Zack Soares, a student at Brookvale Elementary School in Fremont, hasn't just lived with arthritis the past six years. He has attacked it.
Zack, 10, is one of 300,000 children in the U.S. with arthritis, a disease in which patients suffer chronic pain or inflammation around the body's joints. Ever since being diagnosed with the condition in 2007, the Fremont boy has doggedly worked to educate people about it. He also has sought to raise money to help others, said Beth Miller, an official with the Arthritis Foundation, an organization that aims to improve the lives of patients.
"Zack's mission is to raise awareness about this disease and let other kids know they are not alone with this diagnosis," Miller said.
Zack has started a walking squad, called Team Zack Attack, which will participate in the 2013 Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk, a fundraiser scheduled next month in Livermore. His efforts have inspired others at his school, and they have formed their own squad, Team Brookvale Elementary.
That work, and the inspirational fighting spirit he's shown while doing it, are starting to earn him notice. He was honored Tuesday by the city of Fremont with a special proclamation declaring May 4 to be Team Zack Attack Day.
Zack also was named the Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree. The fundraiser is scheduled for 8 a.m. May 4 at LifeStyleRx, 1119 E. Stanley Blvd. in Livermore.
For more information, call 415-356-5483 or go to www.artritiswalk.org.
Mt. Eden students to perform at Davies
Mt. Eden High School's wind ensemble and orchestra will play Monday at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
The free performances are part of the National Invitational Music Festival of Gold, featuring school orchestras and choirs from throughout California.
Mt. Eden's wind symphony takes the stage at 1:30 p.m., and the orchestra plays at 2:30 p.m. The groups taking part will perform together at 8 p.m. In addition, top scorers will give encore performances.
San Lorenzo student organizes fundraiser for grandfather
Sierra Verdin, a student at the KIPP Summit Academy in San Lorenzo, is hosting a spaghetti feast Saturday to mark Parkinson's Awareness Month and to honor her grandfather, who has the disease.
Sierra, 12, has been involved in fundraising since she was 7, when she held a book sale to raise money for a charity. She decided to organize a benefit for her grandfather after watching how the disease limited his activities.
"I just want my Papa to know that people do support him and love him," she said in a statement. "He is very fun and exciting. I think there are many people just like him who feel pent up in their homes because living with Parkinson's makes them feel nervous or uneasy about doing everyday things like me and you."
The fundraiser, which Sierra is calling Pasta for Parkinson's, will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Hayward Castro Valley Moose Lodge, 20835 Rutledge Road, Castro Valley.
Tickets for the dinner are $10 and free for children 5 and younger. Sierra is trying to raise $500 to contribute to the effort to find a cure for Parkinson's.
Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in the greater Hayward and Tri-City areas.