Carwash raises cash for memorial fund
CV High students work to help family grieving after hit-and-run death Jan. 1.
By Melanie HickenLA CRESCENTA — Students from more than a dozen Crescenta Valley High School clubs and organizations came together Saturday to raise money for the family of a classmate whose dad was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Cars streamed in and out of the high school’s overflow parking lot on Ramsdell Avenue early Saturday morning for a waterless carwash to raise money for the Joo Lee Memorial Fund.
Lee was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Montrose on New Year’s Day and later died from his injuries. No one has been arrested in connection with Lee’s death.
“There are no active leads that we have currently,” said Lt. Gary Montecuollo. “It is still an open case. We regularly discuss the facts of the case with other law enforcement agencies and review other traffic collisions and information.”
At Saturday’s fundraising event, students also passed out fliers with information about the January accident.
They said they hoped the event could raise awareness about the accident to help develop new leads for the police investigation.
“We’re trying to let the community know about what happened,” said junior Kevin Park.
On Saturday, Lee’s oldest daughter, Suzie, a senior at the high school, said she and her family have been amazed by the outpouring of community support.
“I feel really blessed to have such great friends and classmates,” she said.
The carwash was organized by Crescenta Valley sophomore Peter Lee, who said he wanted to do all he could to help his friend and her family during a time of tragedy.
“She’s like a sister to me,” he said.
So far, more than $8,000 has been raised for the family entirely through donations, and Lee said he hoped to raise another $2,000 at the carwash.
In an effort to adhere to the area’s water conservation restrictions, the students teamed with the Crescenta Valley Water District to host a “waterless” carwash that used a nonhazardous chemical to clean the cars. The district donated enough of the spray to wash 500 cars, Peter Lee said.
On Saturday, students sprayed the chemical on cars, and wiped them down with rags Saturday, dancing to music as they worked.
Freshman Sevag Alexanian said he doesn’t know Suzie Lee well, but he still came out early Saturday morning to do anything he could to help.
“We’re all here to make our contributions and help out,” he said. “Our hearts go out to the family.”
Anyone with information on the January incident is asked to contact the Glendale Police Department. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867.