Cypress, CA
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Articles by Edna Ethington

America has a long and complicated history. However, what is proven time and time again is America’s ability to come together to fight against intolerance to create a better country and a better world. The Sept.

Past and present Board members of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) met on June 3 at the University of Phoenix in La Palma for their Annual Planning Retreat. The Board members spent the day suggesting ideas for activities and programs for the 2017-2018 year. Many interesting activities and programs have already been planned for 2017, and members hope that many people will participate.

The Local Scholarship Committee of the La Palma-Cerritos American Association of University Women (AAUW) held its Twenty-Third Annual Recognition and Awards Program and Brunch at the Cerritos College Board Room on Saturday, April 2. The AAUW Branch proudly presents AAUW scholarships and recognition awards to women students at Cerritos College each spring semester during Women’s History Month in March or in early April. Faculty and staff members of Cerritos College were invited to nominate women students for these awards.

Nearly 200 St. Irenaeus Church parishioners joined members of the Food Bank on St. Irenaeus Church grounds called H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday) to celebrate H.O.P.E.’s 26th Annual Dinner, Silent Auction, and Opportunity Drawing Fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Knott’s Berry Farm Resort and Hotel. H.O.P.E. volunteers hope that funds raised from the event will enable them to purchase enough food from Second Harvest to fill some of the Christmas baskets that they plan to fill and distribute on Saturday, Dec.19. H.O.P.E.

Three women professors from Cerritos College came to the Oct. 15 meeting of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at Cerritos Park East. The professors came to discuss their experiences with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs in their own lives and at Cerritos College. The three professors were STEM Division Biology professors Dr. Scottie Henderson, Ph.D. in zoology, and Michelle Stieber, Ph.D. in biology, and Janet McLarty-Schroeder, physics, astronomy and astrobiology professor.

About 35 members, spouses and guests of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) gathered at Cerritos Park East on Sunday, Aug. 16, to enjoy their annual summer barbeque.  With temperatures in the high 90’s to 100 degrees, they were glad to be protected by the overhead shelter and cooled by occasional breezes.  In spite of the heat, everyone enjoyed the barbecued chicken, salads, and desserts that members provided along with lots of cold drinks.

Members of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) learned about how ZOE works to stop Human Trafficking in Thailand and in Los Angeles County at their Jan. 15 meeting at the Cerritos Library.  Guest speaker Vickie McCoy, general manager of Aftercare-Los Angeles for ZOE International, explained that “ZOE” is a Greek word for “Life,” and ZOE Children’s Homes exists to end the human trafficking of children globally and give them a chance for a new life.

Health ministry members of St. Irenaeus Church in Cypress started working on their Annual Giving Tree Community Outreach Project early in November. The project depended on the assistance of many people to successfully share the Christmas Spirit with others.

The Health ministry purchased 400 large brown paper bags and enlisted the help of the students, teachers and staff members of St. Irenaeus School to decorate them festively as gift bags.

The students decorated the bags artistically with a variety of Christmas decorations and drawings.

A  person celebrating a birthday often receives gifts on his or her birthday, but Mary Jo Velasco of La Palma had a unique celebration of her birthday on Sept. 20.  She and her husband, Roberto aka “Bert,” hosted a fundraising luncheon for the Food Bank H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Every Day) at the backyard patio area of her home.  H.O.P.E. is the all- volunteer non-profit organization that is responsible for the area food bank within the confines of St. Irenaeus Church in Cypress.

Approximately 200 St. Irenaeus parishioners came to the Anointing of the Sick Mass on Saturday, Sept. 13 at St. Irenaeus Church.   Those who were ill received the Holy Eucharist during Mass and were blessed and anointed with the Oil of the Sick.  The Oil of the Sick was blessed during Holy Week and is used throughout the year to help heal people in mind, body and spirit.