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Car wash continues today & Sunday for help with burial
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Maria Navarro, Jessica Miller and Gabriel Sotello called on traffic with their sign at the entrance of the car wash near the sponsoring Audio Pros and Red Carpet Liquors that allowed the use of their parking lot. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Family members, friends and co-workers of Dean Ponsiano, 46, pitched in to make a Friday afternoon memorial car wash a success.  More than 30 workers manned hoses, buckets and towels scrubbing down cars and trucks.

The car wash will continue today and Sunday at the parking lot on the northeast corner of Powers and Yosemite avenues beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 7 p.m.  Two merchants near the parking area volunteered their spaces and driveway for the event. 

Ricky Singh of Red Carpet Liquor and Mike Misa of Audio Pros made it possible, family members said. 

Ponsiano’s daughter Marta Ambriz said supporters of the car wash were leaving donations of $10 and more.  By 4 p.m. Friday there had been some 40 cars washed at the lot.

She said that Home Depot had provided the towels, buckets and hoses for the workers.  Friends and family members anxious to help drove to Manteca from as far away as San Jose, Modesto and Los Banos, she added.  They had used Facebook to put the word out encouraging everyone to help them in their effort to pay for funeral expenses.

“We are very, very grateful.  It really touches my heart that all these people cared for my dad that they are here,” she said.  “All of this support makes it easier to bear.  We didn’t expect this much turnout.”

She added that it is easier for her mom when she is surrounded by so many caring people in her home.  “It’s nighttime, when no one is around, that it is overwhelming for her,” Ambriz said.

The car wash is offering raffle tickets for $5 each.  The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to have a tattoo courtesy of the Manteca Parlor on Yosemite Avenue owned by Rudy and April Rivera.

Ponsiano had died as a result of an assault shortly after midnight Sunday morning in front of his Dody Drive home south of Woodward Park following on the heels of an evening birthday party.  Jorge M. Fernandez has been charged with murder and is currently in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

A celebration of life is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday at P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home at 290 North Union Road, Manteca.