Members of the local community gathered at Woodley Park to have their cars washed at a fundraiser to help the families of Celestino Fuentes, Isaiah Sanchez and Steve Orellana Jr.
Fuentes, Sanchez and Orellana Jr. were killed in a car crash on Sunday, July 3 in Winnetka.
Local business owners who had mobile setups for car detailing and washing, including Erik Correa of Erik’s Detailing and Jose Velarde of JV Mobile Wash and Detailing, were there to help wash cars. Under green, blue and black tents, cold drinks and snacks were available for purchase.
Wendy Depaz, who had gone to school with Fuentes, Sanchez and Orellana Jr., talked about the friendships they had formed.
“I was lucky enough to be able to share the last four years of my life with them,” Depaz said. “Those guys, all three were basically the light to the group. Hopefully today we can raise as much money to give them their proper burial because of the great people that they were. Nothing can even amount to that, but we’re going to try our hardest.”
Depaz recalled how Orellana Jr., a Pierce student, was on his way to becoming a zoologist.
“I honestly admired the way that he cared about school,” Depaz said. “He was a scholar. He was passionate about what he did for animals. That’s one thing that I always looked up to him for—the work that 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 done or what time you needed it done, if you just needed to talk or anything, he was there no matter the circumstances,” Depaz said. “He was always willing to help and he was just this goofy, go-lucky kid. He could make anybody laugh. It was just amazing to be able to share the time that I was able to share with him.”
Depaz added, “We’re just out here trying to do the best that we can for them, because they deserve the absolute best.”