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Donations Still Benefit Victims Of Fall Fires
Learning To Give
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Cardozo Middle School Principal Kevin Bizzini, left, is shown with Leadership officers Mercedes Garcia, Brenda Orozco, Anastasia Toscano, Adriana Cuevas, Marlenne Barragan, and Leadership advisor Danielle Jensen, proudly posing for a photo after reaching their goal raising funds for the victims of the wildfires that hit our area a few months ago. Missing from photo is Melissa Werner Co-Advisor, Leadership. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


In September the rapidly moving Butte Fire burned thousands of acres in Amador and Calaveras counties along with the Valley Fire which started around the same time in Sonoma County and northern Napa County, destroying homes, outbuildings and businesses.

Several people in California and beyond took notice of the tragedy and began fundraising to help the victims of the fires in their effort to rebuild.

The Red Cross also sought out assistance from the communities in the area to help victims of the wild fires which included reaching out to schools interested in running a donation drive.

Cardozo Middle School (CMS) in Riverbank answered the call which the Leadership class gladly took on with Leadership Advisor Danielle Jensen and co-Advisor Melissa Werner leading the charge.

“CMS students were moved by the stories of the destruction caused by the area wildfires and decided to give money to help those specifically affected by the Valley and Butte fires,” stated Jensen. “The CMS Leadership class organized the schoolwide donation drive, and each first period teacher collected donations, which were counted by the Leadership class.”

“Students were very interested and concerned about the welfare of the people and the animals affected by the fires,” expressed Werner. “Danielle sent out a letter to the staff to read to the teachers with updates on the damage.”

With the leadership class organizing the fundraiser, they decided to make it a two-week long competition between the sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes. The goal was set for $1,000 which was reached and slightly eclipsed, with a total of $1,026.93 collected. The sixth graders were the winners of the two-week competition, bringing in the most money.

“We were really impressed by the hard work and effort given by the students at Cardozo to help,” said Werner.

“As a school, the students received a double brunch for reaching our school goal of $1000. The class that raised the most money received a donut party,” added Jensen. “The money was donated to the American Red Cross, earmarked for the Valley and Butte fires specifically.”