St. Simon students rock for a good cause

Courtesy of Mike Abbott
St. Simon Principal Ryan Roth dresses as Elvis Presley April 27 to celebrate the school’s Rock-a-Thon fundraiser with students.

St. Simon Parish School raised nearly $50,000 for tuition support at a Rock-a-Thon event April 27.

The Rock-a-Thon included more than walking and running laps. Students played turf games and competed in various art projects on the school’s Los Altos campus. A DJ put the “rock” in the event, providing a motivational soundtrack for the day.

Dubbed a “FUNdraising” event by co-chairwomen Kerry Loftus and Angela Brennan, the event represents the school’s largest annual appeal. With a focus on teaching students that they have a responsibility to help those in need, the school participates monthly in food drives, prepares and serves homeless lunches and hosts Halloween and Christmas parties, supporting people in need in Santa Clara County. However, the Rock-a-Thon is the single fundraiser aimed at tuition support.

The event raises money for the St. Simon Parish Endowment Fund for Tuition Assistance, which enables families to afford the academic and Catholic experience at the school, according to Principal Ryan Roth.

Students in grades K-8 were organized into four multi-grade teams, with students working together to earn points. Eighth-graders were paired with their first-grade buddies, and seventh-graders partnered with kindergartners.

“We’ve had fun getting ready for this event for weeks,” student Jack Frida said. “Mr. Roth even came to school dressed as a member of the band KISS! And at our spirit rally, our teachers formed a band and played AC/DC and other songs.”

“With a rock ’n’ roll theme, we were able to have a lot of fun incorporating music into the lead up,” said communications coordinator Rachel Haydon.

Loftus said not having a track on the campus required organizers to get creative.

“While there isn’t a single space on campus for our 466 students to participate in the same activity at once, all involved felt part of a shared cause – while having a great time,” she said.

Once done with their competition, the campus turned into a community meeting place as parents ended their volunteer shifts and all joined in for an evening barbecue.

Roth noted that an anonymous member of the parish community provided matching funds, making this year’s event “particularly meaningful” for the school’s ability to offer financial support.

“I am incredibly proud of our students and humbled by the generosity of our community,” he said.

For more information on St. Simon, visit

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