Local Hanukkah events offer young families an intro to tradition

Marcia Lepler/Special to the Town Crier
Young families will gather at Congregation Kol Emeth Sunday to light candles and learn songs for Hanukkah.

Candles were lit across Los Altos Tuesday night for the first evening of Hanukkah.

Some residents draw on generations of remembered tradition as they bring out their hanukiyot and stud them with candles, but others are starting fresh as they learn or invent personal traditions to fit their changing families.

This race is no turkey

Photos Courtesy of Corrine Palacios
Five-year-old Liesl Nelson, with her stuffed-animal goat, races in the Spartan Turkey Trot’s 60-yard dash on Thanksgiving morning at Mountain View High.

Record attendance at this year’s Spartan Turkey Trot led to record revenue, which means more money for Mountain View High athletics.

Organizer Corrine Palacios said 1,352 people registered for the eighth annual event, held Thanksgiving morning at the school and on surrounding streets. That brought in $34,555 in registration fees, she noted. Add $585 in donations and $1,000 in sponsorships, and the turkey trot generated a record $36,140 in gross revenue, according to Palacios. The net proceeds will go to the Mountain View High Sports Boosters, earmarked for team equipment and field/facility improvements.

Los Altos music teacher Sherman makes album for kids and with kids

Courtesy of Kathy Sherman
Kathy Sherman, a longtime music teacher and musician from Los Altos, performs for a class. Sherman’s new album, “Let’s Sing,” features 16 kids as background singers.

The latest album by local music teacher and multi-instrumentalist Kathy Sherman isn’t just for kids – it features some of them as background singers as well.

“I have kids singing on it that I have been teaching for many years, and my hopes are that when a child listens to this album and hears the kids, they will be able to imagine themselves on there someday,” the Los Altos resident said.

Santa Rita student's fundraiser continues quest to save elephants

Courtesy of Shaye Chirotarrab
Uma Chirotarrab and friends fundraise for elephants last year on Main Street. Uma will be in the same spot today.

For the third year in a row, Uma Chirotarrab won’t be spending the day before Thanksgiving shopping or preparing for a family feast. Instead, she’ll be at her usual post for the day: on Main Street collecting funds for the Tusk Foundation, which protects elephants in Africa.

“I’ve always loved elephants,” said Uma, a sixth-grader at Santa Rita School. “So when I found out they were endangered, I really wanted to help.”

MVHS marching band completes award-winning season

Photo Courtesy of Mountain View High School Spartan Marching Band
Mountain View High’s Spartan Marching Band and Color Guard recently wrapped up a stellar season. Color guard member Pratha Amin expresses the music through movement.

The Mountain View High School Spartan Marching Band and Color Guard recently wrapped up its competition season, bringing home multiple awards for its 2017 field show, “Divinity: The Music of Final Fantasy.”

The band kicked off the season Oct. 7 with its annual “Community Thank You” show. The event included performances by the marching bands from Mountain View, Los Altos, St. Francis and Santa Clara highs.

Quidditch takes off at Santa Rita

Courtesy of Pearl Garvin
A Santa Rita student speeds down the pitch – quaffle and broom in hand – to make a goal while beaters take aim with bludgers to try and stop him. Mountain View’s quidditch team, the Silicon Valley Skrewts, taught students to play the Harry Potter-inspired game Oct. 26.

Mountain View’s Silicon Valley Skrewts quidditch team – a sport inspired by the Harry Potter books – visited Santa Rita School last week to lead a lunchtime scrimmage in which every grade could participate.

“Traditionally, the fourth- through sixth-grade students play quidditch for PE class every year around Halloween time,” said Pearl Garvin, the PE teacher at Santa Rita.

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