With damage left from the recent traumatic deaths of student Terri Byrd and beloved teachers, Nicholas “Dubb” Whitaker and Ovida de Julia, there has been a resilient and passionate response from CVHS students who want to continue to celebrate the lives of these special people.
Teens Reaching Out (TRO) is one of the many popular CVHS clubs that has dedicated community events to continuing the generous legacy of Dubb, who was one of the inspirations for this year’s annual Deviation benefit show.
The show displayed a diverse range of CVHS talents, from acapella singing, to traditional Croatian folk dancing. Some performers came from as far as Sacramento and San Jose to be a part of this fundraising show.
In total, TRO raised over $500 for St.Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital from ticket sales, which is a vast improvement from previous years.
The show opened with the charismatic acapella group, “NightLyfe,” who performed the upbeat song, “In the Still of the Night.” Other popular acts by CVHS students were a tap dance solo performed by Callista Fratto, an emotional song sung by Anjali Asha, an original song created and performed by Andre Juntilla, and a hip-hop dance performed by the CVHS dance club, Urbanize.
“I always look forward to the singing acts especially,” said Victoria Pham, TRO vice president. “We have some really great singers, like the boys’ acapella group.”
TRO has held an annual show for eight years now, but this year, the special dedication to those who have recently passed in the Castro Valley community shaped it into a very different show. The show’s second act opened with a reading of an original poem written in honor of Terri Byrd.
There was also a distinctly cultural flavor to the performance, with the inclusion of traditional folk dance styles from Croatia and Mexico. Two of the Croatian dancers were CVHS students, but the rest were part of an independent, San Jose based dance group. Other dance groups, such as “Old Crew,” were comprised of Chabot College students, some of whom graduated from CVHS in previous years.
The show has become a characteristic event for TRO, a club that has over a hundred enrolled members. Along with this show, they participate in other community service events around Castro Valley.
“It was challenging to organize, for sure. The communication was great but time was difficult to coordinate with the teachers and performers, making sure everyone showed up,” said Janetta Redzic, TRO president.
Overall, though Redzic was impressed with the performers and how it turned out overall, despite last minute changes to the program.
“It was a pretty good success considering what I was thinking it was going to be,” said Redzic with a laugh.