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LAYL on a roll Students provide community service and leadership

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By The Staff

Thirty students made a commitment to leadership and to serve community.

To cement this commitment, the Los Alamos Youth Leadership students are working on a variety of fundraising and service activities.  

The teams are driven by the youth who coordinate everything from meetings and projects to team names and outcomes.

Each team has its own unique name. For instance, there is the SPK team, or the Sour Patch Kids.

This name was selected because sometimes the team members are sweet and sometimes they’re sour.

Another team is named DST or the Double Stuff Taranadons. Student on this team evolved their name after sampling Double Stuff Oreos while attending a two-day orientation.

The third team is named S.H.A.R.K.S, also known as Super Hot Awesome Rowdy Kidz.

While the team names are all fun and games, these students mean business.

All three teams pitched in to wrap up a project to renovate the concession stands at Sullivan Field. The project began last year and was under direction of adult leader, Barbara Marcille.

When the school year began, the teams worked together scraping and painting the concession stands, hoping to finish prior to the homecoming game last week.

Their efforts paid off for fans attending the game and for the students and adult leaders who revel in the success of their teams.

The S.H.A.R.K.S continued with their next project, which was a car wash and car bash to raise funds for the program.

The funds are then combined for projects like adopt a family during the holidays or to purchase needed items for the high school.

The youth worked with school officials, NAPA Auto Parts Store employees, and adult leaders Morrie Pongratz and Peggy Pendergast, for the car bash and wash event, which was held on Sept. 25.

NAPA Auto Parts Store aided the students by providing a free tow for the vehicle donated by the Francisco family for the bashing part of the event. The business also towed the mashed car to Santa Fe.

NAPA employee John Chicoine was all smiles in assisting the youth to pull off the caper.

The team worked for four hours washing a variety of vehicles and raising $378 for the LAYL coffers.

SPK has worked for weeks to arrange the second annual bonfire held Thursday night at Sullivan Field.

The team coordinated activities with not only the district, but the police department, fire department, and parks and recreation.

The well-attended spirit booster was elevated by live music from LAHS student Davis Anson and free s’mores sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

SPK raised funds through T-shirt sales to show support for the ’Toppers, while highlighting graduation years, staff or parent on the back. E-mail to LAYL@laymca.org or call 672-4089 to purchase a shirt.

The DST team is focusing on revamping safety improvements to the overpass.

DST, with the help of Art Brown, Gillian Sutton and Wayne Kolhurst, have acquired supplies and approval to improve the safety of the stairs that fellow classmates constantly use throughout the year.

DST is also planning a bake sale for their LAYL fundraiser.

The youth team is still in discussion about when and where the sale will take place.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board through the Los Alamos Family YMCA sponsors LAYL.

To follow LAYL’s progress check out their Web site at www.losalamosjjab.com.