Will Finley Hall contain all the caring?
BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat
There’s no telling how many people will come to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon for the unusual community gathering prompted by a tragic, pre-Christmas highway crash in Mexico.
Organizers hope there will be a plate of Art Ibleto’s pasta and a chair for everybody. But if it turns out Finley Hall can’t contain the outpouring for injured cousins Alexis Vargas, 17, and Cristina Garcia, 16, that won’t be a bad thing.
Each person’s presence will be gift to relatives of the girls, both of whom have incurred tremendous medical expenses since the crash that killed Cristina’s mother, María.
The fairgrounds event, to run from 2 to 6 p.m., will serve as a memorial, a community supper and a musical celebration that Alexis and Cristina survived and are coming along.
Cristina is now back at home, and getting around in wheelchair. Alexis remains in treatment at UCSF.
“Everywhere I go, people ask about the girls,” said their principal, Mary Gail
Stablein of Santa Rosa’s Elsie Allen High. She said the other day that donations of items for today’s silent auction had her office looking like a department store.
The way that all sorts of people are rallying for girls and their families is breathtaking.
Sunday at the fairground, it continues.