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MHS band presents Gass with early holiday presents
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Rachel Gass four year band student at MHS was awarded a Lettermans jacket this week with matching Block Msone for her music and the other representing her late father, Jim Gass, who graduated from Manteca High in 1982. He passed away in May of last year. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Manteca High senior Rachel Gass was brimming with emotion earlier this week when she was presented with a Letterman’s jacket before clapping and cheering students in her seventh period band class.

She said she suspected something was amiss when her mom and her aunt walked into her classroom and stood by a back wall with cameras in hand.

The jacket had matching Block Ms – one for her dad who died in 2011, and the other for her four years of playing the clarinet at Manteca High.  Her late father, Jim Gass, graduated in 1982 and was also a member of the Manteca High Buffalos’ band.

Rachel’s teacher Laura Conway had nominated her to receive the jacket made possible through the efforts of Danette Jarred of Monogram Magic in downtown Manteca.

Mrs. Conway said she had known Rachel since she was enrolled at Golden West Elementary School on North Main Street in Manteca.

“It’s more than just a Letterman’s jacket,” she said. “Rachel is the sweetest girl, hard working, kind, and always wanting to please.  She can always feel close to her dad when she is wearing that jacket.”

Conway was quick to applaud Monogram Magic for always being willing and ready to become involved in community efforts – lauding partners Danette and Dan who run the operation.   

The retail value of the gift was over $300.

Jarred said that she was happy to provide the jacket after hearing how deserving a student Rachel had proved to be in her four years at Manteca High. Over the past 20 some years Monogram Magic has provided over 200 jackets without cost to deserving students at a host of high schools throughout the Central Valley.

And for Rachel, she didn’t stop smiling throughout the day.