Marines Wring Out Cash

NEWPORT BEACH | Saturday, June 10, 2006

City officials and Marines lather, rinse and raise funds at weekend carwash.

It's not everyday that you can have Newport Beach City Manager Homer Bludau wash your car. Saturday was an exception. Alongside Marines and their wives from the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Bludau and other city figures washed cars to raise money for the 1/1. The 1/1 is the Marine battalion sponsored by Newport Beach. The Marines usually hold fundraising carwashes on the base, but since the 1/1's deployment, they haven't had time or enough people, Marine wife Anne Oxner said. The fundraising will go toward the Marine Ball, held this year in San Diego. The ball can be expensive for Marines when the ticket and dress uniform costs are added up, said Jewel Carruth, who organized the carwash. "It's really heartwarming that we have people out here who really do still support the military," Carruth said. Saturday's event was a family affair. Tiny tots scurried about, pulling along dogs and toys, and country music blared on the loudspeakers. Lou Earlabaugh's shiny red Mercedes convertible was already pretty clean when he brought it to be washed Saturday morning. The car doesn't get driven much and was recently washed, but Earlabaugh brought it by just the same. He heard about the event while eating lunch at the Arches. Jim Fitzpatrick, president of ProntoWash of Southern California, donated his time and the use of his waterless carwash -- towels that use a water-based lotion to wash the cars eliminate any concern of harmful materials washing into storm drains or the nearby bay. A steady line of cars were in queue for a washing in the Arches parking lot. Restaurant owner Dan Marcheano donated his time and his lot for the event. Some of the wives brought homemade baked goods, like cupcakes and cookies, to be sold for donations. Newport Beach resident Holly Love had just washed her car on Thursday but brought it for another rinse when she read about the event in the paper. "I'm one of the military's biggest supporters. Regardless of whatever happens, I'm there for them 110%," Love said.

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