Best Buddies hosts annual match party


Best Buddies hosted its annual match party on Sept. 28. More than 100 club members attended the meeting in order to be officially introduced to their peer buddies.

“This event is really important for the buddies, because it’s the beginning of a friendship,” Best Buddies President Amy Gallagher said. “They get to know their peer buddy and talk about what they want to do together this year.”

Although attendance is mandatory for peer buddies and buddies, associate buddies and members without a partner are also welcome to attend. For many students, this will be their first time sitting down and actually talking to the other members of the club.

“Many students at Cypress [Bay] think that the buddies are unapproachable,” Gallagher said, “In reality, they are just normal students who want to make new friends like anyone else.”

Vice President Emma Bartleman said peer buddies are expected to make the club and their buddy a priority both in school and out of school.

“While I can’t speak on behalf of all of the buddies in the club, I hope that it makes them feel more included and know that they have friends who really care about them,” Bartleman said.

Best Buddies tries to host events and parties that would have a great impact in the lives of the buddies. These events are usually not school related in order to allow their club members to wind down and have fun.

“Best Buddies was created to make all of the buddies feel included on a daily basis,” Gallagher said. “Joining the club teaches all the students the importance of inclusion and the power of friendship.”

Gallagher said the Best Buddies board wanted to make this event a fundraiser as well as a bonding event, but they decided to let their members enjoy it without having to pay.  Throughout the year, the club will host other events that will have a dual function; they will work as a fundraiser and as a bonding experience for the members.“We recently got a snow cone machine donated to us, and we thought about selling [snow cones] at the match party,” Gallagher said. “The match party won’t act as fundraiser but we have many more to come that definitely will.”

Best Buddies is one of the largest clubs at the Bay and continues to grow each year. As the first event of the year, the match party is one of the most important events that Best Buddies will host.

“The buddies are always excited for a new year in Best Buddies, because it means they get to make even more friends; students also really enjoy and benefit from these friendships,” Gallagher said. “Over the years, there have been some pairs that have been so successful that they are matched together for multiple years.”

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HOSA ice cream social attracts new members


The Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club hosted its annual ice cream social on Aug. 30 in the auditorium after school to recruit and inform new members about HOSA.

“[The ice cream social] is not only a great opportunity for students to join the club, but it’s also a good way to make new friends,” HOSA adviser Laura Clarke said.

At the social, board members taught students about the club’s priorities and different activities the club is involved in.

“Students can learn about the different committees they can sign up for and different events such as the Breast Cancer Pink Tee fundraiser and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk in November,” Mrs. Clarke said.

In addition to learning about the HOSA events, Vice President of Social Media Hope Brunner said that the ice cream social is a great way for students to familiarize themselves with the overall idea of HOSA, which is the education of medicine.

“The purpose of the ice cream social is for incoming members to get used to the medical field, which is what HOSA is all about,” Brunner said. “Students from the class and club could come and get an idea of what HOSA is truly like.”

The HOSA ice cream social is hosted to enlist new members and educate them about the club. Junior Brooke Bonkowski said the club did an excellent job of doing this.

“As a current member, I think the ice cream social is a great way to bring people together and get new students to join,” Bonkowski said. “The ice cream makes people want to come to the social because students are typically hungry after school.”

Bonkowski said that attending the social made her excited for another year in HOSA.

“The social really inspired me to continue participating in the club and engage myself in everything it does,” Bonkowski said.

Mrs. Clarke and current members of HOSA organized the social a week prior to the event. Students helped create a presentation for the event and arrange the social aspect of it.

Junior Alex Grao helped organize the presentation that included information about the different events HOSA is involved in as well as general information about the club.

“I think the presentation made a huge impact on the students,” Grao said. “After hearing all about HOSA through the slideshow, I really think it made people want to join.”

Students that have never been involved in HOSA were enticed to join after attending the social.

After attending the event, sophomore Barbara Farina became interested in involving herself with HOSA.

“The social was an event where everyone came together to enjoy ice cream and talk about HOSA,” Farina said. “It was all so interesting and really made me want to become a part of the club.”

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SHAPE donates books to less fortunate children


b91e1e3d-209e-49a5-9fc8-cf962a82606bStudents Helping Achieve Philanthropic Excellence (SHAPE) participated in a book drive to give Collins Elementary, an underprivileged elementary school, the opportunity to enrich the student’s academics. The club collected more than 1200 books, and 15 members went to donate the books on Feb. 25. In addition to donating the books, club members made bookmarks and read to students in Collins Elementary after-care program.

“The SHAPE Club’s mission is to focus their efforts and funding on education, specifically the needs of underprivileged primary school-aged children,” Julie Klitzner, adviser of SHAPE Club said. “Through research, the SHAPE Club connected with Collins Elementary, which fits this criteria.”

Vice President of Community Service, Alexa Luongo said she had a change of perspective on life after the experience of dropping the books off to the school.

“I realized many kids take things for granted and these kids at Collins Elementary have nothing,” Luongo said. “I was able to see everything first hand. Donating over 1,000 books to students who didn’t even have any books was such an amazing experience.”

Mrs. Klitzner said that both, teachers and students were grateful to receive the books for entertainment and academics.

“Teachers are able to have more books in their classrooms for reading assignments and enrichment activities,” Mrs. Klitzner said. “For instance, Collins is having Dr. Seuss week and we delivered a box of Dr. Seuss books. Teachers couldn’t grab them fast enough.”

Along with members of SHAPE Club, other classes were also encouraged to donate books. AP Art History teacher, Gretchen Marfisi, collected more than 200 books to help contribute to the drive.

“The AP Art History students took the time to look for their old books and to be part with their precious treasures.” Mrs. Marfisi said. “The young students were delighted to have the donated the Bay’s books.”

Based on the outcome of the drive, SHAPE Club plans on working to help other schools in need.

“It made us want to continue working with these kids because we can tell that they appreciate us and we enjoy giving back to them,” Luongo said.

At the end of the visit, they were allowed to pick a book to take home. These students also had the opportunity to take home additional books for their siblings.

“They were really happy to have such an assortment of books to choose from because they are all just starting to read,”Mrs. Klitzner said. “They treated the books like presents.”

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Wildlife Protection Club attends Gumbo Limbo to view rehabilitated animals

IMG_6321Seven members of the Wildlife Protection Club (WPC) went to the nature and rehabilitation center, Gumbo Limbo, in Boca Raton on Feb. 20 to observe how rehabilitation centers treat their animals.

“It was really cool to see the different types of tanks the animals live in, what their diets consist of and their interactions with other animals,” said club co-president Rachel Gutner.

Gutner said it was important for the club to go to Gumbo Limbo because it encouraged conservation efforts within the club by exposing members to nature centers.

“We want club members to experience as many nature centers as possible so that we spread knowledge and awareness about taking care of animals and the environment,” she said.

Senior Colton Murphree, a WPC member, said he was glad to see the volunteers at Gumbo Limbo help prepare the animals to go back into the wild after rehabilitation.

“It was my first time going and it was such a great experience to see all of the sea turtles, stingrays and different types of fish healing in a safe environment,” he said.

While at Gumbo Limbo, members saw how large the rehabilitation center was. Murphree said he didn’t realize how often animals need rehabilitation.

“I was shocked to see the amount of animals in the rehabilitation center,” he said. “I learned that most animals get injured from trash people leave all the time.”

Murphree said he will now be more cautious about littering and picking up litter he sees on the ground because of this experience.

“The last thing I want is to contribute to the injuries of the animals,” he said. “I want to do everything in my power to make sure less animals need rehabilitation from human caused injuries.”

WPC Vice President Camila Lim Hing said the animals were treated with love and care at the rehabilitation center.

“The volunteers were so passionate about helping the animals,” she said. “It’s great to see a place taking such pride in making sure animals get proper care after getting injured.”

Even though it was a far trip for WPC, Lim Hing said she would definitely want to go back to feed the fish and revisit the animals in rehabilitation.

“It was such a cool experience to see all of the different types of fish and get to feed them out of our hands,” she said.




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ASL hold Valentine’s Day social for members


American Sign Language (ASL) Club held its annual Valentine’s Day social filled with ice cream, games and activities, in portable 33 on Feb. 11. The 25 members of the club attended the social and received snacks along with further information on upcoming events.

“I feel like the club has really taken off this year. We have so many more members now,” senior Samantha Fanells said. “It’s nice to have a social like this because we really get to meet everyone and make more friends.”

During the social, ASL Club played Valentine’s Day-themed games such as having to balance candy hearts on a stick as they traveled to place their hearts in the cup. The team with the most Candy hearts in its cup won the game.

“This allows the members to bond and if they can bond and create friendships now it makes it so much more meaningful when they work together on other projects the club does,” ASL club sponsor Allison Coombs said.

After the games and ice cream, ASL officers talked about ways to get involved in the deaf community such as deaf community service and book readings.

“The best part of learning the language is getting practical experience,” ASL adviser Allison Coombs said. “Going out to deaf events gives students the opportunity to practice the language.”

Junior Sophia Hrassnigg, president of ASL, said this event was held because it is a fun way to show the club’s appreciation for its members along with informing them.

“The event was something the officers and I wanted to do,” Hrassnigg said.

“We wanted something fun for the members to show that they did work really hard.”

When members walked in, they were greeted with an ice cream bar set up with chocolate and vanilla. They could chose from toppings such as hot fudge, candy and whipped cream. Club member, freshman Madison Liebman said the desserts were appreciated and brought a fun atmosphere.

“I really like ice cream, so it was a lot of fun to be able to come and enjoy it with other club members.” Leibman said. We all had a great time eating and hanging out.”

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beach cleanup

Wildlife Protection Club attends beach cleaup


The Wildlife Protection Club (WPC) went to John U Lloyd Beach State Park on Jan. 16 for its second beach cleanup of the year and to spread awareness about the environment. Ten people attended the event, which was open to members and nonmembers.

“Cleaning up the beach was really rewarding because not only did we have fun at the beach, [but also] we were helping the environment,” said club president Hannah Gutner.

Gutner said it’s important to clean up beaches, because people litter without realizing how it affects the animals.

“People don’t realize how severely a small piece of plastic can harm an animal when they throw their trash on the ground,” she said.

Club sponsor Amy Lupu said turtles eat the trash people leave behind and choke and often times die.beach cleanup

“Going out and cleaning the beach sets the example for others to care for the environment as well,” Ms. Lupu said.

WPC Vice President Camila Lim Hing said she always attends beach cleanups because she is very passionate about being an active member of the community.

“This is not my first beach clean up, and I’ve participated in many other beach clean ups with other clubs not affiliated with WPC,” Lim Hing said. “Not to mention I take a trash bag and pick up any trash when I go to the beach on my own time.”

Unlike the last beach clean up, WPC hosted a barbecue after as a reward for cleaning up the beach and a bonding experience.

“The barbecue is something we have never done before, and it was a really fun way to get club members and nonmembers acquainted,” Gutner said.

Club member Caitlin Mirabella said this was her first beach cleanup, and it was an eye-opening experience to see all of the litter at the beach.

“The beach was mostly littered with plastic bottle caps, plastic bags and Styrofoam,“ she said. “I didn’t realize how poorly people treat nature, and I was shocked to realize how much trash was around me as I cleaned up.”

Mirabella said she is glad she attended because she had a great and memorable time with the club.

“Even though I couldn’t stay for the barbecue, I still had a lot of fun cleaning up the beach, and I can’t wait to attend the next one,” she said.

Like Mirabella, Club member Mason Eiss said he had a great time cleaning up the beach, the barbecue was his favorite part of the event.

“The barbecue was a great addition to the event because it provides delicious food, a great atmosphere to meet the members and a nice reward after cleaning the beach,” he said.

WPC plans on having another beach cleanup in March.

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Short story contest offers monetary prize to students


As the English Honor Society’s (EHS) annual short story contest began its 12th cycle, so did students creating short stories to the set theme. Several students had the opportunity to write a short story under the topic “I opened the door and out came…” with the chance of winning the first place prize of $100, the second place prize of $75 or the third place prize of $50.

“The purpose of the short story contest is to allow Cypress Bay students to showcase their talents in a competitive, yet friendly atmosphere,” EHS sponsor Cecilia Fonseca said. “At the same time, they are able to reap a monetary reward.”

EHS Vice President Jacob Wilentz came up with the theme. He said he chose this because he wanted the writer to continue the topic by filling in the blank with any idea he or she desired.

“In my creative writing class, we wrote a story around the theme, ‘I opened the box and out came…’” Wilentz said. “The topic was very successful and we saw a lot of great ideas. It will be cool to see people express themselves differently through the same sentence.”

Although EHS ran the contest, any student was eligible to enter.

“As much as I love EHS students entering the contest, I would love to see students outside of EHS enter as well,” Mrs. Fonseca said

Sophomore Rotimi Odewole, who is not a member of EHS, entered the contest because he enjoys creative writing.

“I’ve been writing since I was young because it’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” Odewole said. “I thought, why not give it a shot.”

Even though there was a cash prize, Odewole said he was not competing for the cash prize.

“I hope to win not only for the recognition but also for people to know that this is something I can do and something I am good at,” Odewole said.

EHS continues to host these writing contests, such as an upcoming poetry contest, to allow students to profess their love of writing.

“We encourage and want to see how one line can be interpreted in a million different ways,” Wilentz said. “Everyone in Cypress Bay can use that line in a different and unique way to make a really cool story.”

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Debate team shines at Sunvite tournament

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 2.27.01 PMBY MARISSA BABITZ

The debate team traveled to Nova Southeastern to compete against more than a thousand students from Jan. 8-10. Twenty-six competitors made it to the finals rounds and seven students placed in the top five in their respective categories.

“We had a fantastic time and brought a very young team to a national tournament, and everyone stepped up to the plate,” debate coach Jesus Caro said.

Mr. Caro said he was impressed by the success of the only two freshmen, Noah Rabinovitch in Impromptu Speaking and Ambreen Imran in Congressional Debate, to compete with the team at Sunvite since they had to go against varsity members in their events.

“There weren’t any novice rounds, so breaking to finals as freshmen sets them up for success in the rest of their debate careers.”

Rabinovitch said he learned a lot from watching other people at the tournament.

“People from different schools around the country have different speaking styles, so it was really beneficial to get the chance to watch them,” he said.

Rabinovitch said he plans to compete in Sunvite again next year in Impromptu and Oratory.

“I want to improve in Oratory the rest of the year and hopefully break next year when I compete,” he said.

Juniors Michael Valladares and Emily Wen won first place for their Duo Interpretation performance about homosexual abuse and discrimination.

“We started practicing about a month in advance and we acted out a scene portraying how love trumps hate.”

Although Wen competed at Sunvite last year, it was the first time for Valladares.

“It was nerve-racking because it’s a national tournament, but we practiced a lot, so we were pretty prepared,” Valladares said. “We both do theatre and drama, so we are comfortable performing in front of a crowd.”

Valladares said he enjoyed watching teams from other school because he got to learn about different debate styles while being entertained.

“Duo is different because it’s not confined to humor or drama, so it’s always interesting to watch,” he said.

Sophomore Hannah Kang broke to finals, winning four out of the six rounds in Lincoln Douglas debate. She said although it was her second time competing at Sunvite, this year was a completely different experience since she competed as a freshman last year. 

“This year I competed against sophomores, juniors, and seniors; so it was a lot more difficult.” she said. “Last year when I competed I was considered a novice, so I only competed against freshmen.”

Kang said even though it was difficult, she plans to compete again next year.

“I really like going to Sunvite because our team typically does really well, and I like meeting debaters from other teams,” she said. “Next year I want to strive to do even better and eventually try to win first place.”

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Photo Club holds ‘Photo Phun Night’ for students and parents


The Photo Club hosted its annual “Photo Phun Night” fundraiser on Nov. 18 in room 160 to raise money for art and photography supplies. More than 30 students and parents attended, and the club raised over $200.

“’Photo Phun Night’ is a great fundraiser because the club can raise money for art and photography supplies while teaching specialized techniques to attendants,” senior officer Angelica Herrera said.

Since October, members of Photo Club have been preparing for “Photo Phun Night”.

“To prepare we have to choose which stations would be the most interesting and easiest for new members,” said Elizabeth Jenkins, photo club adviser.

During the event, there was a photo booth set up where people could decide between having a space or beach background.

“I thought the photo booth was a great idea. It seemed like everyone put a lot of effort into it,” said Judy Inhofe, mother of junior Erin Inhofe.

In addition to the photo booth, the club set up Photoshop tutorials, transfer images, darkroom photography and mobile photography stations around the classroom to teach students.

“We decided which stations to set up because they were the most interesting and easiest activities for new members,” senior officer Jesus Rojas said.

Different officers of the club were at each station to demonstrate how each type of photography is used and to show participants how easily they can create their very own art.

“I love to see people’s faces when they see the pictures they have created” Rojas said.

Restaurants like La Toretta, Pei Wei and Starbucks donated food for the night for everyone to enjoy.  Each Photo Club event, officers ask for donations from restaurants in Weston; they typically get four to six sponsors per event.

“The food turned out wonderfully and we are very thankful for the generous donations from the restaurants,” Herrera said.

Ms. Jenkins said she is proud the event turned out very well.  She said she considers the night a success.

“The turn out for ‘Photo Phun Night’ was great, and I was very glad to see everyone having so much fun learning about photography,” Ms. Jenkins said.

The next Photo Club event is it’s photo expo, where the club members go to the Broward County Library and put up pictures they have taken. This will take place in March.

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Dance Club Ally Polner

New Dance Club helps build self-esteem


Dance Club Ally PolnerIn an effort to help build confidence and to teach members to become better dancers, freshmen co-presidents Jordan Pelegrin and Kim Orelus started Dance club.

“This club helps build self-esteem by showing people that if they have a desire to dance, they can fulfill that desire in Dance club,” Orelus said.

Members learn a new dance combination every meeting. It also focuses on community service projects such as helping underprivileged kids and teaching students from other schools how to dance.

“It’s not only a great benefit to the school, but also to the community,” Pelegrin said.

Students are not required to have any prior dance experience to join. Pelegrin said the club provides a chance to learn how to dance and improve the member’s dancing skills.

“All the board members are trained for at least four years and will work together to make a dance combination easy and fun for the whole club,” Pelegrin said.

Each month during all four lunches, the members will be participating in a flash mob to get the school energized and keep the school spirit going.

“We do not have all our ideas for the flash mob yet, but we are hoping everyone can come out and join us in all of our activities because it is a great bonding experience,” Orelus said. “It’s not only to learn for fun, but also to show off dance moves and use them.”

In addition to working on flash mobs every month, members will go to Children’s Harbor Place to teach underprivileged kids dances and play games with them.

“The children’s Harbor Place will be a good place to volunteer,” Pelegrin said. “The children there don’t really get to do a lot of extracurricular activities, and this is a good way to just have fun with cute kids and make them happy.”

Orelus said she is looking forward to the upcoming year.

“I hope to have fun and dance all types of dances with our club members and be able to teach people dances they want to learn,” Orelus said.

Freshman Danielle Rudolph said she cannot wait for the next meeting and to learn a new dance routine.

“I love to dance and I want to be a larger part of the school,” Rudolph said. “This is a great way to meet new people that like the same things I do.”

Sponsor Hope Fisher said that the club is going to grow and become very popular.

“The dance club will be popular because all students who have an interest in dance may enhance their self-expression through movement on a regular basis,” Mrs. Fisher said. “Participating in our community outreach program will give underprivileged children the opportunity to explore their individuality through dance.”

Mrs. Fisher said she is excited to share dance all around the school.

“My daughter has a passion for dance and, as a club advisor, I have the opportunity to share her love of dance with others,” Mrs. Fisher said.

The Dance Club meets every Wednesday. The next meeting is Dec. 2.


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