April 2018 (1) Candygrams

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Saturday, April 7, 2018---38th Annual Swim with Mike

Trojan Candy arrived fairly early for Swim with Mike.

Dudley and Patti Poon and Phillip Ribeiro
After checking in, I saw Phillip Ribeiro, a friend who travels down from Northern California every year to attend Swim with Mike. He was talking with my sister Patti and brother-in-law Dudley.
Christine Ofiesh and Patti Poon
Inside the gate, Patti and I saw friend Christine Ofiesh.
Dan Avila
Trojan Candy was seeing friends everywhere! Friend and USC photographer Dan Avila posed for me.
Monica Morita
When I picked up my t-shirt, Monica Morita, the Executive Assistant to A.D. Lynn Swann, smiled for me. She was volunteering behind the table.
Belly Flop contestant
Swimmers were completing laps in the pool and activities were beginning in the diving pool. The Diving Show began at 11:00 am. I took this picture of a "Belly Flop" contestant.
Cheerleader and USC Song Girl
Then, I took a video of a USC Cheerleader and a USC Song Girl performing their dives.
Song Girls
Then, the USC Song Girls posed for me while I stood on the diving board. Friend and USC Pep Band Director Ben Chua also took a picture and then helped me step down. Thanks, Ben!
Jake Fielder and David Freedman
The Belly Flop winner Jake Fielder posed with announcer David Freedman.
Dudley Poon, Richard Flores and Patti Poon
Trojan Candy saw another good friend visiting with Patti and Dudley. I see Richard Flores everywhere!
?, Mel and Doris Hughes and Eiko and Raymond Bates
At the check-in table Trojan Candy saw friends ?, Mel and Doris Hughes and Eiko and Raymond Bates.
Alexa Huerta, Alyssa Callahan, Alexandra Stella, Jillian Pih and Tiffany Chen
Volunteering at the check-in table were five Helenes. Alexandra Stella, Richard Flores' niece, introduced me to her fellow Helenes. They were Alexa Huerta, Alyssa Callahan, Alexandra, Jillian Pih and Tiffany Chen.
John Naber
While my friends went to the barbecue, Trojan Candy walked over to the formal ceremonies. Swim alumnus John Naber was the Master of Ceremonies.

Becky Gramstrup and Bruce FurnissJohn introduced Bruce Furniss as the Swim with Mike Claire Snow Volunteer of the Year. Becky Gramstrup gave Bruce his award. Bruce introduced his family who were in attendance. Sixteen members of the Furniss family have attended USC, and all four of Bruce's children are Trojans. The Furniss Family and friends have established a "Furniss Family and Friends" endowed USC scholarship. What a Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Furniss Family!

Zack WentzNow it was time for the two USC students, who are Swim with Mike scholarship recipients, to speak. The first student was Zack Wentz. Zack played all sports, but his main sport was tennis. He was the MVP on his high school tennis team. Unfortunately, a ski related accident in Venice, Italy, paralyzed him from the waist down. Zack said that he has received much "love and support" here at USC. He is a Trojan Knight and the Director of Accessibility Affairs in Student Government. Zack said, with the help of his Trojan Knight friends, he was able to swim sixteen laps this year in Swim with Mike. Zack is majoring in Economics. FIGHT ON, Zack!

Amberley SnyderThe second Swim with Mike scholarship recipient to speak was Amberley Snyder. As a child, Amberley competed in rodeo. She won many awards and at 18 was the Senior World All-Around Champion. After her car accident she was paralyzed from the waist down. But, Amberley competed again in rodeo. She is the only professional paralyzed rodeo competitor in the United States. Coach John Baxter saw Amberley ride one night. After finding out that she was paralyzed, Coach Baxter informed her about the Swim with Mike scholarships. Amberley is pursuing a M.S. in School Counseling. FIGHT ON, Amberley!

The ceremony ended and it was time for the "Football Player/Song Girl Swim Relay" to start. Trojan Candy just turned around from the stage and there they were.

Wyatt Schmidt and Song Girl
I saw friend Wyatt Schmidt already in the water with a Song Girl.
? and Song Girl
I took quick pictures of two more football players with Song Girls.
Bubba Bolden and Song Girl
Bubba Bolden and Song Girl
Then I took a video of the race.
After the race ended, Head Football Coach Clay Helton asked the football players and Song Girls to pose for pictures.
Another picture of the partipants.

As the players got out of the pool, Trojan Candy took pictures of them.

?, Jay Tufele and Jacob Lichtenstein
?, Jay Tufele and Jacob Lichtenstein posed for me.
Reid Budrovich, Austin Jackson, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Josh Fatu
Then, good friend Reid Budrovich (8/22/2015) posed with Austin Jackson, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Josh Fatu.
Jerry Ensom
Trojan Candy turned around and saw good friend Jerry Ensom.
Clay Helton and David
Then Coach Clay Helton and David smiled for me.
Jalen Jones and Aca'Cedric Ware
Jalen Jones and Aca'Cedric Ware let me take their picture.
Spirit Leaders
Trojan Candy got the USC Spirit Leaders to pose for me.
Scott Jacobson and Evita and Gregg Millward
I finally went into the barbecue. There was a long line still. In my line Trojan Candy saw some good friends. Scott Jacobson, Evita and Gregg Millward and their daughter were next to me.
Ray Wong
Good friend and fellow amateur photographer Ray Wong smiled for a picture.
Spirit Leaders
Walking by, Trojan Candy got this picture of Ron Orr and football player Josh Imatorbhebhe (2/3/2016).

Chase McGrath, Damon Johnson and Jake OlsonAs I was leaving the barbecue, Trojan Candy got this last picture of Chase McGrath, Damon Johnson (2/1/2017) and Jake Olson (2/4/2015).

What a busy, exciting day!

FIGHT ON, Swim with Mike!

Friday, April 6, 2018---Seeing Friends Again

During the USC Men's Tennis match vs the Bruins, Trojan Candy saw several friends in the stands.

Ja'Tavia Tapley and Minyon Moore
I saw two Women of Troy Basketball players first on the staircase. They were looking for seats. Ja'Tavia Tapley and Minyon Moore (11/5/2017) posed for me. FIGHT ON, Ja'Tavia! FIGHT ON, Minyon!
Reid Budrovich
Then, coming up the same staircase was my good friend Reid Budrovich (8/22/2015). Reid is the Punter on our football team. FIGHT ON, Reid!
Daniel Nguyen
Downstairs, Trojan Candy took a picture of friend Daniel Nguyen (5/3/2012).

Daniel is a USC Men's Tennis alumnus who played on four NCAA Tennis Championship teams in a row in 2009 through 2012. He was chosen the MVP of the 2010 Championship. He is playing on the ATP World Tour. FIGHT ON, Daniel!

Ray SarmientoShortly after taking Daniel's picture, I saw good friend Ray Sarmiento (3/11/2011) before he walked into the training room downstairs and took his picture. He won three NCAA Tennis Championship rings in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Ray told me he is injured and is taking some time off from the ATP World Tour. It is so nice to see Ray every year and catch up with him. FIGHT ON, Ray!

David LaserMy last friend whom I saw today was 2017 USC Men's Tennis graduate David Laser (4/15/2017). David flew in for the weekend to see the USC-UCLA match. Just like when he was on the team, he was quite vocal during the game.

Unfortunately, David's enthusiasm did not help us beat the Bruins. We lost 3-4.

FIGHT ON, David!