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August 7, 2012 > Support Fremont School District

Support Fremont School District

By Miriam G. Mazliach

"It takes people of like minds to help FUSS work - a leap of faith," said Ivy Wu, Board member of FUSS (Fremont Unified Student Store) and Fremont School Board trustee, speaking at the July 24 press conference to promote community awareness of the organization's fundraising efforts.

"FUSS is a recently established nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is that of raising money for Fremont Unified School District (FUSD)," explained Wu.

Just over three months ago, Wu initiated this endeavor with the assistance of fellow FUSS board members, Robert Hou and Arlene Lu, and a group of dedicated volunteers to help the District develop a sense of independence and self-help during the current budget crisis.

"We had our first meeting on April 17. We are an organization that makes things happen by using creativity and working together to make something significant for our school district," Wu added.

To help launch FUSS in a fun and playful way, a unique event - a "Smart Mob" -performed at the Fremont Festival of the Arts on August 4. It's the organization's version of a "flash mob," a seemingly spontaneous and lively dance routine performed unexpectedly in public view. Kathy Laidlaw, whose son graduated from Washington High School, is helping to coordinate this special outreach event. A recent call for choreographed submissions resulted in the selection of dance routines, from American High School and Kennedy High School.

Noting the efforts of FUSS team members, Fremont Schools Superintendent James Morris commented, "FUSS began with the group thinking about how it could do a better job, and community members stepped in to find long-term solutions, frustrated by the [district's] budget cuts. This organization says we have the power within ourselves to take action," stated Superintendent Morris.

Calvin Leung, an incoming senior at Mission San Jose High and the principal cellist in the school's Orchestra, is volunteering for FUSS by producing a music CD. All District high school students and alumni are encouraged to submit a performance under seven minutes in length for consideration. All genres of music are encouraged with net proceeds benefiting the district and its performing arts programs. The music can be either an original composition or the performance of someone else's piece of music. Leung is checking to ensure that there is no copyright infringement. If interested in submitting a musical selection, email Calvin Leung at by the August 15 deadline.

Rose Marie Morris, a FUSS team member, expressed her reasons for involvement, "Budget cuts really bother me. Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. I believe in my heart that we can do great things and help other districts too. We started with a small idea and have the potential for much growth," she added.

Among the other fundraising projects currently in the works is a set of greeting cards, utilizing student artwork. Additionally, recent graduates of Irvington High School, twin brothers, Joraaver and Suchaaver Chahal, created an online application to ease the system of tracking students' Service Learning hours. They generously donated the application to the Fremont School District, to market and sell to other school districts.

In the talking stages are other several potential fundraising opportunities including a bake sale, a summer enrichment camp, college preparedness workshops, and prom or bridal fashion shows. The organization is also seeking interested sponsors and community partners. "There is hope. We are trying to do something - provide a platform for people to get involved," said Wu. "FUSS is unique and very welcoming. Student ideas and involvement are welcome and their ideas will be heard," she added.

The impetus for this effort, Wu explained, was that as a School Board member she has felt frustrated at times about the limitations of what she could do regarding the budget crisis. "FUSS is more spontaneous and flexible. There are many who want to contribute to our school district, but don't necessarily know how to do it. FUSS helps them capitalize their ideas so that they are empowered to contribute more effectively," said Wu.

Revenue generated will be donated to the school district for a general or specific purpose, depending on the dollar amount and needs. "One more thing," says Wu, "If you have any creative ideas, please feel free to contact us to help make your ideas come true!"

To become involved or for more information email: or visit

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