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Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Unites to Help Family

Sep 01, 2015 11:00AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Party goers listen to Radio Rebels at a 27th Street block party/fundraiser

When tragedy struck a local family, friends and neighbors knew they wanted to help. But after turning their annual Tree Section block party into a fundraiser, even the organizers were blown away by the event's success: The party raised over $10,000, or more than five times the original goal.

"We usually hold a block party at the end of the summer, so this time we decided we should try to turn it into a fundraiser. We needed three things: A great band, cold beer and good food," said organizer Charles Southey of the party held on 27th Street in the Tree Section. "Then everything snowballed, very much reinforcing what an incredible community we live in."

The party was held to benefit the family of Salomon Ortega, who was driving to work on the 110 Freeway on July 12 when he was involved in a multi-car pileup. He suffered severe injuries and remains hospitalized at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Ortega, of Harbor City, was the sole breadwinner for his family of six - including a son Salomon Jr., who plays for the LA Galaxy South Bay BU-13 Pre-Academy soccer team.

Since the accident, the close-knit LA Galaxy South Bay community has rallied in support of the family. LAGSB friends created a GoFundMe page to assist the family.

Southey says that after the decision to make the party a fundraiser, it grew into something bigger than he and the other organizers had ever imagined. "I was getting calls from people offering to donate items. Neighbors showed up with raffle and auction items without being asked. The LA Galaxy Pre-Academy '03 and '02 boys jumped in to help with check-in, cleanup, service and hosting. I received emails from businesses offering donations."

The final tally came in at more than $10,000, far surpassing the original goal of $2,000.

Contributors to the party included Fresh Brothers Pizza, Tin Roof Bistro, Monkish Brewery, OB's Pub & GrillThe Ripe Choice, Chef AJ Pike, Radio Rebels, Reed’s Beverages, Puritan Bakery, , Awesome Bounce, Julio Ramos, Frito Lay, Brett Willberg, Arctic Glacier Premium Ice, the Lamkin Family, the Kunianski Family, the Castronuovo family, the Roberts Family, Will Parry - TOCA , Manhattan Country Club, El Capitan Canyon, Hots Kitchen, Rock N Brew, Shade Hotel, the Walker Family, the Disser Family, LA Galaxy Academy, Brian Rowe, Jen Mennel, Cynthia Arenbart, Steve Nash, and Landon Donovan.

To make a contribution to the Ortega family, click here

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