Members of the Delano High School “family” and community leaders have joined to help raise funds for the family of senior basketball player Nicole Bonifacio. It was stressed that the fundraising is not connected with the high school or school district.

The DHS senior and other family members lost their parents within days recently to the coronavirus.

A takeout barbecue fundraiser took place Dec. 17.

Donations by check may be made payable to Bernadeth Espejo, one of the daughters of the late couple.

Information on helping the family is available from Claribel Gutierrez, 778-3265; Glenda Muldrow, 370-7586; or Larry Smith, 333-4381.

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A core of volunteers decorated Delano’s Heritage Park to light up the area to please youngsters and persons of all ages during the holiday season.

Kiwanis Club of Delano bought artificial trees with lights attached to place up at Heritage Park and to be furnished to needy families.

With the trees, $100 gift cards were supplied to families thanks to four purchased by Adventist Health Delano and one or more by the Salim family, Harvest Holidays Association, Eloise (Chavez) Carrillo, Wooldridge and Associates attorneys of Bakersfield, and Positive Direction. Other businesses and organizations were expected to complete the offering of gift cards for the 20 trees.

Colton Kinsey, newly elected president of Delano Historical Society, and Claribel Gutierrez, Kiwanis Club and Harvest Holidays president, directed volunteers who each put together an artificial tree to be on display. Then volunteers went to work decorating some buildings in the park.

Volunteers included Councilwoman Liz Morris, Samantha Pagdilao, Jim Koontz, Steve Kinsey, Marco Medina, Alma (Lopez) Garza, Jessie Fragoso, Henrietta Ruiz, Josefina Bravo, Marissa Dela Cruz, Paige Joaquino, Samantha Gonzalez, Tadd Pobst, Annette Wesir-Salim and Vincent Wesir.

Volunteers included members of Kiwanis and Harvest along with Harvest queen candidates and Key Club members from Wonderful Prep Academy.

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Open enrollment continues at the Delano Adult School located just north of Delano High’s football stadium. Those age 18 or over are eligible to attend the adult school.

Classes offered include ESL, government and history, citizenship, high school diploma, business, and high school equivalency, formerly GED.

All classes are offered through distance learning. Adult School director Julio Segura reported that students could even work online during the winter break, which this year is Dec. 21 to Jan. 8.

Office hours are Monday and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The adult school’s phone number is 720-4171.

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In order to get the donation on your 2020 taxes, you may send your $25 membership for the 2021 calendar year to the Delano Youth Foundation, P.O. Box 135, Delano, CA 93216.

Becoming a member has no requirements but allows members to join others in financially supporting projects of the Delano Youth Foundation.

Projects include offering two scholarships at each of the three local public high schools as well as giving financial support to the Stallion, Bengal and Earlimart youth football programs, high school cheerleaders, Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball programs, and high school summer football and boys and girls basketball programs.

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After fewer than three weeks of conditioning practices, high schools in Delano have joined the state CIF and Kern High School District in closing down practices for the sports of football, cross country and volleyball as well as activities such as cheerleading and band.

Those practices were to start in mid-December but action by the Kern district and CIF delays all that until no earlier than Jan. 1. With the rising COVID-19 cases, it seems unlikely that sports practices will start anytime soon.

The fall 2020 athletic schedules would have begun in August, but then were scheduled to start Jan. 8 for football, for example, and running through mid-March.

I have seen reports from health experts that having contact sports as late as March and resuming in August would not be in the best interests of student athletes.

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The Delano Union School District is scheduled to restart the distribution of meals on Wednesday, Jan. 6, with a five-day distribution.

For just that one day the distribution areas will be the central kitchen and Harvest/La Vina school site. The regular distribution sites will be open starting Jan. 13.

Delano Joint Union High School District will start up its distribution of meals on Jan. 11 with a five-day meal distribution.

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Today (Dec. 24) there will be a 5 p.m. Christmas Eve drive-in Mass at St. Mary’s School grounds.

On Christmas day there will be an English Mass at 7 a.m. and at 9 a.m. a Spanish Mass, also in drive-in form at St. Mary’s School.

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From a friend I learned that Phil Newhouse, former city recreation director who wore some other “hats” as well for the city, is recovering well from a medical procedure. You’re in our prayers, Phil!!

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A recent death I need to report on is that of Beatrice “Bea” Ramirez Mendoza.

One of her sisters, Irma Abdullah, lives down the block from me and is a source for many of the items in this column. Irma’s daughter, Nora, was business manager one of the years I advised the school newspaper at Delano High, and I had Irma’s son, Audie, in my freshman English class.

Anyway, “Bea” for years worked alongside her son, Reuben, Jr., at CM Enterprises in Delano. Reuben has done much of the setup work for the St. Mary’s Church outdoor services. Son Michael was photographer for both the yearbook and newspaper that I advised, and “Mike” was also student body president his senior year.

A portion of the printed program for her celebration of life I am quoting below: “She married Reuben Mendoza Nov. 19, 1956, in St. Mary’s Church, Delano. They were married for 54 years. She was definitely a woman ahead of her time. She always felt she could do anything she set her mind to and passed that state of mind onto her children and grandchildren. She will always be remembered for asking all of us to ‘speak up’ when asked a question, which was followed by, ‘How will anyone know what you want if you don’t speak up!!’ We all learned to speak up. She was a straight talking, fiercely independent woman.”