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Swimming in pennies

• Rosedell students raise money for LARC Ranch pool

Posted: May 29, 2008 12:48 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Students at Rosedell Elementary School in Saugus wrapped up a monthlong community service project Wednesday by making posters and decorating megaphones and water bottle holders for the residents of LARC Ranch.

A group home for mentally retarded adults, the Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Ranch offers job opportunities for its residents as well as recreational activities like Special Olympics.

The Rosedell students have been collecting recreational items like fanny packs, sun visors, board games and sports equipment all month to donate to the ranch. Each classroom also had a jar for pennies to be donated for the repair of the LARC Ranch swimming pool, which was damaged in a brush fire last October.

"The whole focus was to raise money for the pool," said Elizabeth Makous, PTA community service coordinator. "So all of today's activities are focused on making things for (the LARC Ranch residents') sports and Special Olympics that they enjoy so much."

LARC Ranch resident Mario Hidalgo, 29, sat at a table behind the school Wednesday counting pennies and placing them into rolls with the students.

"We had a brush fire, and it damaged our building and our pool," Hidalgo said. "It was a scary experience. I've never seen a fire that crazy, but God was with us."

Hidalgo is a global messenger for Special Olympics and a member of the Santa Clarita Shark's bocce ball team. His team has been selected to compete in the Long Beach summer games in June, and Hidalgo said he might take some of the posters that the kids were making to Long Beach.

"I thank the kids for making these. They did such a good job," he said.

While other students decorated megaphones and water bottle holders, third grader Isabella Deleon made a poster for the Sharks.

"We're making posters to support their team," Isabella said. "I wrote ‘Go, Sharks,' and I'm gonna draw a shark."

Isabella got some help from her friend and classmate Samantha Longtin.

"I'm going to draw Rosie the Roadrunner (the school's mascot), and I'm going to write ‘Go, Sharks,'" Samantha said. "It's fun, and we're just happy to do it."


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