Catholics in Action to volunteer with senior citizens


During the holiday season, traditions include giving and receiving presents as well as gathering with family. Still, there are some people who don’t have the opportunity to be parts of these traditions.

Members of Catholics in Action (CIA) go to retirement homes every year to volunteer with senior citizens as old as 100. They usually sing to the elders and listen to some stories the elders have to tell. This year’s first visit will be Dec. 28 at Covenant Village.

President of CIA Monica Molina said the people in the retirement homes usually don’t get chances to tell stories from the past,but when CIA went last year, a 100-year-old woman got a chance to tell stories about her childhood adventures.

“We chose retirement homes because we think elders are the ones who need the most love since it’s not shown to them by others and you can see it in their eyes that they are very thankful for the attention,” she said.

Molina said her favorite part of going to the retirement homes is when the elderly receive the visits and listen to them singing with a genuine smile.

“Sometimes love is given to the wrong people, but this love is given to the people who really deserve it,” she said.

CIA member freshman Daniella Martinez said she is looking forward to this experience because she has heard that after leaving the retirement home members feel so accomplished that they did something good.

“This is the first time I’m going to go since I am new to the club, and I can’t wait to experience it,” she said.

CIA sponsor Selma Benitez said she accepted when the CIA officers asked her to be the club adviser because the officers are all such hard workers.

“The members of the club and the officers really want to make a difference,” she said. “The elders we visit at the retirement homes have really changed some lives of some kids and I’m so proud of the work and effort everyone puts into this club in trying to help others and making them happy.”

Mrs. Benitez said the officers feel accomplished when they go on trips, and she said she couldn’t be more proud of all of them. She also said she loves going on the trips and seeing the happiness happen right in front of her eyes.

“You can feel the joy and the happiness spreading all over the room,” Mrs. Benitez said.

Martinez said the older members of the club talk about visits to the retirement homes during the whole school year, and she loves listening to everything they have to say about it.

“The way that the other members of the club talk about their past experiences makes it seem a little magical,” she said.

Just like the elders tell their stories about the past, Mrs. Benitez said she has one to tell after her visit one year.

“One year when we went to the retirement homes, we met a woman who was 100 years old, and she told us amazing stories about her childhood, and it was so fascinating. It was an unforgettable experience,” Mrs. Benitez said.

Molina said going to the retirement home was her favorite activity the club does the whole year.

“It’s something not every club does, and I’m so proud all the officers and Mrs. Benitez make it happen because I truly believe it’s something life changing,” Molina said.


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Harry Potter Club to host movie night fundraiser


The Harry Potter Club is teaming up with the international organization called the Harry Potter Alliance on Jan. 9 for a screening of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the auditorium.Harry Potter ClubTickets to the event will be sold during that week during all lunches for $3 and at the door for $5.

“We originally had another event scheduled for November,” said club president Samantha Orlando. “It was a cosplay contest, but we had to cancel that because there weren’t enough participants.”

Instead of the costume contest, the club decided to show a screening of the first Harry Potter film. The Harry Potter Alliance is dedicated to promoting human rights through the power of J.K. Rowling’s powerful story. The club’s goal is to raise money through efforts by donating books to schools without any resources and getting companies to stop child labor.

“We’re an official chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, and we’re invested in their core values and mission,” said Orlando, a senior. “We wanted to do an event for a charity, so we picked the Harry Potter Alliance.”

All funds will go toward the Alliance.

With every ticket bought, four raffle tickets will be given out for a raffle that will take place before the movie, and more tickets can be bought for $1. There will be four pieces of Harry Potter raffled off.

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Literary Club creates music video for contest


Joyce Seigel’s first period Creative Writing class worked hard to create their own music video with lyrics written by the students in the class to enter the “Classroom Refresh” contest. This contest requires a class-created video in the format of a music video that is either an original song or a parody that demonstrates or envisions the use of technology in the classroom.

The first period class won a $100 gift card for being the first school to enter the contest.

Senior Madison Schwartz looked over the lyrics, which were written to the tune of the song “If I Fell” by The Beatles, and she danced with a laptop for the video. The students wrote all of the lyrics and made their own music while playing the guitar.

“Making the video was very fun and humorous,” Schwartz said.

The class was pleased with the outcome of the video even though they were not voted as finalists.

“We worked hard to write the lyrics and put together the video,” Mrs. Seigel said.

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Tri-M Honor society holds induction ceremony


The Modern Music Masters (Tri-M) Music Honor society held its induction ceremony to welcome new members into the organization Oct. 20.

Nearly 80 students were selected based on their qualities of leadership, intelligence, musical abilities, creativity and character. They were required to fill out an application that was due Sept. 19 and they are required to be in some sort of music class at the Bay.

President Sarah Rothbard, a junior, said the ceremony went well. Almost all of the members attended.

“The new members enjoyed claiming their certificates on stage” Rothbard said. “Parents came and it was just really nice to have everyone together to welcome the new members to the club.”

There were also performances by members who were already in the club. Junior Sabrina Kim and sophomore Alice Lopes performed a piece on the flute. Senior Elizabeth Schwarts sang “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera.” Senior Tony Li and sophomore Emily Schlorf sang and played guitar, while Jose Veliz played a solo on the piano.

“I really enjoyed performing for the audience,” Kim said. “It was nice to have people see everything I’ve been working so hard on.”

Rothbard said everyone seemed to enjoy the performances.

“It was great because the audience got to see a little bit of what this club is all about, and they got to see some of the talent of our current members,” Rothbard said.

There was a dessert reception at the end of the ceremony for all of the members and their parents.

Tri-M also held a meeting Oct. 23.

“We knew it was the end of the quarter, but there were some announcements we needed to make and we had some fun activities planned out,” Rothbard said.

The point system for the club was discussed at the meeting. Each performer earned two points. Each member needs to earn 12 points per year, and seniors need to earn 15 if they want an honor cord to wear at graduation.

Students can earn these points by going to the meetings and events, helping set up, performing, and being an active member. Those who performed at the induction ceremony earned two points each.

The meeting also included some “fun” activities being that it was the last day of the quarter. Members got to participate in a scavenger hunt and in a song game.

“We thought it would be a good ice breaker to pair the members with someone they didn’t know so they could open up show their creative sides,” Rothbard said. “Everyone in the club got to bond, and some members even became close friends with people who they didn’t even know before the meeting.”

Tri M began Falcon Cove tutoring Thursday, Nov. 7 after school. Members will go to the middle school and help students with their instruments and get set up for all-county competitions. Members will get one point for every time they go to tutor.

“If it’s successful we’re going to be tutoring every single Thursday of the year,” Rothbard said.


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UNICEF members fundraise on Halloween


Instead of receiving candy on Halloween, members of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) club donated money to Third World countries. The program, Trick or Treat for UNICEF, has been around since 1950. Matt Ulino10th grade unicef member

The Cypress Bay club has collected $200 and expects to receive over $650 by mid-November.

“It was a success because we had over 100 participants, and we expect students to keep bringing in more money,” UNICEF sponsor Rosalia Sachs said.

UNICEF president Hannah Levinson helped work on the fundraiser.

“This is the first year we are doing Trick or Treat for UNICEF, and we decided to do it because it is one of the biggest fundraisers that UNICEF does,” said Levinson, a junior.

Each member of the club takes little boxes and asks for donations to the UNICEF organization while trick-or-treating on Halloween.

“It is really important because all of this money goes to this organization which helps most children in these Third World countries get nutrition, education and water pumps,” Levinson said.

Mrs. Sachs said she fully supports this fundraising idea because these areas need the support.

“I like sponsoring this wonderful organization because in this time and age so many bad things are going on in the world, and we need to help,” Mrs. Sachs said.

UNICEF historian Monique Issa, a junior, said she was participating in the Halloween fundraiser because it is another opportunity to help out her community. Issa first joined the club as a freshman because she wanted a way to give back.

“It feels good to know that we are supporting and raising money for such a great cause: to help people all around the world. I wanted to volunteer my time and make a difference, and I knew UNICEF strives to help people,” Issa said.

Secretary Bernie Neuman said the goal was to raise as much money as possible.

“It feels great to be able to raise more money for the club and get the whole community involved in helping UNICEF,” Neuman said.

Neuman hopes to have an influence on one particular country especially in Venezuela because he visited there.

“I wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives because I saw what was happening in Venezuela, and I saw the kids that lived in poverty and want to do anything I can to help them,” he said.


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JROTC members visit FAU for scholarship opportunity


JROTC sent 12 seniors to Florida Atlantic University on Nov. 1 for a chance to win scholarships for free tuition for four years of college.

Instructor Sgt. Major Jorge Cruz and the group took a tour of the Boca Raton school and attended a football game.

The winners were announced in a raffle at halftime. However, no one from Cypress won a scholarship. Sgt. Major Cruz said the event was still a great opportunity for the students to take a look at the university.

“The students who went were eligible for free tuition for all four years,” he said. “It’s a huge honor because it gives the parents a weight off their backs because they don’t have to pay anything if they win.”

Senior Whitney Gunderman said even after viewing FAU, she still wants to look at other schools.

“I may look at other options,” she said. “I wanted to get out of Florida, but the scholarship would’ve made my decision even harder.”

Gunderman said no matter what, she wants to pursue a military career after high school.

“I want to go to West Point Military Academy. Or if I don’t go there, I want to join ROTC at the university I decide to go to,” she said.

Although none of the students got a scholarship, Sgt. Major Cruz said he is hopeful for his students’ futures after high school.

“I’m glad that they had the opportunity to look at a wonderful university and see what exciting new things lay ahead of them,” he said.

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Photography Club fundraises for supplies


The annual Photo “Phun” Night fundraiser hosted by the Photography Club on Oct. 22 aimed to educate students about photography-related activities and raised $270 to pay for future supplies. IMG_0742

“The whole point of the event is to get people aware of the club and photography. We want to keep expanding it and getting people into the community,” senior and club president Beatriz Gasparetto said.

Photography class teacher Elizabeth Jenkins said the event was very successful and about 30 people showed up.

“The money ends up going to the photography classes because even though we charge dues, the money does not cover all our materials because photos are expensive,” Mrs. Jenkins said.

The night was promoted through social networks so the information was accessible to all students interested, and it featured activities such as a visit to the darkroom, a Photoshop activity, how to edit pictures with an iPhone and photo booths.

“We promoted by handing out flyers throughout school and to all the art and photography classes,” Gasparetto said. “We also have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where followers could see the announced event.”

This event has been going on for two years and the officers said they hope that it will continue throughout the years. Senior Esther Song, one of the vice presidents for the club, said that compared to last year, the event had improved because more people were participating.

“It seemed that people were interacting more with each other and had more fun due to the photo booths,” she said.

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Book Club to host book drive


The Book Club will have a book drive in conjunction with the Harry Potter Club to benefit organizations around South Florida such as Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. The project will take place Dec. 1-12.

“It’s a nice thing to give the gift of reading to people who might not have as much opportunity,” book club sponsor Jeanne Kielbasa said.

Ms. Kielbasa said she is all for this project and is very excited to see the outcome of the club’s first event.

“Reading is not just looking at words on a page. The act of reading can really relate to others by teaching lessons or giving new insights on life. Some people might just find entertainment in reading,” Ms. Kielbasa said.

Ms. Kielbasa said the book club formed last year and she believes it can contribute in a big way to students, which was the main reason she became a sponsor.

“Book Club adds an appreciation and love of reading to the school, especially when students are able to discuss and share ideas about book topics while being in a classroom setting with their peers,” Ms. Kielbasa said.

Junior Rachel Gordon, the club’s president, leads the decisions in coming up with the activities and events, such as the book drive.

“The main idea of the project is to bring the gift of reading to others who can benefit from books,” she said.

Gordon first started the club in her sophomore year to create a place where she is able be able to discuss the different aspects of books with people who also share the same interest.

“It’s fun to read and great to come together and discuss books with friends and peers. I used to not be able to do that very often but when I started the club it opened up a brand new opportunity for all students,” she said.

So far book club has about 20 to 25 members. Ms. Kielbasa said she hopes there will be more members this year to participate in reading and help out with the book drive and other events.

“It would be great to get more members this year to spread the idea of reading by telling others about the drive,” Ms. Kielbasa said.

Meetings are once a month on Fridays right after school in room 855. Anyone can join and there are no dues.

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Harry Potter club plans to have cosplay contest


The Harry Potter Fandom Club has events planned for members to look forward to this year, including contests and movie screenings. The club has meetings every Thursday in room 833 from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and anyone can join anytime during the year. The club held its first meeting on Sept. 4.

“We do trivia and discussions about all the books and characters and we also talk about different fandoms that we’re interested in like ‘Dr. Who’ and ‘Sherlock’,” club president Sami Orlando said.

The club is having a cosplay contest soon, which is a competition between people who dress up as characters from a book, movie, or video game. It is available for anyone in Broward County. They are also having a movie screening of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Jan. 9.

“I’m really looking forward to the cosplay contest because I’m excited to see what everyone brings and what characters people will be,” Orlando said.


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UNICEF Club has big fundraising year


The United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) club has raised about $7,000 after a year of fundraising for the organization. Compared to last year, when the club raised $4,000, club sponsor Rosalia Sachs said she is floored with the results.

“I’m extremely proud of all the students and all the members,” Ms. Sachs said. “The $7,000 is by selling everything for $1 per unit. For me, I think it’s incredible. It’s an amazing chance and increase from last year.”

unicef2013Currently, the club has over $6,500 in its account and the officers are still waiting for club members to turn in money before sending the money to UNICEF.

“Seniors have a service project that they need to do for them to be able to receive the cord, and it’s to go out to the community and talk to businesses in Weston and they request donations and the donations go straight to UNICEF,” Ms. Sachs said. “We’re still waiting for seniors’ fundraising to come in, so we will have $7,000 and a little bit more.”

Each chapter of the UNICEF organization collects money for a specific cause organized by regions of the United States. This section of the country collects for the purchase and installation of water pumps in third world countries, Ms. Sachs said.

“This section of the United States goes for water. They will buy pumps, and each pump is $500,” Ms. Sachs said. “One pump of water will feed a village, like a street, ‘12 little huts.’ The installation and the pump is $500. That’s where most of the money from this area of the United States goes for. It also goes for food, mosquito nets, vaccinations, etc.”

Club vice president Hannah Levinson said she was also impressed with the amount of money UNICEF has raised.

“It’s such a great accomplishment that we could almost double the amount of money we made last year, and this is such a new club and that we can raise so much money,” said Levinson, a sophomore.

Through the use of bake sales that occur every Thursday under the catwalk and snack/pretzel fundraisers, the group was able to collect money for the cause. Ms. Sachs said the club’s size also greatly contributed to the charity.

“We have over 250 members and every fundraiser at least 185-190 of them work for the cause,” she said. “It’s a big effort.”

Donations director Rona Wang said both local businesses and club members were offered an incentive if they donated money to the club.

“We’ve done a couple of fundraisers and we told juniors and especially seniors, because they need to get the cord, that if they get businesses to donate or if they personally donate X amount of money, they will get X amount of service hours,” said Wang, a sophomore. “If their parents were doing a business or if they asked a business, if they donated $250, they would get advertising space on the back of next year’s shirt.”

Although Ms. Sachs said she is elated UNICEF has raised so much money, she is already starting to think about next year’s goal.

“Now the only problem that we have is we don’t know what to do next year because if we close the year with $7,000, then how are we going to get $8,000 next year? We would love to hear opinions from the community to see what you want us to do in order for us to be successful again,” Ms. Sachs said. “Everything goes to them. We keep $100. Every year we start from scratch. That’s why it’s so stressful, because we need to raise everything again.”

Ms. Sachs said the main reason she sponsors the UNICEF club is because of the difference it can provide in people’s lives. She hopes members of the current club will continue to work with the organization in the future.

“I started sponsoring it last year and I was looking for a club that made a difference in the world,” Ms. Sachs said. “I’m from Puerto Rico. I’m from another country, and I wanted something that would make a mark and would teach the kids how to run a club and go to college and open a chapter there with an organization that is legitimate and will help them at the same time.”

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