Salesian Day at the Races 2017
Sunday April 9, 2017 (Palm Sunday)

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Day at the Races

The Salesian Alumni Association would like to express sincere thanks to all the 200 plus guests that came to the 2015 Day at the Races. The day turned out to be a beautiful warm day, perfect for sitting back and enjoying the sights and sounds of Santa Anita Track. Many alumni brought their family and friends in support of this traditional alumni scholarship fundraising event. The crowd started trickling in at 10:30 a.m. and were greeted at the registration table by David Medrano (’65) and Phil Luna (’64). These early arrivals got to enjoy a bowl of menudo that was prepared and served by Tom Gutierrez (’71), Hector Alatorre (’71) and Rick Alatorre (’73). By the start of the first race, lunch was already being served. In the past the alumni put on their aprons and did all the food preparation and cooking. This year, beef and chicken tacos, beans and rice, and traditional condiments were served by a taco caterer. Alumni and several parent volunteers assisted in collecting meal tickets and serving food. As they have done in prior years, George Caro (’63) and David Granados (’75) hosted the soda and water table.

As opposed to last year’s event track venue, this time the guests were well shaded by a large veranda, had an accessible bar area, numerous race monitors and nearby betting windows and bathrooms. Guest that brought youngsters were able to turn them loose on the large grassy expanse that surrounded the event venue. Throughout the day and between races when bets were being placed, everyone enjoyed the sound of karaoke impresario and DJ, Fernie Ramirez (’67). He played oldies like Sincerely by the Moonglows, Mexican rancheras (Volver, Volver), and an assortment of contemporary songs. Guests and alumni who overcame stage fright picked their favorite songs and showed off their singing talents.

Velma Zozaya, wife of Randy Zozaya (’71) handled the traditional 50/50 raffle. The winner took half of the $600 money pot. Second prize was a wine basket and third prize was two Dodger tickets. Then on the spot and to add to the raffle experience, David Rodriguez (’71) donated a Dodger blanket and a Dodger bobble head; Jose Lozano (’76) donated a Mustang car flag; and a generous lady guest (name unknown at this time), donated a prom tuxedo. Immediately after the raffle, Gilbert Ruedaflores (‘ 64) and football head coach, Anglo Jackson , and Alonso Silva (‘78) introduced a new group called Mustang Nation, a Salesian football support group whose aim is to raise money for the football program.

One of the highlights of the event was the introduction of Salesian incoming principal, Alex Chacon (’94). Mr. Chacon will be replacing Fr. Nick Reina who is now serving as interim principal. Our best wishes to our new principal and our heartfelt thanks to Fr. Nick for his support of the Alumni Association and the energetic and fine work he has done at Salesian.

It took many hours of planning and preparation to make the event a success. Thanks go to the Day at the Races Committee members who planned and worked the event: David Rodriguez (’71), David Granados (’75), Richard Alderete (’71), Gilbert Varela (’67), Randy Zozaya (’71), Fernie Ramirez (’67), and Hector Alatorre (’71). Thanks to the alumni who worked the event: President Sam Espinoza (’85), Rick Alatorre (’73), Tom Gutierrez (’71), David Medrano (’75), Phil Luna (’64), and George Caro (’63)). Thanks to Velma Zozaya who always does a wonderful job at set up and managing the 50/50 raffle.

Thanks to the parent volunteers who came early to set up, help serve meals and stayed to help clean up. Thanks to Richard Ibay (’71) for his generous gift contribution. Thanks to the many alumni who came from far and wide to support and enjoy the event. Last but not least, thanks to all the families and guests who came in support of this great event. See you next year!