STORY BY CRISTIAN SANDOVAL & MARCO GONZALES
PHOTO BY CRISTIAN SANDOVAL
Cypress College celebrated the 47th Annual Americana Awards on Saturday, March 26 at Disneyland Hotel.
After having last year’s event online due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Americana Awards were back to celebrate and honor their communities’ Citizens of the Year.
“This is a great event. This is the Cypress College Foundation largest fundraiser of the year. It’s become a tradition, and this is our 47th year. So the Foundation is focused on helping students achieve and be their best. We help to finance their needs with scholarships and funds for books.
Sometimes for living expenses and other needs. So they can focus on being their best and doing well in school and becoming future citizens of the year,” said the President of the Board of the Directors Ken Vecchiarelli.
The event kicked off with a silent auction. As guests checked into the event, they were given a set of stickers that they would have to use for the silent auction along with a bid paddle for the live auction.
The silent auction items were spread into three rooms that were filled with donated items that included signed jerseys from different athletes from the past and present, signed record albums from artists, wine bottles, gift baskets and tickets to the Lakers, Clippers, and Anaheim Ducks game.
The ceremony began with the Master of Ceremonies Phil Hulett who introduced the Cypress College Foundation scholarship recipient award to Cypress College student Mireya Alt.
“I know when you get that announcement that you are a recipient it just changes everything. I feel like God surprises me every second. Like this feels like a dream to me and so I really just live in the moment,” said Cypress College Foundation Scholarship recipient Mireya Alt.
After giving the first award of the night, another important part of the night took place, which was the go fund a need in which people and groups generously began to donate their money. All of the donations made during the live auction will help out Cypress College students with programs such as scholarships, emergency assistance, and programmatic efforts. The auction started from the highest bid which was $10,000 and would make its way down to the lowest bid of $100.
The live auction started strong as the first bidder donated $5,000 to get things underway. Donations made their way up to $21,100 and when it looked like things were going to stay put, a group donated $5,000 and in the end, $26,100 was raised in the go fund a need. Mireya Alt
couldn’t believe the gratitude of the donors at the Americana Awards.
“I’m just happy for the students that are going to receive it. I know it was a blessing to me and it changed my life and my children’s life. And the donors, just watching them do their thing, I’m blown away. I’d never thought I’d see it in person, it’s amazing. There are people that do so much for the community.
They run their own businesses… the fact that they come here to help more than they already do outside of the Gala, it’s amazing. I was just thinking how could people have a heart for people they don’t even know, it just surprised me. It was really nice to see people with big hearts in action. The numbers kept going up and I was just like those are some kind people,” said Alt.
The live auction finished off with a couple of grand prizes that included a lunch for 10 people with the President of Cypress College JoAnna Schilling that was sold for $1,000, a Los Angeles Rams preseason package that sold for $2,500, an African Safari package that was sold for $4,500 and vacation trips. These included Mexico and Kauai that were sold for a combined grand total of $8,750.
In the last part of the event, eight different recipients, from the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton, each representing a city that Cypress College serves, were awarded with a Citizens of the Year award and a medal for their contributions and hard work they put into making their city a better place to live in.
“ It’s a great time to get together a great opportunity to celebrate the success of each of the communities and to pay back and thank and support the students,” said Vecchiarelli.
THIS STORY HAS BEEN EDITED