Photo by Jennie McGhan
Lilee Peralta and Courtney Hernandez are served baked potatoes with the works by Diane Whitely at a Feb. 25 fundraiser for the family of Jessie Montelongo at Grandview High School.
As of Wednesday, February 6, 2019
GRANDVIEW Reeling from two losses one month apart from one another, the Greyhound family came together to support the loved ones of Jessie Montelongo.
Jessie was a security liaison for Grandview High School, who died Jan. 21 — one month after Dennis Bottineau, another beloved role model at the school.
“We’ve taken some hard hits,” Grandview High School Booster Club member Shelby Hall said.
“Jessie impacted everyone,” she said at a fundraiser she organized with Leadership teacher Michelle Swearingen.
The pair learned of Jessie’s death and decided the fundraiser had to happen. In a 3-day period, they organized a chili and baked potato feed, which took place during the Feb. 25 basketball games.
“Jessie was invaluable as a security guard, but he was so much more,” Hall said, noting students, families and patrons of the school encountered Montelongo regularly.
“He was friendly with the students,” high school student Cassandra Cyr said.
Although she didn’t talk with Montelongo, she said he always offered warm greetings to those stepping foot on campus.
Cyr said his greetings are missed.
Hall said the students in every part of the school have been impacted by Montelongo’s parting. “The special ed kids are confused and the drama kids were in tears today,” she said.
Hall was encouraged by the support from those taking part in the fundraising event. “This line is indicative of his large Greyhound family,” she said.
Connie and Tonie Cantu have family ties to Montelongo. They were enjoying potatoes, and Connie said she wanted to help the family.
“His granddaughter is related to us,” Tonie said. “And, I grew up with his wife.”
Connie said they’ve seen the impact of losing Jessie first-hand, and attending the fundraiser was a small way to support his loved ones.
Hall was grateful for those who showed up to support the family, announcing $4,750 was raised.