PHS garners thousands for students battling cancer
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 17, 2013 | 1732 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Volunteers prepare the drive thru service items at Patterson High School on Thursday evening, Dec. 12.---Photo by Tarah High
Volunteers prepare the drive thru service items at Patterson High School on Thursday evening, Dec. 12.---Photo by Tarah High
Though the battle against cancer rages on for local PHS students Seth Fairchild and Samantha Calvert, Patterson High School continues to show their support for the local youths after hosting their first and only TACKLE Cancer Chicken Barbecue on Thursday, Dec. 12.

According to PHS instructor Tony Lomeli, the barbecue was a huge success, prompting many community members to purchase nearly 500 dinners that evening.

“After expenses, we were able to raise over $4,900, which all went to the families of Samantha Calvert and Seth Fairchild as they continue their fight against cancer,” said Lomeli. “I am truly amazed of what the students, staff and community members are capable of here in Patterson.”

Students and staff, as well as a large pack of community volunteers successfully made the evening a night to remember as hundreds congregated to the newly renovated school grounds to create a drive thru for easy access and swift service.

Emails poured in from teachers, staff and even volunteers, each thanking Lomeli for his support and commending the school’s efforts. The initiative not only sparked communal dependency, but also incorporated support other school districts.

The administrative secretary to the superintendent of Escalon Unified School District and Patterson resident, Connie Sommerville sent her regards to PHS, stating in an email to Lomeli, “PHS students are fortunate to have leaders that care and take action.”

Despite the well wishes, Lomeli regards the community as being completely responsible for the event’s success.

“This event would not have been possible without the generosity of so many, but especially Darrell Foster, who donated the chicken and rolls for this event, and also the Gridiron club (Rudy Aguilar), Patterson FFA, Patterson ASB, and Carol and Steve Olson for getting us started,” said Lomeli. “We had so many other people who were instrumental in this fundraiser and I and the families of the children we are supporting are truly grateful for all their hard work and time.”

Lomeli also extended a hearty thanks to Benito Granillo, a Patterson High School alum for his volunteering efforts, despite battling cancer himself.

“(Granillo) is an inspiration for all of our students at Patterson High School of what a fighter is all about. I want him to know that the Patterson High family has him and his family in our thoughts and prayers as he continues his fight.”

Food donations were provided by various organizations, clubs and individuals, including Foster and Aguilar, who supplied the chicken and rolls; Carol and Steve Olson, who provided the beans; Season Lozano and Patterson ASB, for supplying the salads, plating and cookies; and the Patterson Joint Unified School District’s cafeteria, which utilized their utensils and napkins for the event.

The cooks included Dave Sarasqueta, Mark Sarasqueta, Aguilar, Bobby Yamamoto, Mark Kuhn, and various other supporters.

Large donations were also granted by Bruce Thompson of Thompson Chevrolet, George Gonzalez of Sounds 'N Motion, Jim Frunz and Yamamoto Farms—although each donation, whether in time or finances, contributed to the barbecue’s success.

Overall, the communal effort sparked a night of commemoration, dependency and goodwill, which was shared by over a thousand volunteers, ticket purchasers and PHS staff members.

Contact the Patterson Irrigator at 892-6187 or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet

We encourage your online comments in this public forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a forum for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Readers may report such inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at