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Puyallup students are featured at CIS fundraiser
Puyallup students are featured at CIS fundraiser
Posted on 04/01/2016
Student leaders and performers were in the spotlight at the annual 2016 Communities In Schools (CIS) of Puyallup Friendraiser Auction and Breakfast held at the Washington State Fairgrounds on March 23.
Student musicians, daffodil princesses, and CIS student leaders joined in serving local community leaders, educators, state legislators, business representatives, and volunteers to honor the work of CIS volunteers and celebrate student achievement. 
CIS of Puyallup partners with the Puyallup School District and community businesses to provide services such as reading and math tutoring. It also coordinates events such as back-to-school supply drives, weekend backpack programs, and the annual March Gladness community service projects. 
CIS student board members Sarah Archer, Lexie Holden, Jordan Kim, and Nicholas Fraser outlined the mission and purpose of the non-profit organization which strives to engage dedicated individuals and resources in the community to foster successful students and build healthier families. 
Sarah Archer, a junior at Rogers High School, explained the five basics every child needs and deserves. These include:
  • A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
  • A safe place to learn and grow
  • A healthy start and a healthy future
  • A marketable skill to use upon graduation
  • A chance to give back to peers and community


Lexi Holden, a senior at Emerald Ridge High School, celebrated a decade of March Gladness, noting since 2006 the students and staff in the Puyallup School District have been serving the community both locally and abroad. In total, $399,069 have been raised for charity over the course of the ten years March Gladness has been in place. 
Jordan Kim, a senior at Puyallup High School, reminded listeners of the challenges many children face when families struggle to meet basic needs such as clothing and shoes which fit properly. Nick Fraser, also a senior at PHS, led the audience in an activity visually demonstrating services provided by CIS of Puyallup including:
  • 26 students who receive mentoring each week
  • 154 students who receive Bags of Love filled with food for the weekend
  • 179 students who receive weekly reading support
  • 43 students who receive weekly math support
  • $29,635 worth of school supplies donated to Puyallup schools last year


Award Winners 
Each year CIS of Puyallup recognizes three individuals who have a history of making a difference in the community. Matea Hickle, CIS site coordinator at Karshner Elementaryproudly announced the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award which was presented to Robbi Heath. Heath has been involved as a reading tutor at Karshner for over ten years. She was honored for her dedication to her students and her interest in celebrating their growth and success. 
The Educator Citizen of the Year award was presented by Aylen Junior High principal Kevin Mensonides, who spoke of the many years awardee Tom Spane has been working with students and staff for the benefit of the Puyallup community. Of note was the annual Fill the Bus food drive which Spane leads with passion. 
Recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award and the Educator Citizen of the Year award were sponsored by South Hill Collision. Representative Holly Sanchez presented each honoree with $250 to be spent in their name to the charity of their choice. 
Finally, the CIS of Puyallup Student Citizen of the Year award was presented byWashington State Fair Foundation Chair Jerry Larson and PHS Key Club advisor Jessica Anderson. This award was accompanied by a $2,500 scholarship to the student's college of attendance thanks to the Washington State Fair Foundation. The Student Citizen of the Year award was earned by Elizabeth Luong, a student at Puyallup High School. Luong was honored as a March Gladness leader with a track record of leadership and community service involvement. 
Student Musicians 
Prior to breakfast being served, guests were invited to purchase raffle tickets and review auction items. During this time, student musicians in the Rogers High School Jazz Band provided entertainment. Under the direction of Stephan Pickard, the band impressed the audience with their big sound and skillful performance. RHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) members presented the colors while RHS vocalist Arianna Hyers sang The Star Spangled Banner. 

At the conclusion of the Friendraiser Breakfast the steel drum band Pandemonium performed. Student musicians from Kalles Junior High and Puyallup High School played steelpans, which are musical instruments originating from Trinidad and Tobago. The school district's music department began offering instruction on steel pans for students at Spinning ElementaryKalles, and PHS about 10 years ago. Now under the direction of Obejsanjo Quarless, a master pannist who has studied and performed with steel pan ensembles at Pacific Lutheran University, the district's performing group Pandemonium has grown to include a healthy cadre of unique musicians. 

Assisting CIS student volunteers in the auction were four 2016 Daffodil Princesses representing the school district's three comprehensive high schools and Cascade Christian High School. Fully adorned in their daffodil yellow gowns, the princesses gathered bid cards and relayed information to winning bidders. Kallie Sherwood (ERHS), Kelty Pierce (PHS), Kaitlin Nguyen (RHS) and Emmalee Ford (Cascade Christian HS) provided an elegant air to the morning event. 

Also in attendance was Miss Pierce County Outstanding Teen 2016 Regan Gallo. Regan is a junior at Rogers High School where she is very involved in Leadership, Choir, and Drama. Regan has served as a Good Samaritan Tutor, one of the many programs sponsored by CIS of Puyallup. 

Support Raised 
Gathering financial support is a primary objective of the CIS Friendraiser Breakfast. As a non-profit, CIS of Puyallup relies on the generosity of others in the community to help provide support to children and families in the area. Morning events included many ways for contributions to be made including an auction of donated items, purchase of centerpieces, individual donations, purchase of raffle tickets, and entry to the event. Including event sponsorship, over $30,000 was raised as a result of this one event. 

"It's incredible the way this community comes together to support children and families," said Jan Mauk, executive director of CIS of Puyallup. "The outpouring of financial support at this morning's auction is just one more example of the generous spirit people are known for in this community."