Silicon Valley Fall Festival showcases student work


Diana Xu, Managing Editor

The 35th annual Silicon Valley Fall Festival (SVFF) was held on Sept. 9 by the Rotary Club of Cupertino at Memorial Park. The event is an annual fundraiser held in partnership with the City of Cupertino and the World Journal, the Bay Area’s largest Chinese language newspaper.

“100 percent of the money we raise from our fundraisers goes to charitable causes,” said John Zirelli, president of the Rotary Club of Cupertino. “The majority is used for a wide variety of international, community, youth and vocational service projects championed by our club.”

This year, the multicultural festival included robotics competitions that the Lynbrook robotics team, the Funky Monkeys, competed in as well as performances from the Fremont High School (FHS) marching band. The event also held a fine arts exhibition showcasing pieces of art by students from all five FUHSD schools.

Similar to previous years, fun rides, bounce houses and ice cream trucks were lined up in the parking lot to entertain and feed event attendees. Tents were set up throughout the park where different companies such as H-Mart and the San Jose Water Company gave out samples of snacks and drinks.

At the opening of the festival, guests gathered around the stage to watch the FHS marching band and colorguard performance. The audience consisted of student and parent volunteers who made up a majority of the attendees.

High school volunteers have been an important part of the volunteer support that has made this event possible every year,” said Zirelli. “I’ve got to say, by far my favorite part is all the different people that I have the honor of working with.

Throughout the festival, the Funky Monkeys participated in robotics competitions against Cupertino, Monta Vista and Homestead’s robotics teams.

“This year we showcased our latest robot, Punk Monkey,” said junior Eesha Deepak. “We had six weeks to design, build and machine our robot before regionals during the season, but we worked during the summer to make our robot even better.”

The Funky Monkeys were not the only Lynbrook students to showcase their talents. The senior center exhibited art made by FUHSD students, varying from ceramics and photography to clothing and string art. Students from the Lynbrook art department, taught by teachers Charlotte Kruk, Paul Willson and Matthew Reynolds, had their art from the last school year displayed for community members to vote for their favorite piece. Sophomore Anna Shaposhnik won the Mayor’s Award with her piece, “Homo et Bestia.” Senior Griffon Gemmell and Lynbrook alumni Shikhar Jagadeesh and Nolan Simonson won the President’s Award with their wearable sculpture piece, “Control, Alt, Delete.”

“There was some media we didn’t cover in our 3D art class that was displayed in the show,” said sophomore Enzo Cabaltica. “It’s nice to know we have talented creative artists in the district.”

In the afternoon, stage performances included the JAMZ Youth Band, a band consisting of Monta Vista freshmen, the East West School of Music and Dance and the Iranian Federated Women’s Group. Lynbrook sophomore Katherine Tsikina performed a jazz number for her dance studio, the East West School of Music and Dance.

“It was my third time performing at the festival,” said Tsikina. “The festival brings a lot of families and friends together to have fun and enjoy the different kinds of performances.”

The after several months of planning and volunteer work, the festival came to an end with the distribution of mooncakes and a closing ceremony.  The charitable event was fun and engaging, and brought members of the community together over shared values.