WORTHY OF APPLAUSE ... Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation recently awarded $50,000 from its Kindness in Community Fund to Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS), a nonprofit organization in Redwood City that serves youth and their families throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The grant comes from a larger donation of $250,000 provided by Zoom, which has its roots in San Francisco. "Mental health services are needed now more than ever," Roxana Shirkhoda, Zoom's head of social impact, said in a press release. "That's why we're pleased to work with the Born This Way Foundation's Kindness in Community Fund to increase access to mental health services in the Bay Area, where Zoom is headquartered and where many of our employees live and work." ACS Executive Director Philippe Rey was thrilled with the announcement. "We thought we had a very long shot at getting it because we're so small and so local," he said. ACS provides services to about 10,000 youth and their families, although this increased to 13,000 during the pandemic. ACS plans to apply the $50,000 award to its Outlet Program — a program that "empowers LGBTQIA+ youth and builds safe and accepting environments through support, education and advocacy," according to its website. Rey crossed his fingers that Lady Gaga or her mother, Cynthia Germanotta who co-founded and helps run the Born This Way Foundation, will make an appearance at the ACS fundraising gala, which will be held at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto on Sept. 27.
TRACKING TRANSIT ... Regular Caltrain customers kicked off their Monday with a new weekday schedule on the rail commuter service. The changes were made in response to growing demand as more people head back to trains, according to a Sept. 7 press release. The change also aims to cut back wait times for people transferring to BART from the Millbrae Transit Center during the evening. Riders can now expect to wait between 9 and 16 minutes from the center. After 7 p.m., "end-to-end travel times" will be longer by an average of 13 minutes to allow for construction work on Caltrain's electrification project. The new schedule also ramps up service between the South San Francisco and 22nd Street stations, according to Caltrain. Regular riders can still expect the usual 104 trains that run every weekday, which is more service compared to pre-pandemic times.