Japan Relief Student Car Wash Memorial Weekend

Students hosted a charity car wash for earthquake and tsunami relief at the van lot on the Idyllwild Arts campus Memorial Weekend

By Marcia E. Gawecki

This Memorial Weekend, student volunteers at Idyllwild Arts will be hosting a charity car wash. All proceeds go to the ongoing earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The car wash will be held Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. in the van lot on campus.

Cassaundra Dunbridge, who works at the Student Health Center at Idyllwild Arts, is spearheading the event. As a registered nurse, she is aware of the monumental task of the Japanese Red Cross Society.

“We wanted the Japanese Red Cross to know that we continue to support their efforts,” Cassaundra said Saturday. “Our hearts go out to them and everyone in Japan.”

She and a legion of student volunteers worked the event on Saturday, May 28. They made homemade signs and posted them on Tollgate Road and along the fences on campus. They also put a large sign on their bench by the van stop at Strawberry Creek Plaza in Idyllwild.

And since three school vans were going back and forth to town Saturday and Sunday transporting students, the volunteers soaped the windows to advertise the car wash. Other volunteers handed out flyers in town announcing the two-day event.

There was no set price for a car wash, only that all donations would go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

“Some people donated $5 and even $10,” said Paris, a dance major and car wash volunteer. “One woman gave us more when she heard it was for Japanese tsunami victims. She kept pulling more and more bills out of her purse.”

Soap, water hoses, brushes, rags and buckets were donated by the Idyllwild Arts Transportation Department.

Tucker moved his fleet of vans on the lot to make room for the charity car wash

Tucker McIntyre, head of Transportation, moved his fleet of eight vans out of the way, so people would have a place to park while they waited. He even helped Cassandra and the students wash cars and trucks.

John, a theater major, set up a stereo system and cranked it up loud so that the students would stay motivated.

As Saturday afternoon lagged on, Paris and Shanty, another dance major, took one of the signs and stood at the edge of campus calling out to drivers to come to their car wash.

Other student volunteers put flyers on cars in the parking lot at Strawberry Plaza.

“It didn’t matter if they were dirty or clean, we put one on every car,” one student said. “It was about 35 flyers.”

By days end, Cassaundra said they had raised $274 for their efforts, and hoped for more the next day.

However, on Sunday, May 29, Mother Nature dampened their charity car wash with a steady rain that didn’t let up before their noon start time.

“That’s OK,” Paris said. “We’re already making plans for next year.”

Some changes to their car wash efforts included more wooden signs and balloons further down Tollgate Road.

“I had no idea there were so many yard sales along Tollgate,” said Maria, a Creative Writing student and volunteer, as she rode in the van after the event on Saturday. “We had a lot of competition.”

Although rain may have washed out their efforts on Sunday, Cassaundra plans to continue to collect donations for the Japanese Red Cross Society until the school year ends on June 3rd. Donations can be dropped off at the Student Health Center on campus. For more information, call Cassaundra Dunbridge at (951) 659-2171.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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