On Friday, May 16, the Kiwanis Club of Cypress hosted over seventy people at the Courtyard by Marriott to award annual college scholarships and applaud fifth-grade Red Ribbon Week essayists. Among the notables in attendance were Cypress Mayor Leroy Mills and his wife Mary Ann; and Cypress Police Commander Steven Ramsay.
The evening was ably emceed by Darlene Hembreiker, chair of Youth Services for the Kiwanis Club of Cypress (and former principal and teacher at St. Irenaeus Parish School).
During dinner, Harmony Schorr, the 2006-2007 Red Ribbon essay winner from St. Irenaeus Parish School, spoke eloquently about her own life challenges, especially in regards to the effect of illegal drug use within her family. She was roundly applauded for her strength and determination, public poise, and evident scholarship — she will enter elite Ivy League Brown University as a freshman in political science this coming Fall.
Cypress School Superintendent Beverly Hempstead, who facilitated Harmony’s attendance at the dinner and awards event, subsequently lightened the mood with some riddling pokes at our recent hot weather. She went on to speak briefly on the inspirational thought that “Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the successes.”
Cypress Kiwanis President Jay Sondhi thanked event sponsors Bandai Foundation, Forest Lawn, and Courtyard by Marriott. The flower shop at Forest Lawn Cypress created and donated the floral centerpieces at each table, and each of the evening’s winners was also given a centerpiece to take home.
Scholarship recipients and essay winners were recognized after dinner.
The following students were awarded Kiwanis Foundation scholarships:
- Dylan Bach, Cypress High School; Dr. Jodie Wales, principal
- Quynh Mai, Oxford Academy; Ron Hoshi, principal
- Le Wen Chiu, Los Alamitos High School; Joshua Arnold, principal
- Casey Montano, Cypress Community College; Dr. Robert Simpson, president
Additionally, Quynh Mai received the Sho Yamada Scholarship, presented by Kiwanis Lt. Governor Frank Berry.
Red Ribbon essay winners
The following students won recognition for the essays they wrote in support of Red Ribbon Week:
- Vinutha Sandadi, Arnold School; Denine Kelly, principal
- Elizabeth Ochei, King School; Carol Erby, principal
- Hibah Ganie, Landell School; Rena Gibbs, principal
- Keaton Safu, Luther School; Jacki Teschke, principal
- Kevin Thai, Morris School; Lori Hernandez, principal
- Molly Grace, Vessels School; Helen Lu, principal
- Andrew Olmos, St. Ireaneus Parish School; Monica Hayden, principal
- Ayosh Verma, Grace Christian School; Don Pettinger, principal
The Courtyard by Marriott is located at 5865 Katella Ave. in Cypress.
About the Kiwanis Club of Cypress
The Kiwanis Club of Cypress is well known for flipping thousands and thousands of pancakes and hamburgers to raise funds for their scholarships and support our local community. In fact, as a founding member of the Cypress Festival Association, the Kiwanis Club serves a pancake breakfast every year on the last Saturday of July, feeding hungry racers, their families, and booth participants.
The Cypress Club is a local group of Kiwanis International, which was founded in 1915 and operates under the motto “Serving the children of the world.” Nearly 600,000 members strong, the Kiwanis annually offer more than 18 million volunteers hours in support of community and children.
Kiwanis is also for teens! Key Club is the oldest and largest service organization for teens. It teaches leadership through service to others. Builders Club gives students a chance to develop leadship skills, improve self-esteem, engage in civic activities, and learn life skills through service.
And Kiwanis is for elementary students — Kiwanis Kids work together on service projects, build up leadership potential, and strengthen moral character.
To reach out to the Kiwanis Club of Cypress, email President Jay Sondhi at [email protected] or send a letter to Kiwanis Club of Cypress, P.O. Box 347, Cypress, CA 90630.
Scholarship winners, shown left to right: Quynh Mai, Oxford Academy; Le Wen Chiu, Los Alamitos High School; Dylan Bach, Cypress High School; and Casey Montano, Cypress College.
- Country singer Peter Brandon to entertain at annual Cypress Festival (oc-breeze.com)
- Cypress Kiwanis Flipping Flapjacks at Oak Knoll Park (oc-breeze.com)
- Cypress Kiwanis celebrate Red Ribbon Week essay winners (oc-breeze.com)