Teens work to benefit those with illness and more Bravo news

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Local teens raise more than $350,000 to fight blood cancer

More than 21 motivated high school students raised $351,506 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Students of the Year, a seven-week philanthropic leadership development program during which students foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management in order to fundraise for the nonprofit.

  • Twenty one students across Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties raise $351,506 in seven weeks to support the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.(Courtesy of Gordon Dooley)

  • Blake Kelly, Justin Emi and Christian Kelly ecured the title of the 2019 Orange County Inland Empire Chapter’s Students of the Year. (Courtesy of Gordon Dooley)

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  • Marica Pendjer celebrates the launch of Susan G. Komen Orange County’s More Than Pink Walk in Irvine, where Komen OC supporters, volunteers and survivors gathered to learn more about the transition from the Race for the Cure to the More Than Pink Walk, which will be held on Sept. 22 in Newport Beach. (Courtesy of Kevin Rogers)

  • Kevin Corrigan will perform at the Music Teachers’ Association of California 2019 State Convention in Santa Clara in June. (Courtesy of the Corrigan family)

  • Grant Sheen has been working to help people with Alzheimer’s disease communicate. (Courtesy of Student Research Foundation)

  • Kathleen Rockney, of Fountain Valley, is Ms. Senior Orange County 2019. (Courtesy of Miss Senior Orange County)



Teammates Blake Kelly and Justin Emi of Marina High and Christian Kelly of Huntington Beach High, all three in Huntington Beach, raised the most money for the Orange County Inland Empire Chapter.

Top local fundraisers become eligible to win the national title.

Other 2019 Students of the Year highlights:

  • The Volunteerism Award: Lily Johnson – Team Beat 41 (Yorba Linda High School).
  • The Community Involvement Award:  Liliana Adzich and Jade Faircloth – Team Inspire a Thousand (Foothill High School).
  • The Mission Award: Luke Hatfield – Team Hero (Newport Harbor High School).
  • The Innovation Award: Jennifer Oz – Team Wishful Workers (Orange County School of the Arts).
  • Team Member of the Year: Rachel Spataro of Team Hero (Newport Harbor High School).

Susan G. Komen Orange County to premiere new walk

Susan G. Komen Orange County representatives shared changes to its annual fundraising walk and a new initiative to take the event beyond awareness toward action at a recent launch event.

Komen Orange County, the second largest Susan G. Komen affiliate in the nation, will hold the new More Than Pink Walk on Sept. 22. The event, along with a new name, will feature a fresh new look and experience focused on fundraising and energizing the community around the lifesaving work Komen’s supporters make possible.

The biggest change to the new More Than Pink Walk is that it will not include a separate timed run element, focusing instead on the vast majority of the event’s participants who walk, rather than run. For more information at komenoc.org/walk.

Teen wins state vocal competition

Kevin Corrigan of Irvine is getting ready to show off his singing skills at the Music Teachers’ Association of California 2019 State Convention in Santa Clara in June. The Irvine teen recently won the Vocalist, Orchestra, and Chamber Ensembles state competition for junior level solo audition for ages 15-16. He will receive his award in Santa Clara.

Kevin’s passions for singing started when he was in third grade and joined St. John Neumann Catholic Church’s Children Choir. He’s been pursuing it since and describes it as his stress reliever. Previously, he toured internationally with the All- American Boys Chorus and he sings with Woodbridge High’s Chamber Chorus and Entertainers Choir.

Sage Hill student awarded Personal Achievement Scholarship

Grant Sheen, a student at Sage Hill School, won a $15,000 scholarship from the Student Research Foundation. He’s the first place winner of the 2017-18 Personal Achievement Scholarship and was selected from more than 7,000 applicants from across the country.

Sheen dedicated his energy to unraveling the communication issues between patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their caretakers.

“My research provides a solution to the communication issue between Alzheimer’s patients and their caretakers and can also be extended to other communication disorders, such as stroke, autism, and ALS,” Sheen said.

For more on Sheen’s research, go to studentresearchfoundation.org/winners-2018

Ms. Senior Orange County 2019 crowned

Kathleen Rockney, of Fountain Valley, won the Ms. Senior Orange County 2019 title at the “Age of Elegance” Pageant, affiliated with Ms. Senior California of America Pageants, held recently in Mission Viejo.

Rockney was raised in Kansas City, Miss. She earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in computer science and mathematics after marrying and having two boys. Soon after AT&T recruited her for work, she also adopted a baby girl from South Korea.

Five years later, she accepted a transfer to Orange County. She met her husband, Bill, here in 1988, and they settled in Fountain Valley, raising her youngest daughter together. In her mid-40s, Rockney was diagnosed with Epstein- Barr Virus, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Rockney took a buy-out package from AT&T and concentrated on healing. At 57, she hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney. She has raised thousands of dollar for local charities. She’s also enjoying time with her four grandchildren.

The Bravo! section highlights achievements of our residents and groups. Send news of achievements for consideration to ocrbravo@gmail.com.