Fiesta Generates Funds for Rim Schools’ Programs - Mountain News : News

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Fiesta Generates Funds for Rim Schools’ Programs

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2019 9:00 am

The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, hosted by the Rim of the World Education Foundation (ROTWEF) on May 5, was entertaining, educational and inspiring. To top it off, a “reverse auction” brought in approximately $16,750 in donations for educational programs in all five schools and all grade levels of the Rim of the World Unified School District.

Partnership with Schools Grants are a funding source for the Regional Occupational Program (ROP), Career Technical Education (CTE), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and other special programs made possible through additional funding to the schools.

A fiesta atmosphere was established at the Lake Arrowhead Resort as Kevin Greenhaw provided classical flamenco guitar music. The program began when ROTWEF president Jo Bonita Rains welcomed everyone and provided an overview of the Partnership Grants Program.

One side of the ballroom featured tables displaying a few of the excellent programs. Attendees had ample opportunity before and during lunch to see how their donations and the resulting grant funds were used last year to enhance students’ educational experiences.

The fiesta included a classic lunch of chicken fajitas and cheese enchiladas with all the trimmings... and tres leches cake for dessert!

After lunch, Stephanie Phillips highlighted the ROP Program, which she coordinates. She introduced student speakers Sierra Jackson, Alex Schmid, Robert Hughbanks and Hannah O’Brien, who described the valuable education and experiences they gained through ROP/CTE.

The fiesta maintained its theme by inserting folkloric dancing into the program at that point. Rick Moreno and the Grupo Folklorico de las Montañas in colorful costumes performed several dances, including an exciting display of dancing with machetes in hand.

Assistant Principal Mariano Aranda provided an overview of the AVID program. Student speakers included Molli Robledo, Brian Torres Soto and Yasmin Sifuentes. Their touching stories prompted laughter, tears, lumps in throats and bursts of applause, particularly with the news of where the students will be attending university in the fall.

Some of the accomplished, knowledgeable and talented teachers attending the fiesta were introduced, including: R. Wilson, J. Powell, P. Ferrara, B. Leidner, E. VonPingel, K. Horton and D. Meigide.

Approximately 27 donors made pledges during the reverse auction, helping ROTWEF raise more than $16,000 for students to benefit from continued programs in the schools.

On that happy note, Steve Valentine, a gold-medal-winning competitive ballroom dancer, introduced some of his students plus Jo Bonita Rains, who joined him in performing Latin dance routines. When they finished, dozens of fiesta attendees joined them on the dance floor and celebrated the success of ROTWEF’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.

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