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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Relay for Life raises more than $65K; DJUHSD accepts donations

Delano’s 22nd annual Relay for Life event that took place April 23 finished with the group raising more than $65,000 to be contributed to the American Cancer Society.

Event lead Cheryl Hill, however, said that by the September deadline the event should easily reach its goal of $70,000.

North Kern State Prison’s team earned the most money, with a new team, the Warehouse Warriors, next in line.

There were 23 teams with captains and teams that, along with committee members, added up to more than 100 people who took part in the event held in the Cecil Avenue parking lot and neighboring grassy area at Delano High School.


The acceptance of a number of gifts to the three comprehensive high schools in the Delano Joint Union High School District was approved by the board of trustees at its April 19 meeting.

A $5,000 donation from Dr. Varanasi will fund scholarships of $1,500 each at the three schools, with the remaining $500 going to the student with the highest grade point average.

Also accepted was a $800 donation from Delano Babe Ruth to the Delano High School swim team.

Delano Chevrolet Buick GMC provided a $1,000 donation to the boys golf team at Cesar Chavez High School.

A product donation from Cynthia Rivera Martinez to the Cesar Chavez Titan band and color guard furnished $3,210 in warmups, jackets and T-shirts.

Iron Mountain Films Inc. gave $2,100 to Robert F. Kennedy High’s donation account.

The Wonderful Company Foundation gave funds to Hugo Cazares, who donated $250 each to classrooms of Mr. Montoya and Mr. Alvarado at Kennedy High.

Another $500 went to home economics and $500 to varsity baseball at Cesar Chavez High, with CCHS also gaining another $1,000 for varsity baseball. Wonderful Co. also gave $1,000 to the Delano High School associated student body plus another two donations of $500 each.

Trip requests approved by the board included Chavez and Kennedy football trips to Hume Lake.

The school board ratified Alex Gonzales as band teacher at Chavez effective April 8 and accepted retirement resignations form John Collins at Chavez and Lynne Wood at Kennedy. Both have instructed in special education. Jacob Fragoso resigned as assistant varsity football coach at RFK.

Approved as coaches at Chavez for the 2022-23 school year are Michael Walker, head freshman football coach; Cameron Dimas, volunteer assistant for JV football; Michael Cervantes, volunteer assistant for varsity football; Antonio Bravo, volunteer assistant for JV football; Elina Simon, girls JV tennis; Elden Ramos, head varsity volleyball; George Mateo, volunteer assistant for varsity volleyball; and Jesus Leyva as head varsity girls basketball coach.

David Saiki was approved as chemistry teacher at RFK for the 2022-23 school year.

Given approval at Kennedy for 2022-23 were Mario Millan, varsity head football; varsity assistants Johnny Salinas, Samuel Salinas and Jonathon Nunez. Ebahn Feathers was approved as varsity football volunteer; Joshua Mendoza, head JV football; Jamal Martinez, assistant JV football; Joel Venegas, volunteer JV football; Amador Orozco, head freshman football; Alejandro Rivera and Timothy Nunez as freshman football assistants; and Diamond Hernandez and George Becerra as volunteers for freshman football.

The board accepted the resignation of Troy Thomas, campus security at Cesar Chavez, and ratified Elizabeth Bobadilla as female campus security at Cesar Chavez. Prisela Ayon was ratified as attendance data processing clerk at Chavez and Karina Adame as counseling secretary at Chavez.


Robert F. Kennedy High School will graduate its seniors on June 1 with a ceremony in the school's stadium.

Sale of tickets to the public will be available from 2 to 4 p.m. May 23 to May 26 at the school administration building.

On May 27, a shortened day for students, ticket sales will happen from noon to 2 p.m. Sales will be from 2-4 p.m. May 31 and on graduation day, June 1, there may still be some tickets available in the school cafeteria after graduation practice.

The prices are $6 for regular tickets and $8 for VIP tickets.


A baccalaureate or prayer service for senior high school seniors at Delano schools is planned as part of the 9 a.m. Mass at Delano’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church on May 29.

Graduates, whether Catholic or not, and guests are invited to the service. Seniors should be present in caps and gowns by 8:40 a.m. outside of the church for a lineup for entrance as a group into the church.


A longtime friend, Nolan Shaffer, called me recently to report he had attended birthday No. 90 for Manuel Kouklis. Both are 1950 graduates of Delano High School, both were three-sport athletes in high school, and both have been inducted into Delano High’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Shaffer has been a major contributor of information to the Hall of Fame Committee. He not only played sports at DHS but also taught and coached three sports at Delano High for several years in the 1960s.

I remember he left DHS to become a counselor at Hanford High School. Then when Cal State Bakersfield opened its doors, he became an assistant admissions director to the head of admissions, Homer Montalvo, another DHS grad.

Before his retirement from CSUB, Nolan for several years was the official basketball scorekeeper.

Kouklis was one of many Delano High grads who played football and/or baseball under legendary DHS coach Ray Frederick. For years, Kouklis guided Exeter High School baseball teams in the Delano Baseball Tournament that Frederick launched in 1940 and headed for many years. Even after retirement from Exeter, I believe that Kouklis taught classes at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

Shaffer reported that when he was at the Kouklis birthday that he was the only classmate present, assuming that he might have been the only classmate still alive, he joked.


I am not up to speed on social media, but I have learned of its ramifications thanks to Michael Young. The retired former head of Delano’s State Market mentioned by way of social media that many Delano High grads had been recognized as “charter” members of the Hall of Fame.

Those charter members who notify me or other committee members are offered a Hall of Fame certificate.

Prompted by Young’s mention of the certificate, I have received phone calls from Armando Serna, Bill Regan, the families of Conrado Jazmin and Thomas/John Martinez and Patti Wright.


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