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Benefit car wash shines for teen

KINGSTON — Cheryl Steele’s original goal of raising $2,000 during the Aaron Jacot benefit car wash went down the drain Saturday at the Kingston Albertsons.

But in the best possible way as the funding bubble doubled in size before finally popping.

When the six-hour car wash was over, a total of $4,038 was collected by the crowd of volunteers in attendance. All proceeds from the event will benefit the recovery efforts of Kingston teenager Aaron Jacot. Jacot was severely injured in a motorcycle accident April 21 and is paralyzed from his chest down but has the use of his hands. The recent North Kitsap High School graduate is undergoing extensive rehabilitation as a result.

“It’s all about Aaron and his family,” Steele said. “This day has been an outreach of love from the community to Aaron. There’s so much love in the Kingston community. Some people have been dropping off their keys to us and going shopping. It’s just been awesome.”

Steele said she estimated at least 200 cars were washed throughout the day.

“Ever since we got here at 8:30 a.m., it’s been nonstop,” she said. “When we first got here this morning, there was already 12 cars lined up getting ready to be washed.”

Fellow volunteer Carol Gates agreed with the assessment.

“It has definitely been steady. The cars haven’t stopped coming all day,” she said. “It’s been awesome. It’s so great to see people come together for Aaron.”

Jacot made an appearance at the car wash at about 3 p.m. with his mother by his side.

“Seeing Aaron show up towards the end of the car wash was awesome,” Steele said. “It was gratifying for everyone to see him there. He got to see how much love this community has for him.”

Liana Stien of the Kingston Bank of America branch, was among the 30 volunteers who spent their Saturday washing cars.

“It’s a lot of fun being out here with all of these kids. Everyone here is showing they care about Aaron,” she said. “This car wash gives us a chance to help out.”

Steele said she was impressed with the large number of Boy Scouts who lent a helping hand. With Jacot being an Eagle Scout, the connection with the 15 or 20 members from area troops was tangible.

“These kids that were here today did a wonderful job,” she said. “They’re having lots of fun out here.”

Steele’s son Grann, who organized the carwash, said he was impressed with the amount of money raised.

“The car wash has received quite a few donations,” he said. “Some people gave a donation of just $1, and others have given up to $300. Everyone is giving what they can. It feels good to be here.”

Donations to help with Jacot’s rehabilitation can be sent to the Aaron Jacot Fund, Bank of America, 10943 NE State Highway 104, Kingston, WA 98346.

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