By Mary O’KEEFE
Operation Hope, a partnering of about 15 different Crescenta Valley High School clubs, held a waterless car wash on Saturday to benefit the Joo Lee family. Held at the overflow parking lot on Ramsdell Avenue, south of Office Depot, the car wash had been rescheduled twice due to inclement weather. Joo Lee was the victim of a fatal hit and run accident that occurred on Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. on Montrose Avenue.
The driver of the hit and run has yet to be identified.
“We have had some leads but have not found the driver,” said Glendale Officer Matt Zakarian. The officer stopped by on Saturday for a car wash and to support the volunteers. The car wash was originally the idea of CVHS student Peter Lee. He knew Suzy Lee, Joo’s daughter, and wanted to do something to help. Peter is the president of LOOK Club at the high school. He wanted to do a car wash but knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to do so with restrictions on water use.
“We contacted Crescenta Valley Water District and they said they would help,”
Christy Scott of CVWD investigated a variety of waterless car wash solutions and then checked with Dennis Erdman, water district general manager.
“CVWD donated enough of the spray for 500 cars,” Peter said. “We want to thank the water district for doing that.”
“It was amazing. They really helped us, otherwisewe couldn’t have had the car wash,” said Aimee Yeghiayan, president of Prom Plus Club.
The spray isn’t exactly waterless, as pointed out by one of the patrons that brought their car to be washed. It is a non-toxic, phosphate-free solution that is mixed with water into a spray bottle. (Information on the solution is at the end of this article.)
The students sprayed the solution onto the cars and wiped it off with a soft towel.
Drivers who brought their cars in were surprised at how clean their vehicles looked after the kids were finished.
“It’s a lot of work,” said Yeghiayan. “There were a lot of cars.”
At the end of the day the volunteers had cleaned over 250 cars. It is difficult for
organizers to get an exact count because so many customers donated more than
the $6 car wash price.
Suzy was one of the volunteers with her fellow classmates.
“I am really touched. Many of these [students] don’t even know who I am but they are here to help,” Suzy said.
Suzy, her older sister Amy, and mother Kyoung are trying to get back to a normal
routine. Amy is a USC graduate and has moved back home to help her family. Suzy has been accepted to several colleges including California State Northridge and San Diego State.
“I will probably go to Northridge to stay close to my family,” she said.
Financially they are still trying to cope but are resolving many of the business matters left behind after Joo’s untimely death.
As for the driver who hit her father, Suzy said she has forgiven him or her.
“But turn yourself in for your conscience and for our family’s closure,” she added.
The police are still asking for anyone with information concerning the hit and run
to contact Investigator Frommling at (818) 548- 3131 or after hours (818) 548-4911. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call (800) 222-8477. Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Michael Antonovich and the city of Glendale have approved a $20,000 reward for information.
As for the Lee family, they are returning to routine and appreciate the support of
“I really want to say thank you so much to the community,” Suzy said. “It is truly amazing that so many people care. We were lost at first after the accident but the community has given us hope.”
The students used a product called Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash & Detailing Products. Visit online at www.ecotouch.net or call (888) 375-7970.