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Car wash raises funds to send boy
to Disney World

Event also benefits La Quinta
  Boys & Girls Club
by Alisa Poole
The Desert Sun

Reprinted From
The Desert Sun
June 18, 2000

Photo by Ron Soliman, The Desert Sun - Water Works: Nathan Gomez, 10, of Coachella sprays water on a car with the assistance of Tim Bloom at the La Quinta Boys & Girls Club car wash.  The event was a fundraiser to help send Gomez to Walt disney World in Florida.LA QUINTA - Drivers waited in line Saturday to have their cars washed to help 10-year-old Nathan Gomez and the La Quinta Boys & Girls Club.

The car wash, held in the Red Robin restaurant parking lot on Highway 111, raised money for Gomez, a club member from Coachella who has short bowel syndrome, a life-threatening illness.

He wants to go to Walt Disney World in Florida.

The money also will benefit La Quinta Boys & Girls Club programs.

"I heard about it on the radio, and it sounded like a good cause," said Teri O'Rourke, a Palm Desert resident.   "It's much easier than washing it  myself, I always like to support local causes like this."

The total fund-raising goal is around $25,000 with $6,000 of it funding the Disney World trip.  Each wash cost $5.  The car wash raised $600.  The amount donated by Red Robin restaurant was not known at press time.

"It's giving him plush treatment," said Quinton Egson, the club's director of program services.  "We want the best for him."

The Car Wash Guys and The Window Wash Guys franchises teamed up with the club.

"The Car Wash Guys likes to do one fund-raiser a month to just become a part of the community," said Stan Mattes, franchisee for The Car Wash Guys in Palm Desert.

Red Robin restaurant donated 10 percent of Saturday's restaurant sales.

"We're pretty involved in the community here," said Paul Austin, general manager of Red Robin.  "We thought it would be a great idea to help him out.  They wanted a place to do it, and they talked to me and I said, 'Yeah, we'll do it here.'"

Members of the Gomez family also washed cars.

"It's all good," said Valentino Gomez, Nathan's 15-year-old brother.  "I think it's good because they're helping out my little brother fulfill his dream."

Nathan said he was very excited about going to Florida and wanted to "Go on On all the rides.  Have fun with my brother and sister and my family."

Alisa Poole is a general assignment reporter for The Desert Sun.  She can be reached at 778-4691.

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