HONORING AN UNSUNG HERO ... A "Civil Courage" essay contest open to Midpeninsula high school students aims to foster connections with Palo Alto's sister city of Enschede, Netherlands. Organized by Neighbors Abroad and Congregation Kol Emeth, the competition recognizes Pastor Leendert Overduin, a World War II-era Dutch pastor who rescued hundreds of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands using an underground network of safe houses, according to a press release. One of those children was Mirjam De-Groot-Bont, the mother of Uri Elzur, a board member at the congregation. "It astounds me that Pastor Overduin, to whom I owe my very existence, is virtually unknown." The contest is open to high schoolers who live or attend school in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Menlo Park and Redwood City (their counterparts in Palo Alto's sibling city of Bloomington, Indiana can also join). "The city of Palo Alto is honored to partner with Enschede in this essay contest as a means for current generations to recognize how the courage of an individual can have a lasting impact on countless lives," Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt said in a statement. Three winners selected from each of the Palo Alto and Bloomington areas will be awarded with money: $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $100 for third place. Each area's top two winners will have a chance to visit Enschede as ambassadors and meet contest winners from other international cities. Contestants are encouraged to learn about Overduin's background by watching "The Conscience of a City," a documentary that's available on YouTube. Essays will be accepted by email to [email protected] through May 1 at midnight. For more information, visit neighborsabroad.org/overduin-essay-contest.html.
LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN ... It seems like just yesterday when HanaHaus opened its doors at the historic Varsity Theatre in downtown Palo Alto, transforming the space into a coworking space (thanks to software giant SAP) and cafe (courtesy of Blue Bottle Coffee). Now, the well-known University Avenue spot is celebrating its seventh anniversary with activities and giveaways at a community event this Saturday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For the first two hours, people can wake up with free samples of Blue Bottle Coffee. Attendees can also enjoy one hour of free seating for the entire day. There also are customer perks: The first 25 new customers who attend and create a HanaHaus profile will receive a free HanaHaus water bottle. The first 25 returning customers also will get a HanaHaus water bottle and a Blue Bottle Coffee drink voucher. Throughout the day, people can learn about the coworking space's history at an interactive exhibit on site. No registration is required for the event. For more information, visit hanahaus.com/events.
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