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webmaster | 09/17/13

Community supports family of heat-stroke victim

After it was learned that 14-year-old Madera South freshman Graciela Martinez died from apparent heat stroke inside a car parked on campus last week, it didn’t take long for the community to respond and offer support to her devastated family.

A multitude of events were organized on short notice by students, parents, and even complete strangers and raised more than $3,500 for funeral and other expenses less than a week after Martinez was found lifeless in the back of her brother’s car last Wednesday.

A car wash over the weekend at the behest of students — many from other schools such as Madera High — raised more than $2,000, said Trish Gonzales, a parent who helped organize the event.

“I didn’t know her personally but it doesn’t change anything,” Gonzales said in an interview with Fresno-based television news station ABC30. “I figured let’s try to get something going, raise money, help the family, make them feel comfortable. It’s not going to take away the pain but it’s going to help with the burden of the finances.” ...


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