Giant check from SH Class of 1968 means nearly $10,000 to go toward campus improvements


Image used with permission from Craig Weinreich

Principal Craig Weinreich, left, accepts the giant check for $9,500 from Class of 1968 reunion committee board members, Brad Rawlins and Pat Hartunian Simonian, on July 9 outside alumna Kathy Nelson Zibulsky ’s home in Fullerton. The 54th-year reunion was held there as well.


That’s how much members of a Sunny Hills Class of 1968 54th-year reunion committee raised as their way of showing appreciation for their alma mater.

And to top it off, they presented principal Craig Weinreich with a giant-sized check July 9 in the yard of alumna Kathy Nelson Zibulsky ’s Fullerton home.

The white with blue designed, 27-inch-by-59.75-inch check titled, “SHHS Class of 1968 Donation Account,” is also dated July 9; at the bottom left hand corner, it indicates that the money is to be used for “Capital Improvements.”

We will forever be thankful for our days at [Sunny Hills] and are proud to be part of such a great school,”  said Brad Rawlins, Class of ‘68 reunion committee chairman.  “Our fundraiser was a small way to acknowledge our appreciation, and we look forward to seeing our donation go to needed improvements on campus on behalf of the Class of 1968.”

During the 2021-2022 school year – the first time public school students in California had to return to in-person instruction unless they opted for online learning – reunion committee members had originally reached out to the school´s former principal, Allen Whitten, about their fundraiser; Whitten then invited them on a tour of the campus Oct. 6, leading them through the many buildings that were added after they graduated.

While they had this chance to see the campus where they once roamed as students, they noticed that many of the seating areas needed replacement, prompting them to designate the check for campus upgrades.

As of the second week of school, it has not been determined how the money will be spent, Weinreich said.

“They have kind of left it to my discretion a little bit,” said Weinreich, who was not involved in the Oct. 6 tour. “But ideally they want to use it for more seating areas, umbrellas and stuff along those lines.”

As of now, the check – the regular, smaller version – has not been cashed, and Weinreich said he’s looking into ordering a plaque in remembrance of what the ‘68 class did.

No other classes have made a donation this large in the past, although many have gifted the school memorial items such as the lancer statue that can be found in the administration office. 

The reunion prompted 100% participation in fundraising from those attending, whose ticket payments for the gathering were partially donated to the school. Class of ‘68 alumni were also given the option to add money to the cause on top of the portion taken from the $40 admission price. 

Going into the process, the committee had no stated fundraising goal; however, board members said they were pleased that they had the ability to raise nearly $10,000 for their alma mater. 

“I think what [students and staff] can recognize is once a Lancer, always a Lancer,” Weinreich said. “The time they spent here was valuable; they made the best of their four years and learned from the life lessons and appreciated the school.”