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Market Day mixes culture, food and fundraising

Spanish Club raises over $1,500 for scholarship fund

Godfrey-Lee junior Elsy Bonilla talked about how special it was to help make and sell a traditional Salvadoran dish passed down through generations, at the high school Spanish Club’s Market Day recently.

These Spanish Club members sold tostilocos y dorilocos during Market Day to help raise funds for Elayna Durso Scholarships

Her table sold pupusas, a thick flatbread wrapped around melted cheese and beans. Last year, her group led the Market Day with $600 in sales, which helped pay for four $500 scholarships to seniors. This year, her table was neck and neck with the students selling aguas frescas to help raise $1,506 for the Elayna Durso Scholarship Fund, worth three more scholarships.

Durso, the previous Spanish Club adviser and teacher at Lee High School, died of breast cancer at age 35 in 2017.

“This food is really special to my culture and to my people,” said Elsy, who’s also a member of band and competitive cheer. “Bringing it into the Market Day is really special to me, so people can see what we represent.

“My mom makes it, but I’m learning. I’ll get there.”

In her third year participating in Market Day, Elsy said it gets bigger every year.

Katherine Merriott, the current Spanish Club adviser and also a teacher, talked about Market Day’s growth and special meaning.

“I think this is one of our better ones, absolutely,” Merriott said of the event that draws students of all ages. “The kids really look forward to it. It shows how beautiful our culture and community are here.

“It’s not just about making money, but celebrating and having this time together.”

Spanish Club students sell quesadillas de asada

Tasty Dishes, plus Maranda

Merriott also said beyond the 40-member Spanish Club, the prom committee and Gay Straight Alliance participated as well.

Junior and prom committee member Amy Carbajal painted many faces during the event.

“It was pretty fun,” Amy said of her first Market Day. “There were a lot of little kids here today.”

Sophomore Jesus Mijangos, who got his face painted by Amy, said he has enjoyed hanging out at the event over the years. “The food is pretty good,” added Mijangos, a Lee wrestler.

WOTV4Women personality Maranda took part in the festivities as well by interviewing students about the importance of this celebration of culture.

“It was great to share our celebration of culture with Maranda and the community,” Merriott said.

Senior Cesia Rodas also leaned on her mom’s cooking skills by selling their arroz con leche (rice pudding).

“This is my first year, but I’ve always attended it,” said Cesia, who watched sales grow through the day. “At first it was kind of slow, but later on more people wanted it.”

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Cris Greer
Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more.

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