The Admissions and Records and Counseling departments of Chabot College will be jointly hosting a silent auction March 17 to raise funds for the newly established MaryLou Cisneros Memorial Veterans Scholarship.
The auction will take place in building 700 with bidding starting at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m.
Those wishing to contribute to the fundraiser can donate items to be auctioned off, which can be dropped off at the office of Dolly Balangitao the international student admissions coordinator, in building 700.
The scholarship, intended to aid Chabot’s deserving student veterans, honors the memory of former Veteran Benefits Specialist MaryLou Cisneros.
According to Heidi B. Finberg, assistant director of the Chabot College Foundation, criteria for and the amount of the scholarship will be determined in the coming weeks by the foundation and the Student Veteran’s Organization of Chabot College.
The amount, specifically, will be determined by the funds collected at the silent auction fundraiser. Tax-deductible donations are also welcome via check or credit card.
Checks must be made payable to the Chabot College Foundation, room 727-G, and note Cisneros’ name. For credit card donations contact Finberg at 510-723-6936 or firstname.lastname@example.org to provide her with the needed information.
Donors may also choose to make a one-time or ongoing contribution via payroll deduction. All donors will receive a letter of acknowledgement for tax purposes, while the foundation will send a card with all donors names to Cisneros’ family.
Cisneros lost her battle with cancer on December 23, 2010. She served Chabot College and its community from 1970 until her passing. Over the years she held the position of payroll technician, student services assistant and, finally, veteran benefits specialist.
In an announcement of Cisneros’ passing sent out to the Chabot community, Dr. Howard Irvin Jr., vice president of student services, wrote, “She was a very pleasant and dedicated employee who always went above and beyond to serve ‘her’ veterans, the Chabot College student population and her colleagues.”
“This is a great loss not only for Chabot and the Chabot – Las Positas District, but also for the community,” wrote Irvin.
Cisneros was born in Hayward on August 7, 1951. She married Cruz Cisneros on October 10, 1970, and had two children, Mario and Danielle.
According to a message approved by Cisneros’ family, “Family was very important to her. She was very proud of her children and stressed the importance of family values and education. She always attended their games, events and extended family functions.”
Many of Cisneros’ colleagues remember her especially for her smile. Finberg wrote, “I have known MaryLou for almost five years and was proud to have worked with her. She had a huge heart and passion for working with our veterans and always had a cheerful word and smile to share.”
Patricia Posada, articulation specialist of Chabot College and dear friend of Cisneros, said in an e-mail correspondence, “You can see her at such a distance and she was already smiling with you without even having a conversation yet.”
Posada also noted Cisneros’ dedication to her work at Chabot:
“She was passionate about her veteran students and the college who could not have picked a better person to handle that special student population. She’s always put them at ease. Students would come asking for her and although others would offer, they’d say, “I’ll be back and see her later.”
Melva Garcia, counselor and instructor at Chabot College, wrote in an e-mail, “She was a dear friend who I miss very much. Ruben Hernandez and I served on her hiring committee in 1992. How she is remembered, are many of same [sic] reasons that we recommended her to be hired.”
“She had a good heart, we knew that students would be well served because of her willingness to go that extra mile. She also had a smile that was contagious. I was honored to have served as both her children’s counselor,” continued Garcia.
Posada, summing up how most people who knew Cisneros feel, now that she is gone, wrote, “Miss you my dear colega, hermana, friend, comadre, you were one positive link to Chabot that is no longer there today. <3”
A silent auction fundraiser in honor of MaryLou Cisneros will be helf March 17.
For more information about the auction contact Dolly Balangitao at email@example.com or 510-723-6715.