Student veterans get their first Military Ball

NORWALK - Sponsored by the Associated Students of Cerritos College, the College held its first ever Military Ball on Friday, April 13. Over 200 student veterans and their guests enjoyed the black tie evening filled with good food, music, dance and wonderful company.The ASCC was looking for ways to recognize those who serve/served and sacrificed in the name of freedom on campus. The idea was presented to the Student Veterans Club, which then partnered with the ASCC to make the event happen. The evening began with the presentation of the Color Guard. Attendees then enjoyed BBQ ribs, which was the food of choice by the student veterans. In attendance were Dr. Stephen Johnson, vice president/assistant superintendent of Student Services, Board President Bob Arthur, Board Secretary Dr. Bob Hughlett, Board Member Jean McHatton and City of Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards. Karla Leyva, past president of the Student Veterans Club, who transferred to USC majoring in accounting, spoke about what it takes to be a student veteran and how her life has changed after serving the country and returning to school. Another keynote speaker Charles Sooter, former Marine Captain who served as Infantry Platoon Commander in Vietnam, shared his thoughts on three steps veterans can take to advance themselves. Student Veterans Club honored individuals who went above and beyond in assisting student veterans with special awards. Outstanding Service Award was received by: Nancy Montgomery - Student Health Services, Cerritos College Theresa Torres - Admissions, Records and Services, Cerritos College Recognition and Thanks Plaque: Lucinda Aborn - DSPS, Cerritos College Delfina Bernabe - Admissions, Records and Services, Cerritos College John Castillo - AMVET certifying official Erik Duane - Information Technology, Cerritos College Eric Garcia - Counseling, Cerritos College Aaron Huffman - VA outreach from VA satellite office Matt Lorscheider - VRC facilitator, Cerritos College Ray Lovell - DSPS, Cerritos College Dorothy Owen - Veteran and committee member for Military Ball Vangie Reichwein - Science, Engineering and Math, Cerritos College Elizabeth Rodriguez - Student Health Services, Cerritos College Tom Tislow - Veteran and committee member for Military Ball Both Dorothy and Tom are community members that give tremendous support to the Cerritos College student veterans and help them in any way they can. They dedicated their time and knowledge to making a successful event. Following that a cake-cutting ceremony was presented. The oldest veteran Tom Tislow cut the cake with military sword and passed a slice of cake on to the youngest veteran Omar Botello. This ceremony signifies the passing of experience and knowledge from the old to the young. Also at the event, Marie Martinelli from Student Insurance presented the Bill Hooper Memorial Scholarship to Lance Manikano, Cerritos College student veteran and the newly elected ASCC president. Marie created "Bill Hooper Memorial Scholarship" in honor of her late husband and Founder/President of Student Insurance Bill Hooper as he was a WWII and Korean War veteran. Marie donated a scholarship award of $250 for a student veteran chosen by the Student Veterans Club. Following the ceremonial part of the evening, the Swing Dolls performed oldies from 40's and 50's and a DJ played music to dance the evening. "The event was wonderful and very honoring of veterans," said Nancy Montgomery. The event will move to November near Veterans Day and will be held annually.

********** Published: May 03, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 03