Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Azteca Milling employees collected and donated $500 to Madera Coyote Boosters in memory of fellow employee Armando Candelaria, who passed away in July. From left, athletic director John Fernandez, booster treasurer Sheri Caballero, Evan Candelaria (son of Armando), Blanca Candelaria (wife of Armando), Kathy Row and Silvia Ramirez of Azteca Milling and MHS principal, Robyn Cosgrove.
Armando Candelaria, an employee for Azteca Milling, died in July due to complications with a COVID-19 viral infection, but his memory was honored after his company donated $500 to Madera High.
Candelaria, a former student-athlete at Madera High School, leaves a lasting memory within the community. His legacy lives on in his family, including his son who is a rising baseball player in the Coyote program.
“The donation was made to our Madera Coyote Boosters, who will utilize the funds through many annual outlets of support that include scholarships, vouchers for letterman jackets, and additional funding support of MHS Athletic programs,” Madera Coyotes athletic director John Fernandez said.
Candelaria’s presence the last five years within the company could not be understated, said a news release from Azteca Milling.
Azteca Milling left a heartfelt message along with the $500 check.
“Armando Candelaria was a very special person to the Madera High Coyote Family, as he was to the Azteca Milling Family where has worked for the past five years. He lost his battle with the COVID in July and he will be greatly missed,” the company news release said.
Employees collected donations for the Coyote Athletic Boosters in his memory.
Armando Candelaria’s passion and advocacy for sports in his hometown will be missed, the news release said.
But through his son Evan, and the thriving Madera sports community, Candelaria’s memory will be properly remembered.
“He played football, baseball and wrestled at MHS. He was a TRUE Coyote at heart. His son, Evan, carries on the Coyote spirit as a gifted ball player within the Coyote Baseball program. Armando and his family have long been supporters of Madera Sports,” said the company news release.
However, due to school closures and season postponements, the sports community is at a standstill.
But Fernandez has a message for his students and student athletes.
“For our student athletes and all students in general, the entire staff at Madera High School is eagerly awaiting your return to campus when it is safe to do so. We encourage you to stay focused and committed to your academics through distance learning,” Fernandez said.
“Channel your energy and mind set to strengthen your inner desire to grow as an individual. Continue to make meaningful choices and decisions that encompass all of our community. As we continue with safe practices, the calendar for your return will near sooner. We are stronger together.”