Have you ever had a moment when you were tempted to lose faith in humanity? I seem to have those moments more and more these days. However, when the Eastlake community came together to host a beautiful emerald green quinceanera for a beautiful young woman who also happens to be one of my students, I was blown away! EVERYTHING was donated, all of the workers were volunteers, and everyone had one goal in common, which was to love and serve Melody and her family. This event was truly mind-blowing since each person attending and serving was not thinking of themselves, but instead they showed up to support a a family in need.
Not long ago, Melody and her family discovered that she has brain cancer. I was made aware of this one afternoon when her mother called me and let me know what was going on and that Melody wanted to speak with me about her schoolwork. I couldn’t believe that this incredibly sweet young girl was about to have a brain biopsy and she was worried about her schoolwork! Of course I told her not to worry about it and that we would all be praying for her. Prayer is incredibly important to Melody because she is a deeply spiritual teen. Her faith is truly remarkable and inspirational. This was especially highlighted throughout her quinceanera as many of the attendees, especially her mother, shared about the depth of her faith and how it is carrying her through this difficult time. She is truly a remarkable young woman.
Prayer was also an important part of the ceremony at this event as well. It was so touching to see a crowd of people who love Melody raise their hands in solidarity and hope as they asked God to perform a miracle. This was such a testimony to how Melody has touched everyone around her. Friends and family alike joined in prayer as tears streamed down many faces. Melody, however, remained calm and faithful, knowing that her Lord was listening. We have so much to learn from her.
I had no idea when I got there just how much everyone in the community had contributed to this event. I had volunteered as the photographer, and as such I was able to see just how much was donated and the attention to detail that so many of the vendors provided. These vendors went all out! Beginning with the venue, Salt Drift Pointe, to the flowers, the desserts, the entrees, the dress, the DJ, the coordinators, etc. Everyone gave their all. Several of my fellow teachers even showed up to served the food! Mostly, this was the work of Katia Callahan and Phat Tony, pillars in the Eastlake community. They got the word out, mostly through Katia’s site Eastlake Food To Go, and volunteers came pouring in.
It was so encouraging that the efforts of these amazing people were documented by Channel 10 News! So often we only hear about the bad news and not the good. They did a spectacular job, and here is a link to the coverage. They were not the only ones to mark this occasion. We all got a special treat when the Make a Wish Foundation showed up to grant Melody her wish to meet singer Lauren Daigle in person and to attend her concert! How special! The world truly is a loving place and I am so grateful I got to witness it.
Venue | Salt Drift Pointe
Catering | Omar Ramirez (main dishes), Brazuca Bites (cheese bites and croquettes), La Empanada y Ya (empanadas), Wendy Wells (churros), DJ Frost Fernando Sanchez and Irma Estrada (popcorn cart), Ricorico Snackbar (nieve de garrafa), The Sweet Spot San Diego (mini pancakes), Tosti Bar (cart of treats), Marites Bobis (sodas)
Dessert Bar | Lisa with Lemon Drop Pastry Shop (cake pops), Nina’s Baking Corner (carrot cake hearts), Gabriela Salgado(jocabella bites – cupcakes), Monica Rivera (carrot cake cupcakes), Sweet Luna (sweet treats), Norma Mendez-Del Toro (cupcakes), Janina Couturier Guerrero (cakepops), Irina Ortiz (glazed, shiny hearts), Rebecca Zaragoza Camely Ramirez (cookies)
Acrylic Sign | Arianna Veytia
Games | Time 2 Play
DJ | Tony Mora
Costumes of Bad Bunny | DJ Nando
Party Rentals | Cast Party Rentals
Food Servers | Robert Reyes, Casey Sayatovich, Cheryl Jones, Jeanette Fiorica, Teresa Salas (teachers from Rancho del Rey Middle School)
Melody’s godparents presented her with a new Bible and other presents.
In the middle of the ceremony, family and friends took time to pray for Melody’s health. It was so touching to see everyone raise their hands and pray over her.
The minister and his wife provide a Spanish & English service. This lovely sign was provided by Arianna Veytia.
Amazing desserts by Thelma Becerril (large layered cake), Lisa with Lemon Drop Pastry Shop (cake pops), Nina’s Baking Corner (carrot cake hearts), Gabriela Salgado(jocabella bites – cupcakes), Monica Rivera (carrot cake cupcakes), Sweet Luna (sweet treats), Norma Mendez-Del Toro (cupcakes), Janina Couturier Guerrero (cakepops), Irina Ortiz (glazed, shiny hearts), Rebecca Zaragoza Camely Ramirez (cookies)
Many volunteered to serve the food at the quinceanera. Some of these servers were teachers from Melody’s school, Rancho del Rey Middle School.
It was so encouraging that the efforts of these amazing people were documented by Channel 10 News! So often we only hear about the bad news and not the good. They did a spectacular job, and here is a link to the coverage. Another wonderful volunteer was DJ Tony Mora who did an exceptional job.
Make a Wish Foundation showed up and granted Melody her wish to meet her favorite singer Lauren Daigle at a concert in Philadelphia, set for July.
There were so many special dances through the night, starting with this sweet little one.
Melody danced with many family members and godparents, but her dances with her mother and her father were especially touching.
The joy on Melody’s face from being lifted in the air by her chambelanes, or her male court.
Melody’s mother, Karina was so moved by the outpouring of love and donations from the community. She especially thanked the people who worked so hard to pull together the volunteers, Katia Callahan and Phat Tony. They really did a phenomenal job!
Many others gave speeches as well telling Melody how much they love her and how special she is.
Among the many dances during the evening was one by her parents which got everyone on their feet! She then danced with her godparents and her court again.
So many vendors came to provide tasty treats for the quinceanera. One of those vendors was The Sweet Spot San Diego who made mini pancakes and also provided an assortment of toppings.
Jun 16, 2023