Archive | December, 2014

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Heralds start strong to finish Western, advance to finals

Posted on 30 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Luke Wilson
La Habra Journal

The Whittier Christian Heralds advanced to the finals of the annual Leon Davis Classic on Tuesday night for the third straight year after riding a dominant first quarter to a 56-42 win over Western High School. WCHS basketball vs Western Leon Davis Semifial 2014

The Heralds started with a 10-0 run. Three steals over that span helped them get out and run the fast break, allowing them to extend an early lead.

“We knew we could jump on this team early,” said Herald forward Noah Evans, “We tried to do everything we could to get out to a fast start after a slow start last night.”

Whittier Christian Head Coach Sherwin Durham echoed the sentiment. “We came out with a lot of energy. I think these kids really wanted to get to the finals and now we have to finish the job.”

Western began making adjustments early to combat the slow start. Even after quickly subbing four players, and resorting to a full-court press early on, the Pioneers couldn’t get anything started in the first quarter. After eight minutes, the score was 18-2 Whittier Christian.

The high-octane scoring continued for the Heralds in the second quarter. Led by Evans and Forward Justin Osborn, Whittier Christian extended their lead to 32-12 at the end of the first half. Between Evans heating up from 3-point land, and Osborn leaking out in transition, Western couldn’t spark any sort of a run.

When the second half began, it was clear that the Pioneers wouldn’t allow a start similar to the first half. While they weren’t able to do a lot in the third quarter to slow down the Heralds, they did get their offense going with some key 3-pointers and some well-earned free throws. After a high scoring third quarter, the score was 53-28 Whittier Christian.WCHS basketball vs Western Leon Davis Semifial 2014

The fourth quarter was where the Pioneers began their comeback. Starting with a 7-0 run, Western did everything they could to get baskets inside and draw fouls to close the gap. Weathering the storm with some clutch aid from Guard Christian Alvis-Labadie, Whittier Christian was able to hold onto the lead to earn their tenth win of the young season and officially punch their ticket to a third straight Leon Davis Classic Finals appearance.
Memories of last season’s Leon Davis Classic conclusion are still fresh in the Heralds’ minds. In their repeat finals appearance, the Heralds were defeated, and they are determined to do things differently this time around.

“We’ve got to stay focused,” said Coach Durham, “We’ve got to finish our mission and do what we came to accomplish tomorrow.”

The finals of the Leon Davis Classic will pit the Heralds against the Buena Park Coyotes who come into the game holding a 10-2 record.

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Raiders start North OC Tourney strong

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Sonora Raiders basketball team cruised through their first two games of the North Orange County Tournament.

Driving: Sophomore Kevin Marlow takes the ball down court during Sonora’s 71-54 win against Diamond Bar High School Monday afternoon.

Driving: Sophomore Kevin Marlow takes the ball down court during Sonora’s 71-54 win against Diamond Bar High School Monday afternoon.

The Raiders started with a 71-54 win over Diamond Bar, and then dominated Long Beach Wilson winning 79-32.
The Raiders could be playing up to 5 games in 6 days, if they continue to play this well.
Much of the Raiders success can be attributed to the hot shooting from seniors Josh Rodriguez and Christian Rhodes.
In the two games, Rodriguez has scored 43 total points and Christian Rhodes has scored 49 points between the two games.
Christian Rhodes was shooting especially well against Wilson scoring 30 points in just three quarters.
“It’s always fun when you’re shooting like 90 percent from the 3 point line,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes wanted to go after the school record of 43 points, but Murphy had different plans.
“You know with Christian the school record would probably be 60 if I let players play all four quarters in games like this,” Murphy said describing a conversation with his shooting guard.LHJ Sonora DBHS_BkBall_0385_
“Christian Rhodes was just on fire, he just had a remarkable game,”
Rhodes got off too a quick start, knocking down his first two three pointers and ended up with 12 points in the first quarter.
“I always have confidence, but normally I’m a pass first kind of player, and so tonight I was feeling it so then I became a shoot first, and they just kept going in,” Rhodes said.
He continued his hot shooting adding 13 in the second quarter, though most of these came from easy layups as the Raiders were able to get out in transition.
The pace the Raiders played at was indicative of the pace they’d like to play moving forward.
With Rodriguez and Rhodes creating a constant outside threat, they were able to open up the inside game where Steven Murphy was able to finish three untouched layups.LHJ Sonora DBHS_BkBall_0610_
“Dude its ridiculous, like nobody can guard us if we make shots, its literally impossible,” Rodriguez said.
“I was so happy for Steven,” Mike Murphy said as he compared how strong his performances were down the stretch last year.
“He started to break out a little bit against Woodbridge, and then tonight Josh found him four or five times with some great passes, and Steven finished really nicely,” Murphy said.
In addition to their red hot shooting, the Raiders played lock down defense forcing tough shots the entire game.
“Our team is a high powered offense, so most of the time our practices focus on defense, and our offense is always going to be there, but our defense keeps increasingly getting better, that’s just only going to help us out in the long run for playoffs,” Rhodes said.
The Raiders led after the first quarter up 23-8, and were up 44-17 at halftime.LHJ Sonora DBHS_BkBall_0266_
The Raiders struggled with foul trouble in the first two quarters, but you would never have noticed based on their body language.
“They responded way better, their body language was much better, we’ve been talking about it, Murphy said.
After Friday’s game against Woodbridge, Murphy wanted to make sure they paid attention to their emotions.
“They’re 16 and 17 year old kids, and they’re emotional and they play with a lot of emotion, and that’s what makes us good too, the fact that they care so much and they play with that intensity,”
With the game under control Murphy let the bench get some valuable minutes together, allowing Sophomores Bryce Rutledge, Austin Carter, and Kevin Marlow to develop some chemistry together.
The Raiders next step will be in the knockout rounds, where they will start on Thursday night.

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LHPD shares coffee and conversation

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Yajira Perez
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Police Department and Lt. Mel Ruiz hosted the first-ever Coffee with a Cop on Saturday, Dec. 13, at Casa Adelita’s restaurant to welcome the La Habra community.LHJ Christmas & Cops_0057_
Coffee with a Cop provided a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in La Habra’s neighborhoods.
The community trickled in and out of the restaurant to chat with LHPD officers. One of the many who stopped by to have a cup of coffee with the officers was Jason Ho.
“I came here looking to get more information on how to apply for the Reserves program with LHPD,” Ho said.
After he talked to Ruiz, he said he received a lot of useful information on how to obtain a career with the department.
“I’m glad I came in because I made a good contact here on how to move forward with my application.”
Although not all who attended the event were seeking career opportunities. Long-time La Habra residents Mark Lawton and Paul Jaramillo shared some suggestions. LHJ Christmas & Cops_0033_
“You should put a group together for bike rides to speak to the youth at parks,” Lawton suggested. He explained how this may help the youth feel more comfortable with authority figures.
“The youth can also help paint houses where it’s needed most,” Jaramillo added.
David Gonzalez, the public administrator for the police department, shared that they will soon be launching their own mobile app that will share stories, send alerts and share tips with the community.
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The program aims to promote community policing through relationship-building between police officers and community members.

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A giving soul in the local community

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

There is a saying that people should do nothing out of selfish ambition or out of vain conceit. Rather, in humility they should value others above themselves.

A giving couple: La Habra residents Pete and Lorna Badame share a smile. Lorna has donated more than 370 units of platelets to the City of Hope in Duarte to help cancer patients.

A giving couple: La Habra residents Pete and Lorna Badame share a smile. Lorna has donated more than 370 units of platelets to the City of Hope in Duarte to help cancer patients.

La Habra resident Lorna Badame lives that belief.
For the last 21 years, Badame has traveled to the City of Hope in Duarte to donate her platelets  to help cancer patients.  She has given more than 370 units of platelets and continues to donate.
“I just like helping people,” Badame explained.
She started donating in 1993, after her daughter Cyndi was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  She survived and has been in remission for 28 years.
“She found out 10 days before her sixteenth birthday,” Badame said.  “They said she had a 50-50 chance of not having children.  Now she’s the mother of two teenagers.”
Cyndi was treated at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and while Lorna donates to the City of Hope, she helps support CHOC too. For the last 20 years  she has participated in the annual CHOC Walk, and raises between $1,500 – $3,200 for the hospital each year.
However, her biweekly commitment to the City of Hope is something that she continues to hold dear to her heart.  Even though her daughter has long since recovered, Lorna continues to make the trip.
But she is not alone.  Her husband Pete drives Lorna to and from each of her visits.  The process can take up to three hours each visit.  Pete admitted they have a system.
“I drive her and when she is getting the procedure, I go do the laundry,” Pete said.
“Sometimes he’ll treat me by taking me to Sprouts on the way home,” Lorna added with a slight chuckle.
The Badames don’t stop with donating.  The two are active members of the Lions Club and Elks Lodge in La Habra.  Pete is also active with the American Legion and various other groups in the community.  Lorna has also donated her time to help at the Gary Center, The Boys and Girls Club and Help for Brain Injured Children.
Lorna, 65, added that she knows that it’s important for people like her, who are able to donate, do so and to such a dedicated place.
“The City of Hope does such marvelous things,”  she said.   She added that one of the reasons she donates is to help places like City of Hope that treat cancer patients, defray the cost of some of the needed supplies.
She explained that only about 45 percent of blood and blood products are donated.
The rest they have to purchase from places like the Red Cross.
She added that they can cost anywhere from $300-3,000 a unit.  “Since I can’t afford to donate financially, then this is the best way for me to do it,” she said.
Platelets are blood cells whose function is to control bleeding.  These platelets are needed by cancer patients who are going through treatment because their bodies are unable to produce enough to maintain their health.
Because cancer patients aren’t able to take in the amount of whole blood needed to replenish the platelets, the donor’s blood must be broken down.
The donation process includes what is called apheresis where the blood is drawn out and run through a centrifuge that takes out the platelets and a little plasma and sends it to the donor bag.  The remaining blood is then returned back to the donor.
Since only part of the blood is removed, there is less recovery time needed.  Lorna explained that she is limited to 24 times a year.
She will reach 400 units donated sometime in 2016. That would make Lorna only the second person to donate that many units.
But if you ask her, she doesn’t see that number as a stopping point.
“I want to keep going,” she said with a humble smile.  “I’ll keep donating as long as I can.”

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Senor Campos helps make holidays special for Boys & Girls Club

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Yajira Perez
La Habra Journal

Twinkling white lights, Christmas garland hung, and red ribbons adorned Señor Campos & Tillie’s restaurant. They are busy preparing for a holiday season full of Christmas parties, including a special one on Dec. 13.

Breakfast time: Students from the Boys and Girls Club enjoy a hot fresh breakfast at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.

Breakfast time: Students from the Boys and Girls Club enjoy a hot fresh breakfast at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.

For the past 21 years, the restaurant has invited children from the Boys & Girls Club of La Habra to a breakfast and visit from Santa Claus. The children invited are members of the club ranging between the ages of 5 to 8 years old.
After seating the 44 children for breakfast, Mark McGarvo, La Habra Boys and Girls club board member, led them in a prayer before their first bite. Next, the boys and girls dug into their eggs and chorizo with beans and rice. They sang, “jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” as they finished their breakfast.
The mood was set for the visit from Santa Claus. As the children sang the last of the lyrics, Santa walked in and helped them finish strong. There was gasps heard all around the room from the children.
John and Tillie Campos, the previous restaurant owners, started the tradition more than two decades ago, but Tillie passed away and John sold the restaurant. However, Lulu Serrato, Suqui Garduno and Daniel Alvarez, the new owners of Señor Campos restaurant, wanted to keep up the tradition because they like to keep Tillie’s tradition alive. They took over the restaurant two years ago, and have not broken the breakfast tradition.
This year the event happened to have landed on Tillie’s birthday.
“Last week we were so busy with Christmas parties that we had to postpone the breakfast until this week,” Serrato said. She mentioned they like to have the event on the first week of December just like Tillie, but for some reason, it couldn’t happen this year.
“It couldn’t have gone any better though, today on Tillie’s birthday,” Garduno said.

The nice list: Santa was on hand to give each boy and girl a toy to go home with at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.

The nice list: Santa was on hand to give each boy and girl a toy to go home with at Senor Campos during the restaurant’s annual toy giveaway for the children.

Campos and his family get to enjoy the smiles on kids’ faces when they are invited back for the holiday tradition.
“Tillie always had a heart for the children,” Campos said.
The children lined up, ready to sit on Santa’s lap. “Have you been a good little girl,” asked Santa. The kids were in awe and most simply nodded their heads trying to say yes. The boys were given a “rev-up” monster truck set and the girls were given a colorful backpack with supplies. As the kids moved down the line, Santa said goodbye until next year. The children waved goodbye with a glow in their eyes.
Mark Chavez, Boys & Girls Club executive director, and his staff know this wouldn’t be possible without Señor Campos restaurant. On a count of three, the children yelled out, “Thank you Señor Campos!”

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Sonora seniors give some soles to community children

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Gigi Gradillas
La Habra Journal

Children with painted faces smiled and laughed  as they grabbed their pairs of shoes and ran to meet their parents in the parking

Helping with soles: Sonora seniors Christian Miller, Ben Rico, Andrew Sakuda, Christian Rhodes and Jake Rosander stand with some of the children who received donated shoes last week.

Helping with soles: Sonora seniors Christian Miller, Ben Rico, Andrew Sakuda, Christian Rhodes and Jake Rosander stand with some of the children who received donated shoes last week.

lot of the Salvation Army in Santa Fe Springs.
The children and their parents maneuvered around tables collecting their brand new shoes thanks to some local heroes.
Four seniors from Sonora High School collected shoes for less fortunate children through Soles4Souls, an organization which collects donated shoes for a cause.
Seniors Jake Rosander, Christian Rhodes, Ben Rico, and Christian Miller, along with thehelp of their family and friends, were able to hold their own shoe distribution for the children.
Rosander started collecting shoes when he was in eighth grade.
“Back in 2010, the earthquake hit Haiti,”  Rosander recalled. “I was watching TV, watching all of the people walking around without shoes on and it just made me wonder how they could possibly walk around the crumpled streets with rubble, glass, and trash. I looked up any organizations that would help that cause and I found Soles4Souls.”
In 2013, Rosander, who is heading to Brown University, and his grandmother traveled to Haiti through Soles4Souls. “Making those relations with those kids made me want to continue,” Rosander said.
Since his first shoe drive, he has continued to collect them. During his freshman year, three of his best friends, Rhodes, Rico, and Miller, joined him in his shoe drive success. Together, along with Rosander’s previous collections, they have raised over 10,000 pairs of shoes.
Their distribution helped 100 needy children. In addition to the shoes, the kids also received books, beanies, mittens, and sack lunches provided by Lunch4LA, a nonprofit organization that was started by Ben Rico’s older brother, Christian. The organization, started by this Sonora alumnus, collects food to distribute to the homeless in Los Angeles’ Skid Row.
In addition, the teens were able to work with Lomeli’s Italian Restaurant who donated a pasta lunch for all the families.
The extra donations collected came from the senior boys’ families and friends.
“Family and friends donated and it just turned into this big thing,” Dianne Rosander, Jake’s mother, says of the overwhelming amount of support the four boys have received.
Heydi, 9, of La Puente was one of the children receiving a new pair of shoes.
“I got shoes but they’re being decorated right now with ladybugs,” she said.
This is just a step in the charity efforts. Rosander, with the help of his friends, is continuing to collect shoes.  He explained that if they reach the 25,000 mark of shoe collections, Soles4Souls will send him back to Haiti.
Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need.
The families expressed their appreciation for the generosity these high school seniors were showing.
However, according to the boys, they were the ones who were appreciative.
“I’d been looking to help out a little more around the community,” Rico said. “Jake and I are blessed to be in the situations we are in with our families and we wanted to give back.”

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Whittier Christian shaves for a cause

Posted on 18 December 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

Gasps and applause filled the campus of Whittier Christian High School Monday as a sophomore armed with electric shears cut locks of hair off the main official at school.

A caring crew: Whittier Christian students and faculty gather in support of Sophomore Abbey Schemmer (center with hat) who is battling cancer.  The Heralds raised more than $16,000 to help offset medical costs. To help raise awareness many of the faculty, including the head of school, shaved their heads.

A caring crew: Whittier Christian students and faculty gather in support of Sophomore Abbey Schemmer (center with hat) who is battling cancer. The Heralds raised more than $16,000 to help offset medical costs. To help raise awareness many of the faculty, including the head of school, shaved their heads.

Students gathered at lunch to watch head of school Carl Martinez, along with three other teachers, get their hair lopped off for a good cause—to help raise money and awareness for WCHS sophomore Abbey Schemmer. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012 and has since undergone numerous surgeries and treatments such as helmet therapy treatment for $22,000 a month.
Her fellow classmates created the  “Shave it for Schemmer” campaign last week to help raise money to help offset some of Schemmer’s medical costs.
“It’s really cool that they did that for me,” Schemmer said with a smile.
Students and some faculty pledged to have their hair cut as different amounts were raised. Martinez was joined Monday by teachers: Brett Esslinger, Joel Nunnally and Gary Bowman, who shaved his beard.

Martinez pledged to cut his hair if students and faculty raised $5,000.  As Martinez was having Schemmer shave his hair in front of the school, he announced they had reached more than $16,400.
“It really is amazing,” Martinez said. “And it is to help such an amazing girl.”

Gary Bowman gets his iconic goatee shaved.

Gary Bowman gets his iconic goatee shaved.

Schemmer had her first surgery to remove the tumor from the frontal lobe of her brain on Jan. 8.  The doctors were confident that they got it all, but then found another mass in her brain that would need to be removed.  The tumor was sent to the Mayo Clinic, UCSF, and finally to Johns Hopkins. The pathology report revealed that is was grade IV glioblastoma multiforme, a very aggressive form of cancer.
A week later, Shemmer was readmitted and the other mass was removed.  It was at that time that her parents were informed that she had a second cancer called primitive neuroectodermal tumor, or PNET. Found primarily in the cerebrum, this cancer spreads throughout the central nervous system. Doctors said Shemmer’s is in the lining of her brain tissue and in her spinal column, and just like the glioblastoma, it is extremely aggressive and difficult to treat.

To date, Schemmer has completed 42 consecutive days of chemotherapy, and 33 treatments of radiation to the brain with 21 treatments to the spinal column.  She still has more treatments ahead.
The campaign started last week during the school’s weekly chapel.  Schemmer’s two older brothers and three other students shaved their heads to kick off the campaign.

Abbey Schemmer shaves Head of School Carl Martinez’s hair Monday.

Abbey Schemmer shaves Head of School Carl Martinez’s hair Monday.

Three female instructors, Debra Clark, Nicole Nicolaides and Allison Kleinsasser, are next to be shorn. They pledged that they would shave their heads if funds reached $10,000.
“I really didn’t think it would get this big,” Schemmer said.  “But it did.”
Some knew it would take off.
“Abbey is such an exceptional girl who has gone through a lot,” said Katie Hunter, the college adviser at the campus. “I knew this campaign was going to raise some money to help.”

For more on Schemmer’s story, or if you would like to donate, go here

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