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DELANO RAMBLINGS: DADD receives three new transportation vans

Three new transportation vans have been received by the Delano Association for the Developmentally Disabled, which provides services for clients as far away as Lost Hills, Bakersfield, Porterville and Tulare.

The local DADD applied for the federal transit administration grant, offered with Cal Trans, back in 2019. Typically, said DADD director Mike Gutierrez, the vans would have been funded in late 2020, but the pandemic has slowed down the process.

Though four vans were requested, Delano received three because the $90,000 cost for each of the vehicles would have boosted the total cost above the $300,000 in funds allotted.

Gutierrez credited transportation director Vaughn Harvey for working with the federal transit administration to look over a handful of available options and adapt them to what best fitted the needs of the DADD.

One van vehicle being replaced has more than 400,000 miles, reported Harvey. Another has about 300,000 miles and a third about 240,000.

Gutierrez said it was likely that DADD would prepare another grant that would fund a fourth vehicle that was originally in the first grant request.

The vans are specially designed so that one to several wheelchair clients can be transported. The vans have several capabilities that fit the particular client load being catered to on a specific route. DADD offers services for clients five days a week.

Before the vans can even be put to use, Harvey and Vicki Herrera will need to train DADD drivers on the use of the vehicles.

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Delano High School’s 108th graduation ceremonies will take place Friday, June 4, at the school athletic stadium.

Each of the estimated 323 graduates will be allowed two guests. Pre-registration to attend the ceremony will be required. Deadline has passed for registration.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. with the actual graduation starting at 7 p.m.

There will be 68 seniors honored with eight-semester honor roll plaques funded by the Delano Lions Club.

Sharing the valedictorian honor are Alejandro Hernandez and Jandre Lafradez.

A special award will be given to Hernandez, who is graduating in three high school years and also graduating from Bakersfield College. He is one of about 300 Gates Scholars honored nationwide.

Guests and graduates are reminded that they are not allowed to bring in outside food or drink, as well as no balloons, no noisemakers and no air horns.

For all three comprehensive high schools in the district there will be a mandatory virtual orientation for all participating graduates and parents/guardians to communicate procedures and details for the graduation. Each candidate will also receive the guidelines in writing.

The school district is stressing the importance to remain in compliance with state and county health guidelines.

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About 330 seniors are expected to take part in graduation ceremonies at Robert F. Kennedy High School on Wednesday, June 2, at 7 p.m. The class is the 11th graduating class for RFK.

There are 23 candidates for the valedictorian honor who have achieved 4.0 or higher GPAs during their four years. Three, especially, are contending for the top honor. In addition, there are 53 candidates for the eight-semester honor roll plaques.

Cesar Chavez High School, which opened its doors in 2005 and now has its 16th graduating class taking part in a June 3 commencement, has 364 candidates for graduation.

Each graduate is allowed up to two adult guests to be seated with them in the stadium.

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Sign-ups for Delano Bengal youth football are taking place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. at Nueva Vista Park through June 26.

Passing tournament games will take place June 12, 19 and 26 with one of the events in Delano. Teams are Bantams, kindergarten through second grade; Pee Wee, third and fourth; Juniors, fifth and sixth; and Seniors, seventh and eighth. There is no weight limit.

Bengal director Mario Nunez said about 95 youth had signed up by May 20 and that if more candidates merited it, a team would be added.

A $75 fee is required to take part. Tuesday, June 1, is the deadline to sign up.

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Speakers stressed the adventuresome spirit and community contributions of Monte Marshal at his recent church services and visitation period.

Son Mylon and daughter Milan both noted highlights in his life and the importance of him to their lives.

Several speakers took the microphone, including Dr. Robert Aguilar. He and I were roommates one year at Fresno State and began teaching at Cecil Avenue School in the fall of 1959.

With him at the visitation was wife Gloria. They have been married for more than 60 years and reside in Visalia. Aguilar was an administrator at many schools throughout California and closed his career in education as superintendent of the Delano Union School District.

Monte was a 1952 Delano High graduate and both he and Aguilar ended up in the military together in a paratrooper unit.

Some of his friends and family friends I noticed at ceremonies were his wife, Rosa, and daughter Denise, who I had as a four-year cheerleader at Delano High.

One of my old classmates who I had not seen in years was at Monte’s services. It was Lionel Beyer, who over his years owning/managing Delano Building Materials helped me on numerous occasions and later we played together on Tom Hocking’s “Hocking’s Heroes” slow pitch softball team.

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Steve Kinsey I spoke to at Monte’s reception in regards to Kiwanis Club support from other organizations for sponsorship of the July 3 fireworks in Delano.

He also mentioned a cleanup day of Kiwanis that he moved from May 15 to May 22.

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Please call ahead to Mary Serna, 747-2417, or Dee Hardesty, 586-5253, to reserve a meal from the Delano American Legion Auxiliary takeout luncheon Friday, June 4, from the Legion post building at 729 Kensington Street.

Serving of the $10 meal of a tri-tip sandwich, chips, water and a fourth item will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Jayson Grijalva, a Delano High graduate and a son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Grijalva, recently earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at Fresno State University.

Renee Mendoza, a Cesar Chavez High graduate and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jaime Mendoza, has earned a master’s degree from the School of Psychology at the University of LaVerne.