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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Youth Foundation to restart Sports Dinner

DELANO — After COVID forced the Delano Youth Foundation to suspend its annual Sports Dinner for two years, directors have scheduled the 57th community event for Saturday, March 11, at the Delano Elks Club.

David Grace, a former assistant basketball coach at UCLA, will be the speaker.

Directors at their December meeting decided to again announce its Person of the Year and to honor local citizens who have given outstanding service to youth for the years of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Among groups to be recognized are league and/or section championship varsity teams at the three Delano comprehensive high schools.

The dozen directors of Delano Youth Foundation will sign up $200 dinner sponsors — each receiving two free dinners for the sponsorship. This year’s dinner fee will be $35 per person. Youth Foundation memberships for 2023 will be $30.

Feb. 1 is the deadline for businesses or individuals to sign up to advertise in the dinner’s printed program. Charges are $40 for one business card, $70 for a two-card size, $100 for a quarter page, and $170 for a half page. The program format will be 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Individuals or groups interested in becoming sponsors or advertisers may contact foundation president David Amaya, treasurer Brenda Perry-Reed, or secretary Gina Lopez.

Other directors are Richard Torrez, Jerva Winn, Ginda Adkins, Louis Pandol, Matthew Cauthron, Eddie Espitia, Jay Tamsi, Roy Bonita and Gary Girard.


Retiring Mayor and City Councilman Bryan Osorio at the Dec. 15 council meeting congratulated the two recently elected council members and all those voted into office in community groups.

Osorio also thanked the council, staff members and family members who supported him in representing the city. He said he felt great pride as a young person in a leadership role in the community and reminded the new council to “don’t forget where we come from and who we represent.”

Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vasquez presented a plaque to Osorio in recognition of his service.

City clerk Ricardo Chavez swore in newly elected councilwoman Liz Morris, who said she has enjoyed serving the community for 15 years, and first-time councilman Mario Nunez.

Morris said she thoroughly enjoyed “working with my colleagues and think we have accomplished great things for the community. We all have a passion for our city and respect each other.”

Nunez thanked all the voters, no matter who they voted for, and said he was excited to become a member of the council.

Joe Alindajao was voted the new mayor and Salvador Solorio Ruiz the new mayor pro-tem.

Alindajao said the council will work to see that the city is run efficiently and the council will be passionate about their role and that there will always be civil debate. “Please all of you pray for us to make good decisions for our city," he said.

Solorio Ruiz said he had lots of hope for the coming year. “We may disagree on some items, but we all wish the best for Delano," he said.


The Measure U review committee met in December to learn information about how the additional one-cent sales tax was being spent.

The 189-page report on city finances showed a city expenditure of $27,292,771 during the 2021-22 fiscal year.

City staff told the three members of the committee who were present that the report was only a draft because the audit of the city had not been completed.

Elementary school board member Frank Herrera Jr., suggested to the committee that the city might cut back on overtime and still have a four-day work week by having some staff work on Mondays and some on Fridays. The idea was in response to concern of one citizen that the city office should remain open five days a week.

Staff indicated that the work schedule is approved through negotiations with the bargaining unit.

Staff indicated that two of the largest expenditures from Measure U funds went to purchase of the old Methodist Church across the street from City Hall and for the aquatics center that is to be built adjacent to the community building on 11th Avenue.

Gina Martinez from the audience suggested that when the audit was completed that it would be valuable to the public if the figures could be online in a fashion that would allow a lay person to see how much in funds went to each city department.

Staff advised the committee that in January the City Council will be approving a budget that will cover the next two years.

Committee chairwoman Guadalupe Martinez asked if another meeting might take place in January. Councilman Joe Alindajao from the audience told the committee that the measure when passed called for at least one meeting a year and that the committee had the option of calling for additional meetings.

From the committee and the audience the consensus was that there was a need for the report that would likely be issued in January could indicate exactly how the additional penny sales tax funds were spent.

City clerk Ricardo Chavez told Martinez that he would be reaching out to committee members to learn when a next meeting would take place and arranging individual meetings with committee members to answer questions they had.


The Delano Shop with a Cop activity prior to Christmas provided $200 each to 35 youngsters from ages 5 to 13 to spend their money buying what they wished at Delano’s Walmart.

Delano Union High School District also provided each of the youngsters with a turkey.

There were 40 volunteers who helped in guiding the youngsters in the shopping spree.


Jan. 17 will be the start of conditioning and tryouts for Delano Bengal football and cheerleaders. The program covers youth from ages 5 through 14.

The conditioning will take place Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Cecil Avenue Park north — rain or shine — said Mario Nunez, who is in charge of the football program.

There is no fee for conditioning and tryouts. Those interested in either program will be vying for spots in the 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under, and 14 and under divisions.

Bobby Garcia is president of the Bengal program with Martin Lopez the vice-president and Robbie Mendoza the secretary-treasurer. Katie Viramontes heads the cheer program.


A class reunion for Delano High School’s Class of 1954 is planned for Saturday, April 22, at the Delano Elks Lodge.

Persons with questions about the reunion should contact chairperson Jerva Winn at 661-565-5609.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.