Drive Draws Record Numbers
• Local students step up for record blood drive.
A single pint of blood donated saves three lives. More than 117 pints of blood were donated by Peninsula High School students on May 24 at the fifth annual blood drive sponsored by Peninsula’s Service Learning Leadership (SLL) and UCLA Health.

While the event was held only one day, there were weeks of planning beforehand by SLL and Noelle Lai, the coordinator and communicator between UCLA Health and SLL.
SLL formed a committee to make sure the Blood Drive ran smoothly. To garner sign-ups, each SLL member, regardless of whether or not they were on the committee, had to get seven sign-ups from students or community members.
For an incentive, students with the most sign-ups received free movie tickets. At the end of the sign-up period, with advertisements on social media, around campus walls and in various email blasts, there were more than 300 names.
The difficult part was collecting the three-page blood drive form. The forms consisted of a sheet that detailed which period the student wanted to donate, and two permission slips for UCLA and the Palos Verdes school district.
Because the collection period coincided with AP and CAASPP testing, the number of returned forms were significantly smaller than in previous years.
However, on the day of the event, students who were 18 years old were able to donate without a parent’s signature, which greatly helped the number of pints of blood donated.
“No other drive compared to this one,” Lai said. “I have to say that it is the smoothest blood drive I have ever seen in the 21 years that I have done this. Just when I thought I have seen everything before, this group still amazes me.”
Lai has been working with UCLA Health for 18 years and has been the main coordinator for the drive since 2015.
“My favorite part of the drive is seeing how everything pulls together due to the work the kids put into it,” Lai said. “If they are unorganized, it will show immediately. The SLL kids are the heroes, perfecting the processes of the day.”
The day before the event, the SLL members signed up for different jobs that they would be in charge of on the day of the drive.
“I was part of the blood drive committee, and I was one of the people to make sure people went to the right place to fill out forms after they checked in,” Kiara Wong said.
“Overall, I was just making sure people were comfortable and had plenty of snacks while they waited. My favorite part of the blood drive was probably donating blood myself, because it was my first time,” she said.
Many stations were manned by students who talked to donors, giving blood, and handed out snacks and water.
“My job during the blood drive was to comfort people during and after their donation,” Juri Maeda said. “My favorite part during this event was seeing many students, teachers and parents donating to save some lives. I was amazed by the number of donors we had this year.”
“Personally, my favorite part was actually donating blood,” Keilani Sumi said. “I always wanted to donate, but I was never allowed to until this year, so I was excited. I love it since I know that I will make a difference in someone’s life, and this experience has made me certain that I will be a regular blood donor.”
For many, this was the first time to give blood, and many were afraid. But, after actually donating, they were glad they did.
“I decided to donate because it seemed like such a small thing with a big impact,” Christina An said. “Hospitals are always lacking blood and the thought that I could donate something to save someone’s life is pretty amazing. My favorite part was how kind the nurses were. It was my first time donating and I was a little scared of the needles. However, there was this one nurse who was such a sweetheart, she wanted to make sure I was taken care of and that I was relaxed. A lot of people tense up and that can cause problems. The vibe in the auditorium was really nice since everyone felt good volunteering together.” Executes 1DAY100K Campaign
• Fundraising shortfall calls for new campaign to reach goal.
The Peninsula Education Foundation (PEF) provides financial support for every aspect of education on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Each year, PEF sets a goal to reach by the end of the next school year, and this year’s target amount is $3.1 million.

Currently, PEF is more than $100,000 short of the amount pledged to fund vital teaching positions and programs at district schools.
The projected shortfall is calculated even after factoring in donors who typically give in the spring, funds that are coming in from events that have already occurred and the assumption that they will have a successful fundraiser in their Main Event Gala.
Due to this shortage, members of PEF have come up with a campaign called 1DAY100K.
Executive Director of PEF, Christine Byrne, has been in her position for the past three years and hopes that this campaign will motivate members of the community to step up and help.
pef.250“We decided to focus on a day of fundraising with a specific goal of $100,000 to help ensure that we can reach our pledge this year,” Byrne said. “We are hoping that all families can give any amount and make a big difference for our schools.”
Besides raising the amount needed, the goal of this campaign is to educate the community about what PEF is and how it provides support to each school across the district.
Many students and parents on the Peninsula are unaware of the impact that PEF makes in their lives, but through these events and campaigns, PEF hopes to build a stronger, more personable connection to the many families in the district.
From students who participate in STEM activities and sports, those who visit the College Career Center and all the students who have a counselor, PEF is working behind the scenes to make sure that these programs and people have the ability to give their best to the students.
To serve as a liaison between PEF and the high schools, PEF has a high school ambassador program it launched this year to try to raise awareness about PEF’s work on high school campuses. Senior Liana Korotzer, from Peninsula High School, is not only one of the ambassadors, but also participates in activities funded by PEF.
“PEF has raised funds for so many of the activities that I love, like dance, while also helping my teachers and school as a whole,” Korotzer said. “I am really grateful that our district is able to raise the funds we need from generous donors despite not receiving very much from the government.”
PEF is hoping the 1DAY100K event, which took place Thursday, March 14, inspired enough people to donate. In the past, PEF has struggled to make its pledge, and if it is unable to make the goal set for this year, it will have to lower the pledge to the district, which will ultimately impact the programs and positions that we help support.
Along with 1DAY100K, PEF also has the Main Event Gala held in May and an online auction event from April 12-22 to raise money. PEF will also try to raise funds while giving community members the opportunity to win a Lexus or a year of dining for four at Terranea.
“I truly enjoy all of the amazing students, families, teachers and administrators that I have the pleasure of meeting throughout our community,” Byrne said. “There are so many kind, caring, involved and supportive members of our community, and it is such a pleasure to see so many step forward and work together to make this one of the best places to grow up and live.” Kings, Panthers Unite With Track Meet
• Palos Verdes and Peninsula high school students unite for the United Track and Field meet.
At a time when society is becoming more inclusive, Peninsula High School is reflecting that sentiment with its first Unified Track Meet.

Students from Palos Verdes and Peninsula high school’s Skills for Independence Class participated in a track meet put on by many leadership students and teachers, including Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS) teacher Patrick Daley.
Daley, along with other students and Peninsula’s Skills for Independence teacher Betsy Fujinaga, attended united track meet at North Torrance High School, which sparked the idea of having Peninsula host one as well.
Once Principal Brent Kuykendall approved the idea, Daley and his team began to hold meetings, send emails and text messages to various departments on campus.
“I contacted Fred Steiner to get the band involved, Dan Doctor to get the choir to sing the anthem, local firefighters to come and show their support, and district and school board members,” Daley said.
“I wanted this event to bring the community together and exemplify what an exceptional place we live in. So much behind the scenes work went into this and it was all worth it seeing what joy it brought to our athletes, Daley said.
Daley hopes that the event will be held annually, and based on the result of the day, many students agree.
“I think the event thrones put really well,” said Paula Ejarque. “The crowd was big and loud, which was awesome for the athletes. Everyone seemed so happy and excited to be there.”
The event lasted about two hours, with students participating in track events, such as the 50 meter, 100 meter and relay. Every student from the Skills for Independence classes was paired with either a leadership student, a track and field member or just someone who volunteered to help.
“My favorite part was to run and get to interact with everyone,” said Ejarque. “It was so much fun, and it brought me so much joy to be part of such an awesome event.”
Like Ejarque, many of the students who volunteered to be a buddy with a runner were appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the event.
“My favorite part was seeing and feeling the enthusiasm given off by everyone present,” Lexi Harris said. “You could not not feel happy and energetic. I loved the t-shirts and capes many athletes wore.”
The overall atmosphere throughout the entire meet was one of community and pride for the students’ fellow peers.
“I thought the event turned out perfectly,” Harris said. “With the firemen handing out medals, and the bleachers full of students, it was a really fun and memorable day for everyone involved.”
The day was one to show that Peninsula accepts all students and makes sure that everyone is included. There is no room for isolation on Peninsula’s campus, especially when there are so many students who have great ideas and compassionate hearts.
“It was day of inclusion, where everyone came together to celebrate our similarities and our differences,” Daley said. “All those who participated were one team. All the athletes were able to experience a full American high school experience.”
The event will hopefully live on as a tradition on Peninsula’s campus and, possibly, spread to campuses across the South Bay as a day to celebrate every individual. It is a very memorable event and allows students’ hearts to grow a little bit bigger.
“Seeing the smiles on our athletes faces and the good sportsmanship being practiced from everyone involved was my favorite part,” Daley said. “At one point I was actually able to soak it in and look around. What I saw gave me chills. Principals, district employees, school faculty and staff, students, athletes, media, family, friends—we were all one for those two hours.”
RHE Holds 60th Annual Scouts’ Pancake Breakfast

• Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates held the 60th annual Scout’s Pancake Breakfast last week.
Scout troops from all over the Peninsula attended the event, which was highlighted by the annual Mayor’s Ride, where members of the Rolling Hills Estates City Council arrive by horseback to feast on the pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage.
Frank Zerunyan, a member of the RHE City Council, has participated in the event for 15 years. He has been mayor three times and has been in office since 2003.
“It’s the community aspect of the Mayor’s Pancake Breakfast that makes it so unique,” said Zerunyan. “It is so unique. You can go anywhere in the world, frankly, and you would not find such a pancwonderful community event like this. It’s an event where everybody gets together -- children, parents, horsemen, horses, dogs, you name it. That is what makes it very special.”
Along with hundreds of community members participating in the event, there were a record number of 80 horses at the park. Since there were so many people, it took many Boy Scouts to accommodate the crowd.
Elijah Ding, a junior from Peninsula High School, has been in Scouting since the 5th grade, and this is his 5th year at the pancake breakfast.
“My favorite part of the event is spending time with my friends from other troops, but also providing for the community in a very fun way,” Ding said.
Peninsula high junior Jared Caylor is the senior patrol leader and head Scout. He was in Cub Scouts since second grade and was promoted to Boy Scouts in sixth grade. This is his seventh year helping out at the pancake breakfast.
The Boy Scouts have given him many amazing opportunities, including going to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico over summer where they hiked 107 miles in 12 days.
“Just seeing the community come together and helping the community eat breakfast together is the best part of the event,” said Caylor.
PEN Art Student Earns National Recognition

• Student artwork qualifies to be chosen for U.S. Postal Stamp. Peninsula High School junior Ari Cho has been named one of the winners of the 2018 California Junio r Duck Stamp competition by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
 She received the esteemed title of Best of Show in California last month. Her Hooded Merganser will compete with other Best in Show artists at the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Winner of the Nationals will be given the honor of having their piece displayed in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp collection.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service strives to “conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”
By creating this competition, the Service “is raising awareness for the wildlife that may be potentially in danger of becoming extinct. It also gives young artists a way to learn about the importance of wildlife.”
duck.award“After hearing about [the competition] from my art teacher,” Cho said, “I researched many different types of ducks to draw. The Hooded Merganser stood out to me since the purpose of the competition was to make the painting into a stamp. I learned about the environment of the duck and decided to make the background as simple as possible so that the duck would stand out,” she said.
Cho started taking art lessons at a very young age and, she said, found that it was an outlet for her to express herself in a way she could not do otherwise.
Her family members all enjoy art, and she is surrounded by artists who encourage her to keep painting.
“Art has always been my escape,” Cho said. “When I pick up my paintbrush, I focus only on my canvas and my ideas. The blankness of the canvas in front of me allows me to begin something new and unique.”
Cho takes lessons three times a week for four hours or more and is focusing on creating her portfolio for college. She said she does not exactly know what is in store for the future, but she believes her art can make an impact on the world and wants to continue to be able to express herself through each piece.
“To me, art is a nonverbal way of communication,” Cho said. “It is me being able to express every emotion I feel where words would not be able to suffice. It can also give me the platform to share my ideas with others if I cannot explain it in coherent sentences.”
School and Student Safety On Campus

In light of the horrific event that recently occurred in Florida, schools across the nation have taken the initiative to strengthen the protection of their campuses and ensure the safety of their students.

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Tech/Science Students Meet In Bakersfield

• Peninsula High students take over TSA conference in Bakersfield.Some 70 Peninsula High students participated in the annual Technology Student Association  (TSA) events in Bakersfield Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24.

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