Members of the local community gathered in Woodley Park to wash their cars in a fundraiser to help the families of Celestino Fuentes, Isaiah Sanchez and Steve Orellana Jr.
Fuentes, Sanchez and Orellana Jr. were killed in one Car accident on Sunday, July 3 in Winnetka.
Local business owners who had mobile detailing and car wash equipment, including Erik Correa of Erik’s Detailing and Jose Velarde of JV Mobile Wash and Detailing, were there to help wash the cars. Under the green, blue and black tents, cold drinks and snacks were available for purchase.
Wendy Depaz, who went to school with Fuentes, Sanchez and Orellana Jr., talked about the friendships they formed.
“I was lucky enough to share the last four years of my life with them,” Depaz said. “Those guys, the three of them were basically the light of the bunch. We hope that today we can raise as much money as possible to give them a proper burial because of the wonderful people they were. Nothing can be that equal, but we’ll do our best.”
Depaz recalled how Orellana Jr., a Pierce student, was on his way to becoming a zoologist.
“I honestly admired the way he cared about the school,” Depaz said. “He was a scholar. He was passionate about what he did for animals. That’s one thing I’ve always looked up to — the work he did and how he did it with so much love and compassion.”
Depaz said Orellana Jr. was very helpful.
“It didn’t matter what you needed to do or how long it needed to be done, if you just needed to talk or whatever, he was there no matter the circumstances,” Depaz said. “He was always willing to help and was just this goofy, go-lucky guy. He could make anyone laugh. It was just amazing to be able to share the time that I was able to share with him.”
Depaz added, “We’re here trying to do the best we can for them, because they deserve the absolute best.”