries must be written in English. Submissions will be evaluated on the following items: content, clarity, structure, and originality.

Contest Prompt: 

The writing prompt for 2016 is Future; however, you may write about anything you like—real or imaginary—adhere to the prompt or not! There is no limit to your imagination.


Contest opens December 7, 2015. One entry per student. Download an entry form here. There is no fee to participate. All submissions must be 750 words or less, typed, and double-spaced. Contestant names should appear on the top right-hand corner of each page and the completed entry form must be stapled to your submission. Winning submissions may be posted for the public and re-printed in local papers. Entries must be delivered and postmarked (Orinda Junior Women’s Club, Post Oce Box 40, Orinda, CA 94563) or emailed to by February 17, 2016.


The entries will be judged by a panel of local, professional, and best-selling authors, writers, reporters, and children’s book editors. The judges will evaluate submissions and select the winners. The judges will remain condential until the winners are announced.

Prizes: First Place $250, Second Place $125, and ird Place $75, and ten honorable mentions gift certicates. Winners will be notied by mail and receive their prizes at an Awards Ceremony on April 21, 2016 from 6:00−7:00pm. The ceremony is open to the public and all family and friends are invited to attend.


The Orinda Juniors have been giving Santa’s elves a run for his money this year – making homemade chocolate fudge sauce and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix for holiday gift giving.

Need a great hostess gift, something for all of the teachers in your life, a fantastic treat for anyone – young or old? Talk to your favorite Orinda Junior before we run out!

Pardon the missing events. We’ve had to rebuild our site and need some time to get all of our past events updated and posted.  Come back and see what we’ve been up to soon!

The 2015/16 Executive Board has been approved and is made up as follows:

President: Amy Stuffman
Deans: Cathy Opdycke and Katie Walsh
Membership: Tracy Cummings
Social: Corrie Raphael
Hospitality: Ignacia Guzman and Leigh Colburn
Communications: Michelle Bea
Treasurer: Maura Aars

The Orinda Juniors hosted the Youth Ink 2015 awards ceremony on April 23rd at the Orinda Library Auditorium. Youth Ink is an annual creative writing contest open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who live or attend school in Orinda. The Youth Ink 2015 prompt is Choices. This prompt was chosen because it encourages young writers to personalize their piece and lends well to an open style choice.

We had 48 entries this year. Our judges (a panel of local professional writers) were so impressed by the writing of these students, they chose to write their own personal note to all who entered. Here’s a snippet from one:

I would like all you Youth Ink writers to know how much I enjoyed reading your contributions. I was struck by your creativity, your ability to make me see things in new ways, and the way your pieces moved me emotionally. Your writing often used beautiful language and explored important themes, just like the adults writers with whom I work. Please keep writing! The fact that you had the courage and determination to write your piece, edit it, and submit it to a contest tells me that you have the passion and dedication necessary to become a life-long writer. If you keep developing this interest, everything you experience, think, and feel can find expression in your writing. It can become a powerful way of making sense of the world around you and of exploring, expressing and expanding yourself in ways you never dreamed possible. Your writing skills will help you not only in college and in your career, but in your personal journey as well. Thank you for giving me the chance to see the world through your eyes; write on and have fun!

—Cynthia Leslie-Bole

This year’s winners:

1st place ($250) – Katie Lyons – “Sinking Honor”
2nd place ($125) – Lindsay Kornguth – “A Deathly Dilemma”
3rd place ($75) – Nisha Andrews – “A Choice”

10 Honorable Mention (Gift certificates):
(not ranked, listed by last name in alphabetical order):

Olivia Eukel – “Perfect”
Dara Kazmierowski – “Skiing Like a Pro…or Maybe Not”
Sophia Kofoed – “The Warrior Within”
Amrita Pannu – “Rising Above the Waves”
Maddy Reynolds – “A Second Chance”
Maddie Robinson – “This is Me”
Emma Rust – “When the Waterlilies Bloom”
Elise Wilson – “The Guardian Angel”
Eva Winter – “Potatoes”
Clara Wu – Love is Blind”

Our April meeting featured a night of food and fun. We had a wonderful cooking demonstration with local chef Dan Petek and did some blind taste testing of some of our favorite wines. Dan demonstrated how to make an amazing ahi tuna appetizer, delicious herb-crusted goat cheese salad, a fava bean risotto with lemon and mint pesto, and topped it all off with decadent dark chocolate and sea salt topped bread – it was spectacular!

We ended the evening with laughter, full stomachs, delicious recipes, and great cooking tips (cut goat cheese with dental floss!). What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Spring evening!

Download the delicious recipes!