Community rallies in support of Amy Martinez

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Hundreds of people showed up at Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina on the evening of August 6 to support the Amy Martinez Fundraiser. The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise funds to go towards hand transplants or hand prosthetics for 28-year-old Canyon Lake resident Amy Martinez. Amy, a mother of two young children, had to have her hands and legs amputated in 2015 due to septic shock.

When members of the Canyon Lake chapter of Trusted Business Partners, Jeanne O’Dell, Shannon Coombs, Sandra Upchurch, Cathy Boyer, Janice Johnson and Diane Scott, heard that Amy’s insurance denied her hand prosthetics, they jumped into action and started planning a fundraiser.

In less than two months the ladies were able to collect 67 baskets and gift certificates from local businesses, vendors and residents for the raffle. Jeanne O’Dell, the owner of Pepe’s, also donated a portion of their day’s sales to Amy, and Diane Scott from Premier Designs Jewelry donated 30 percent of her evening sales.

A resident who wishes to remain anonymous purchased raffle tickets for Amy so that she too could have a chance to win some of the raffle prizes. Another generous donation came from resident Pei Pei Gunter. Pei Pei won a $499 bicycle, which she donated to Amy immediately after winning.

“That was an amazing thing for her to do,” says Erin Eastman, who attended the fundraiser with her husband and granddaughter.

Amy, who attended the event with her family and children, gave a speech at the fundraiser. “A big thank you to everyone who came out tonight, it’s really overwhelming all the support we have. Thank you so much; this is going to help us out tremendously. Thank you,” she said to the crowd.

In all, the event raised a total of $13,036, more than doubling the goal the organizers had set for themselves. The total does not include several envelopes with money that people gave directly to Amy on the evening of the fundraiser.

Organizer Jeanne O’Dell says, “Wow, we had no idea we would raise this much money. We thought we might raise about $5,000, never imagining $13,000! That just goes to show what an amazing community we have.”

Resident Lance Robertson says, “What a wonderful outpouring of love. I have never seen anything like it. What a great community and people. I hope everybody participating steps back and truly realizes how wonderful they are.”

“It was so nice to see our community come together and provide for one of our own in their time of need. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of such an awesome community,” says Christie Santolucito.

Organizer Shannon Coombs says, “On behalf of all the Amy Martinez fundraiser organizers we want everyone to know how appreciative we are for your support. Thank you to the people who donated, the people who attended, the people who promoted the event, to Donna Ritchie for publicity and photography, to The Friday Flyer for advertising, to Dave Garcia for the sound, and to Amy’s brother-in-law, James Kempthorne, for announcing all the raffle winners. This fundraiser would not have been a success without the support from all of you.”

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Donna Ritchie