Best wishes for the future to all  graduates from all of our high schools.

Photo courtesy Tara Bevington
From left, Marine recruiter Sgt. Justin Lucas, Connor Shores, Jacob Adams, and Army recruiter Donnie W. Juan.

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

After a year of challenges from the COVID-19 crisis, the seniors at Live Oak High School held a special celebration event to graduate on a positive note. The “Future is Bright” was held April 28 in the campus’s quad for the students to thank staff who helped them succeed and share their future paths — whether it is going to college, learning a trade, joining the military or entering the workforce. Seventy students participated and about 300 students expect to graduate June 4.

“We just wanted to acknowledge seniors and where all our seniors are heading off to,” said Alyssa Arana, the ASB senior class president. “The special thing was getting to see our friends and seeing where everyone is going off to. We haven’t been really talking this past year. It’s not a regular senior year. The nice thing about it was seeing everyone smiling and saying hi.”

Among the seniors going into the military are Connor Shores, who will start his U.S. Marines boot camp training Oct. 18, and Jacob Adams who will enter his U.S. Army basic training July 6.

“I didn’t really want to go to college and I figured the Marines would give me the biggest challenge of all of them,” Shores said. He plans to attend college later with financial help after serving his country.

Adams joined the Army because he wants to experience the excitement and adventure of that military branch.

“I didn’t really want to do a normal 9 to 5,” he said. “I wanted to do something more meaningful, really make a difference in the world in any way I can.”

Best wishes to all  graduates from all of our schools. May your futures be filled with success and happiness.

India is seeing a huge surge in COVID cases, with possibly one million people dying. An acute shortage of oxygen and other medical help is the leading cause of death. Morgan Hill sleep dentist Kusum Atraya encourages residents to help save lives by donating spare portable Oxygen Concentrators and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.

“A group of engineers and doctors from multiple universities have found a solution to modify CPAP and BiPAP machines into non-critical use ventilators for patients and respirators for front line workers,” she said. “Data shows that the United States may have around 10 million unused machines.”

If you or someone in you know owns any such spare equipment, call (408) 842-5037 for the collection and shipping of these life-saving devices to India. Include your contact information and the machine’s serial number to receive a donation receipt. So far, 72 CPAPS have been collected.

The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce hosted a shoe donation event sponsored by Shoe Palace with more than 200 pairs given out April 17 to kids of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley in South County.

“They understand the importance of being vested in the community,” said Brittney Sherman, CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Shoe Palace wanted to do something special for the local at-risk youth.

“Morgan Hill has been so kind, it has really embraced my family, and Shoe Palace as a company,” said John Mersho, vice president of Shoe Palace. “Times are hard for everyone and we hope this shoe giveaway brings a little bit of joy to the youth of Morgan Hill.”

Before the pandemic, the Morgan Hill Library, Culture and Arts Commission authorized the acquisition of a poppy jasper art sculpture called “The Eagle” by local artist Louis Latronica. A fundraising effort was undertaken to raise enough funds to purchase the sculpture and pay for the pedestal and glass display case. Louis generously agreed to donate the sculpture to the city of Morgan Hill in order to benefit our community. Fortunately, the fundraising and sale of raffle tickets provided enough money to complete the purchase of the pedestal and glass case and the sculpture is now located in the lobby of Morgan Hill City Hall.

Some good news at Villa Mira Monte. The heart of Morgan Hill history will re-open starting May 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Docents will be on hand for tours at the Hiram Morgan Hill House, the museum and the grounds. They request all visitors comply with COVID-19 protocols. In June, it will expand docent tours by adding Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. and the grounds will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life. If you have a story idea or an Around Town item, reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at [email protected]

Robert Airoldi