During both lunches, the library sells shirts and bracelets to support raising awareness for cancer research though March madness. Mr. Manzanares took his time to help cancer patients by selling shirts, bracelets, and doing other fundraisers, after losing his own father to cancer.

Who do you relay for?

April 9, 2014

The City of Downey’s tenth annual Relay For Life fundraiser kicked off Thurs., Mar. 7 with students and staff members on campus uniting under the banner Team Viking Spirit. In hopes of raising funds for cancer research, several sports teams and clubs gave a helping hand by assembling their own fundraisers for the cause.

The fundraiser initiated with the Relay For Life assembly that included stories about those struggling with cancer, a dual performance by the dance team, and a presentation by Mr. Manzanares. The main focus of the gathering took place when Downey alumni, Mario Galvan, gave a speech about his survival through the disease after battling with it for over a year.

“I too was like you,” Galvan stated. “I thought cancer would never reach me.”

The presentation sent the assembly attendees into silence as students and faculty realized how close the disease was to the Downey community. The assembly concluded with a call to action by Mr. Manzanares who reminded students how much Downey has contributed to the cause in the past.

The main organizer of the fundraiser, Mr. Manzanares, began the March Madness campaign throughout the classrooms on campus. March Madness is the competition in which teachers strive to raise the most money in their classrooms. The competition takes on various forms, with some teachers making it a battle between their periods or even selling food in order to beat the rest of their colleagues. This year, Ms. Kasner is selling muffins and some teachers, such as Ms. Cubas, are awarding a block party to their period with the most funds.

In addition to the help by teachers, students are also taking matters into their own hands. ASB has taken the responsibility of raising awareness for the event. Members of the student body went around classes with purple cups asking for daily donations every day. Junior ASB member, Joey Flores, confessed he enjoyed the hard work of the fundraiser.

“It’s a lot of work collecting money from the classes, but it’s a lot of fun too,” Flores said. “The school earns respect from the organization and it helps people realize how important giving really is.”

Other clubs also helped by hosting their own fundraisers. The Advanced Photo class set up a Polaroid photo booth during lunch where they shot pictures with vintage polaroids for two dollars a-piece. The library lent a helping hand as well by selling Relay For Life t-shirts for 10 dollars and wristbands for one dollar.

Some clubs, such as the dance team, are hosting competitions like the annual dodge ball tournament for Relay For Life. The tournament award will be split 50/50 where 50 percent of the entrance fees will be given to the winner and the other 50 percent will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

One of the clubs that played a major role in the fundraiser this year was the Drama Production class. Their students created buttons and sold them for a dollar. They also put together a drama showcase involving a series of short skits and plays in an attempt to raise money through entertainment. One of the actors, senior Alejandro Flores, performed in the skits as the character Vigneshwar Padwar.

“We put on a good show for the audience,” Flores said. “I really liked the audience’s reaction to the skit.”

The fundraising effort has proved to be superior this year, with more classes and clubs participating. Although the goal for Mr. Manzanares for this year is $20,000, his estimates seem to show funds have already surpassed that. Although the pecuniary aspect of Relay For Life has already been met, Mr. Manzanares agrees the main goal of the event was to raise something else.

“The goal here is really to spread awareness,” Manzanares stated. “It really comes down to how much each teacher or each student values the cause.”

Mr. Manzanares, whose father was personally affected by the disease, is hoping to spread the word about how students can help.

“I want students to feel how great it is to help someone else,” Manzanares stated.

Relay For Life is a national organization that aims to raise money for cancer research. Every year, communities organize relay events where people walk or run a certain amount of miles to raise money for the cause.

The Relay For Life event for this year will take place Sat., May 31 at the Downey Adult School on the corner of Imperial and Woodruff Ave. Students and faculty have shown an even greater will to help others this year with dozens vowing to participate in the event. Regardless of their club or sport affiliation, students at Downey have once again found a way to unite over a single cause.

About the Contributors
Photo of Moises Martinez Cortez
Moises Martinez Cortez, Writer/Community Editor
For the opportunity to get more
 involved and become the eyes and 
ears of the school, senior Moises Martinez, joined The Downey Legend for
 a writing position. Although he is a writer for the 
newspaper, he wants to attend UC Santa Cruz to study 
international relations. With his urge to get away from LA his dream job is to work for foreign embassy because he would then get to the chance to travel to different destinations and represent his country. As he aims to achieve those dreams, he also enjoys listening to alternative rock, electric, and Spanish rock, as well as watching films and learning new languages. He is already fluent in both English and Spanish but is currently learning Portuguese and French, with his interest and ability to speak multiple languages, it should help him as he tries to achieve his dream.

 

This young writer began enjoying to write his sophomore year, “I like that I am able to express myself through writing and there's something about having a pen and paper in my hands that makes me feel powerful,” Martinez said. He also believes it is important to voice your opinions and keep the student body informed. With his passion for writing and his care toward the newspaper’s readers, he 
is an important asset to the staff.
Photo of Amairani Triana
Amairani Triana, Photographer
Amairani Triana, a senior at Downey High School, joined The Downey Legend 2013-2014 staff this year as a photographer. She not only loves to capture pictures on her camera for fun, but for the deeper meaning of the story that the pictures tell. Triana has always been interested in photography and decided to fulfill her passion for taking pictures by becoming a photojournalist for The Downey Legend. This photographer is hoping to improve her photo skills so that she catches the eyes of audiences all over campus. Triana also plans on furthering her photography skills in college as she hopes to attend Cal State Long Beach next year. She also plans on traveling to uncivilized areas around the world, such as Rwanda, Africa, to broaden her horizons; she aspires to open her mind to the different views of the world. Although she is unsure of her career choice at the moment she is sure she wants to keep photography a part of her as she progresses in life.

 

Since Triana is an only child, in her free time she enjoys spoiling her dog, Lucy, a golden retriever, who keeps her company and is the subject of many of her freelance photos. When she is not pampering her much-adored puppy this photographer likes to kick her feet up at the end of the day and chant “Goal!” as she watches her favorite sport: soccer, on TV. While at school, she can be found around campus with her best friend of two years, photographer Cindy Macias. The photographer explains that her best friend is the complete opposite of herself. “Cindy has a very strong and bold personality, a little more outgoing than me,” Triana said, “I’m more of a quiet and gentle person.” Her mother who has made Triana the friendly person that she is today inspires Triana’s positive outlook on life and innocent nature. “My mom is the person I look up to,” Triana said. “She is always so happy and positive, and she can never be mean. She is just an overall good person.” Her optimistic attitude keeps Triana going as she aspires to reach her goals and further her education as a photographer.
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