Organizing school functions is not an easy task, especially in the midst of a pandemic that has left many schools financially strapped to stage events because of families not always able to help and students not having enough time and resources to conduct a fundraiser.
Desert View High School wanted to return to honoring its football seniors this year with an awards banquet after a two-year break because of COVID-19. At first, the school did not have enough funds to manage the event.
“This is where we would highlight our senior class, and recognize those students who received awards based on curriculum and athletics,” Desert View counselor Christine Tellez mentioned. “Typically, during junior year, and especially prom, the students would fundraise to gather funds for the senior banquet.
“Unfortunately, covid prevented the students from fundraising last year as the majority of the school year was held virtually. We were about to cancel the event.”
That’s when Tellez and Desert View reached out to the community for support.
Tellez contacted Cody Ritchie, owner of Crest Insurance, for a donation. Ritchie has long been an advocate of community development through sports. His philanthropy has been significant toward that development.
Ritchie and his wife Patsy, a Sunnyside High School graduate, made headlines last August for making a donation of $1 million to Arizona toward the Wildcat Scholarship Fund and enhancements for the football, men’s golf and women’s golf programs.
Half of the gift went toward the Wildcat Scholarship Fund, which helps provide room, board, books, fees and meals for Arizona student-athletes.
Crest Insurance provided financial support to Desert View and also contacted the Tucson Conquistadors to make a contribution.
“I spoke to them (the Conquistadors) about our event and how Crest Insurance was willing to donate and they decided to also donate to Desert View High School,” Tellez stated. “Without these two amazing organizations, our seniors and their families would not have had the opportunity to recognize their academic and athletic achievements. We are so grateful for their generosity.”
The banquet was staged as planned on Thursday in Desert View’s gymnasium.
“Mr. Ritchie is such an amazing person and we will be forever grateful for his contribution to our Senior Night,” Tellez mentioned. “We have many football players who are going on to continue their athletics at various colleges around the country, and this was a great way for them to be recognized for their amazing accomplishments this season.
“Also, we know how much the Conquistadors value athletics and Desert View is also thankful for their involvement in this event.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.