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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

PearlCon cancellation leaves students, staff disappointed

Grant Asner
Sophomore Sebastian Olfatmanesh and junior Genesis Cuellar-Figueroa browse through an auction at last year’s PearlCon on May 13, 2023. PearlCon is held every year to bring the community together through auctions, games, performances and more.

Junior Giselle Garzon was sad to see that PearlCon would not be taking place this year. At the previous PearlCon, Garzon volunteered for the event but also found herself enjoying the different booths, activities and food.

“When I heard it (PearlCon) was canceled, I was really disappointed,” Garzon said. “I was looking forward to going because of how much I enjoyed it last year. Hopefully I’ll get to experience PearlCon next year, since it will be my last year here.” 

PearlCon is a convention held at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School for the community that consists of comic book sales, small business vendors, car shows, silent auctions, performers and more. This year, PearlCon was scheduled for May 18 but was canceled due to lack of approval from the district.

“I think it’s very sad because I think schools are losing opportunities to finance themselves,” incoming PTSA President Colleen Elkins said. “The district cutting programs gives us an even harder time since it’s already so difficult to have participation and fundraising, especially at a small school like ours.”

The district has become more strict in issuing rules regarding who is allowed to come onto campus and other specific regulations, making it more difficult for vendors to be able to be a part of fundraisers similar to PearlCon. Vendors selling food or small businesses selling goods have more guidelines and regulations they have to follow in order to participate in an event like PearlCon. According to Elkins, this leaves more struggles to find those who qualify or now want to participate for this event as it is based on the local vendors and small businesses.

Principal Armen Petrossian said he could not disclose any information about the cancellation and referred questions to the school district Public Information Officer, who didn’t respond to an email sent on May 10 and May 15. 

Magnet Coordinator James Morrison, who created the event in 2016 with now-retired chemistry teacher Steve Schaffter, has worked behind the scenes every year for PearlCon to bring the community together and host a fun way to fundraise for the school. This PTSA-sponsored fundraiser helps raise $3000 to $5000. This event is the school’s main PTSA fundraiser and funds the entire school year of activities, which means its cancellation leaves members of the PTSA scrambling to find ways of fundraising for next year. 

“Ultimately, what we’re doing is throwing a party for the community,” Morrison said. “We’re trying to stop the hate that’s out there and bring everyone together for one day where it doesn’t matter what your political or social viewpoint is. You can come and have fun together as a family.” 

Every year, a variety of people come to PearlCon allowing students to learn and see different things. Animators, directors and magicians have visited the school to showcase their talents that others might be interested in. Spider-Man creator Stan Lee recorded a promotional video for PearlCon in 2016. Students especially enjoy the comics and artistic pieces that are sold in the MPR. Students also get an opportunity to showcase their talents and interests as some sing while others have their own booths to promote their small businesses.   

“I’m honestly sad it got canceled,” sophomore Jordan Viviano said. “ I’m just glad I got to experience it at least once. It was really great to get a chance to hang out with friends and show them around. A lot of the people I invited don’t even go to this school but they still had a good time.” 

Junior Leeron Nakash liked seeing all the vintage cars at the car show that was held last year. She shared how the food, music and small businesses that had stations set up throughout the front of the school were fun to explore for the day. Nakash is a part of the music department and even got to showcase some of her own talent for others to hear as well. 

“PearlCon shows everyone that even though we’re a small school, we can still make a difference in a way that benefits our community,” Nakash said. 

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About the Contributors
Jasmine McNair
Jasmine McNair, Staff Writer
Jasmine McNair is in her first year as a staff writer for The Pearl Post and is in the 11th grade. She enjoys listening to music, being with friends and baking during her free time. McNair aims to improve her writing skills, boost her confidence and form better communication skills. This is the perfect opportunity for her to try something new and be more involved with her school.
Grant Asner
Grant Asner, Entertainment Editor
Grant Asner is this year's Entertainment Editor for The Pearl Post. This is his first year on staff and he is eager to better his skills as a journalist. For fun, Grant is often at the gym, watching movies, listening to music or hanging out with friends.
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