Johnson makes kids’ day
Chicago White Sox pitcher and Los Altos High graduate Erik Johnson spoke to members of the local Bay Area Giants baseball club Dec. 13 at Rosita Park. He fielded questions before signing autographs for players. Johnson said it was a rewarding experience.
Ella earns assist
When club soccer player Ella McConnell heard from her coach that Mountain View Police were 1,000 stuffed animals short for this year’s Cops and Gobblers program, she jumped into action. The fourth-grader at Oak Avenue School asked friends, neighbors, relatives and even strangers to donate lightly used stuffed animals to the program, which distributes toys – and food baskets – to families in need. Ella, 9, collected her 1,000th stuffed animal only a few hours before the deadline and delivered them to the police station on behalf of her MVLA Barcelona team. Volunteers packed and delivered the baskets of canned food and stuffed animals just before Thanksgiving.
Running for a cause
Mountain View High’s fourth annual Spartan Turkey Trot was the biggest yet, nearly doubling the number of participants and funds raised in any of the previous years. Held Thanksgiving morning, it drew 860 runners and walkers, according to organizers, and generated more than $14,000 for the school’s athletics program. Approximately 80 volunteers – including students, parents, teachers and other community members – worked the event. The trot comprised four races, including fun runs for kids. The top-three finishers in the men’s 5K were Ben Mears, Zheng Tian and Kyle Bystrom.