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CJSF works to complete candy grams for holiday

As an anual tradition, the California Junior Scholarship Federation (CJSF) provides the opportunity for all campus students to purchase candy grams, that are delivered on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The package comes with a bag of candy, ranging from Sweethearts to licorice and a hand-written note on a heart-shaped paper all for $1.

The CJSF members work for at least two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day in order to create each gram. During lunch, the club meets in CJSF adviser’s Hallie Rojeski’s room. The students bring in multiple grams each day, where they work tirelessly to complete the products for their due date.

“It takes us about two weeks by the time we cut out all the hearts, ribbon, write the candy grams,” Rojeski said. “The reason we write them is so we have control over what they say and can make sure they’re delivered correctly. They’re inexpensive and they’re fun. It’s just a good way to say ‘I appreciate you.'”

The club has been providing its service for over 20 years, starting with the previous adviser Terri Edmonds who started the project to benefit the Wise Old Owl Tutoring Club in the Tower District.

“We have been doing candy grams for about 20 years,” Rojeski said. “When we originally started it was Mrs. {Terri} Edmonds’ idea and she thought it might be a good thing for CJSF as a fundraiser and use the money to help somebody else. And what we did was help the Wise Old Owl Tutoring Club down in the Tower District. We got connected to the tutoring club and we went to help and tutor. We started buying books for them and spend an afternoon reading to them.”

This year, the club is using their profits to benefit Robinson Elementary school.

“This year, we are going to be doing it for Robinson Elementary,” Rojeski said. “We’ll work with their librarian and buy some books for them. Hopefully we will be able to deliver them and read to some of the kids too.”

President of CJSF Emily Fontes, ’17, enjoys the experience of being a part of the project, by spending time with her friends and serving the school community.

“I think it’s a really cool idea because it’s fun to hang out with my friends in CJSF,” Fontes said. “It’s also just cool to be able to serve not only the junior high, but also the entire school. I do get some candy grams from my friends, and I also send some too. I like coming at lunch and being able to sit here and actually make the candy grams. Occasionally we get to eat the candy.”

High school secretary Vickey Belmont thinks the candy grams are a good idea for the students to show their appreciation for their friends and it doesn’t leave anyone out of the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a good fundraiser and it allows students to dote on their friends,” Belmont said. “Well everyone can participate because it’s not exclusive. It doesn’t leave anyone out.”

Senior Ashley Erickson has been both a sender and recipient of candy grams, but thinks that the small gesture helps in making a lonely holiday a little brighter.

“I don’t usually send them because I’m really cheap,” Erickson said. “But it’s fun to receive them, and it makes me feel like someone loves me enough to send me candy and a nice little note; the note is the best part. It makes Valentine’s Day a little better since I really don’t enjoy the holiday.”

For more news, read the Feb. 1 article, BRIEF: First winter Fifth Quarter to be held at Me-N-Ed’s.

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