Lauro Garcia has worked at Kyrene Altadeña Middle School as the building manager since the school opened in 1994.
He loved his job dearly, believing the school shared a sense of paradise for not only himself, but for each individual who walked through the hallways.
When Garcia wasn’t working at Altadeña, he would work as a custodian for the Tempe Union High School District to earn some money to support his family.
However, this past year Garcia had to leave both his jobs because of complications in his spine, rendering him to be out of work.
According to series of MRI scans, Garcia was under doctor’s orders to stop working immediately because of the vigorous activity he would complete at the school.
While being out of work, Garcia underwent surgery and has been in recovery since June of this past year.
“Right now I’m in the middle of doing therapy and doing whatever I can at home… doing all kinds of exercises,” Garcia said.
When hearing the news about Garcia being out of work, faculty members at Altadeña sprung into action to assist their beloved building manger in anyway possible.
Annie Saccoman, student services and athletic secretary, met with the school’s Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) to devise different fundraising ideas to assist Garcia and his family with any financial problems they were facing.
One of the first fundraisers the PTSO had at the school was a gift-card fundraiser, where students brought different gift cards to de donated.
The fundraiser went on to raise approximately $1,800 in gift cards.
Gaining much success from that fundraiser, Saccoman and the PTSO deiced to host a community Fun 5K run on a Saturday morning at the school.
“We did quite a bit of fundraising, and each event was successful due to the goodness and generosity of the students and families of the Altadeña community,” Saccoman said. “Our goal was to help him and get him grounded. That’s what friends do.”
The Fun 5K run was through donations only, and with the PTSO backing the fundraiser went on to raise $1,400, Saccoman said.
During the run, members of the PTSO wore shirts with mustaches on them, resembling Garcia’s signature mustache.
“They always treated me so well there and took care of me, and now they are taking care of me in a different way,” Garcia said. “They are very special people.”
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