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John Steves Visits Fundraiser

Neighborhood Ralphs hosts event to benefit a school cherished by his wife, Mara, who was killed Feb. 13 in a traffic collision after she rescued a dog on Moulton Parkway.

After a rainy Saturday, the skies over Laguna Niguel parted and two rainbows appeared.

It was Mara's way of saying thank you.

That's how Amy David saw it after the first day of a holiday weekend fundraiser in memory of her friend, Mara Steves, who was killed Feb. 13 as she tried to rescue a dog from a busy intersection.  As of Sunday evening, the fundraiser at Steves' favorite store, 28231 Crown Valley Parkway, had raised several thousands of dollars for Marian Bergeson Elementary School's Mara Steves Memorial Fund to restore the school's theater stage and lighting. 

"This small and caring community is what Laguna Niguel is all about," David said. "Thank you to all the families who made a difference. At around 4 p.m. Saturday, two beautiful rainbows appeared in the sky so we knew Mara had approved of this event."

The highlight of Saturday's event was a visit by Steves' husband, John, and his children, Hannah and Jonathan. 

"It was  an emotional moment as he thanked our volunteers and was able to hug some of the checkers who loved Mara so much," David said.  "This is so wonderful of Ralphs to host a personal fundraiser for a patron of their store. Ralphs is not a food chain, it's our local grocery store where we shop every day and know each other by first names."

"Our customers are more like friends and family," said Monica Gilles, the store's director.

The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and numerous Marian Bergeson Elementary School friends volunteered their time for the event.

Tom Berney February 22, 2011 at 05:12 AM
I'm glad I found out about the fundraiser , this tragedy was felt by all of us.

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