STORY & PHOTOS BY AARON WEINSTEIN, STAFF WRITER
The fourth-eighth annual Americana Awards were presented by the Cypress College Foundation March 11 at the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom, which is the college’s largest fundraising event.
This year the Foundation decided to place a larger focus on students and I was asked to participate in the event as a student MC. Myself and AS Vice President Avery Morgan were selected to lead the night’s program which included a live auction and awards presented to outstanding members of our community, including our retiring College President JoAnn Schilling.
The inspiring and emotional words of Student Speaker Alexandra Rojas was followed by the Fund-a-Need where her story encouraged a record breaking fifty-eight thousand dollars to be raised. That’s in addition to the money raised from the auctions, sponsorships, and registration fees. This money is used to fund a number of student resources, which is why I was pleased to see so many former Cypress College Alumni in attendance who understand the struggles of being a college student.
On stage, Morgan and myself got to experience the excitement of pulling the winning tickets for the Pineapple Resort Vacation and e-bikes from Yamaha and Aventon. The crowd’s enthusiasm continues into honoring the citizens of the year, as well as the person of the year, Liz Dunster. These members of our community were nominated and selected for their years of work in support of their communities.
One surprise of the evening came at the end of President Schilings remarks. Students, including myself, joined the retiring president on stage to present her with a beautiful glass vase and the Buen Cypress, We Take this Journey Together scholarship for two thousand dollars created in her honor.
As a returning student, I am always surprised by the opportunities Cypress College provides. As fun as it was to dress up and attend a formal dinner fundraiser (the dessert was amazing), it was also very educational and gave me an opportunity to meet and speak with community leaders, activists, and business owners.
This opportunity came to me by chance, after a conversation I had regarding this newspaper. I would encourage all students to participate in as many campus activities and organizations as possible, because it opens doors to chances you might otherwise miss.