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November 6, 2012 > Honoring the memory of Lynette Santos

Honoring the memory of Lynette Santos

Submitted By Claudine M. Dentoni, Photo by Miriam G. Mazliach

Editor's Note:
On February 8, 2011 and June 3, 2011, Tri-City Voice featured articles on Oliveira Elementary student Lynette Santos, and her battle against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).

According to Oliveira Principal Anderson, "With courage and a contagious smile, Lynette fought bravely for five years against her leukemia. Sadly, she lost her battle against the disease on October 18. Lynette was only nine years old."

In response, Claudine Dentoni, a 2nd grade teacher at Azevada School in Fremont recently sent in the following appeal to the community, to honor the memory of Lynette Santos and children like her, by helping the Make a Wish Foundation. During Lynette's kindergarten year, she was granted a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation and with her family had traveled to Disney World.

Anderson hopes that the community will support Claudine Dentoni's efforts, so that more ill children will be able to have their wishes granted.

The following is Claudine Dentoni's letter:

Dear Readers,
I would like to share with you something I believe is newsworthy, and my hope is to be able to spread the word. A while ago, the Tri-City Voice Newspaper did a story on a young girl, Oliveira Elementary student Lynette Santos who was fighting cancer. Sadly, Lynette lost her battle and our educational community is at a loss. There is no loss more tragic than that of the life of an innocent child.

I am a teacher at Azevada Elementary, and good friends with Linda Anderson, principal of Oliveira. I started a campaign last year of trying to encourage all principals and all students to write letters to raise money for Make a Wish children, as Lynette, herself, was a Make a Wish child.

Macy's started their "believe" campaign four years ago, and when I became aware of it in 2011, I couldn't help but act and try to encourage other schools to stand with me. Linda Anderson and Oliveira, was one of the handful of schools that offered to support the efforts. It's a very simple concept - Macy's donates $1 per letter written, and delivered to their store. And, better yet, on "Believe Day," (a one day date in December selected each year), they offer $2 per letter.

Last December, I delivered 9,500 letters and we were able to raise $19,000 for our local Make a Wish chapter!

I am reaching out again, trying to encourage every one of our 42 schools to spread the word, and allow all the students of Fremont Unified School district to be a part of something greater than themselves and to give back. I am hopeful that by sending out this message, it will encourage other schools, as well as people in general to help.

Anyone can write a letter, and Macy's gives up to $1 million, so why not have that million go to our kids here in the Bay Area? (65 percent of our local Wish children are from the East Bay.) This is a simple and impactful way to pay it forward.

Help us so that other children can experience a wish come true!

Photo Caption: In a photo from 2011, Lynette Santos with Oliveira Principal Linda Anderson

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