Coffee House Being Held to Raise Money for Students in Car Crash

Colleen Barrett, Print Copy Editor

Chorus is hosting a coffee house Friday Nov. 30 in the chorus room at lunch to raise money for the Ortiz family, after sisters, senior Lia Ortiz, freshman Iliana Ortiz and freshman Liliana Ortiz, were hospitalized Nov. 23 due to a car crash on Norbeck Road.

The coffee house will include student performances as well as snacks and refreshments. Admission costs 50 cents and admission with food costs $1. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased Thursday in the chorus room, room 1038, at lunch.  Tickets will also be available at the door Friday.

Anyone can sign up to perform at a coffee house, but all available spots for this particular one have been filled.

Senior Azalea Lazo started hosting the coffee houses last year in order to raise money for the music department and so students could showcase their talents. The coffee houses are usually held twice a month, and the next one was supposed to take place Dec. 5, but due to the suddenness of the car accident, Lazo scheduled it sooner than planned. As a friend of Lia Ortiz’s, she decided to donate the funds to the Ortiz family.

¨It wouldn’t hurt to donate the money this time to a great cause. I don’t suppose I have an estimate of how much we will be making, but I do hope people will donate more than a dollar, as it helps the Ortiz family so much,¨ Lazo said.

In addition to the coffee house, a GoFundMe page was created Nov. 26 to raise money for the family as their mother will not be able to work for the foreseeable future. The initial goal was to raise $7,500, but as of Nov. 28, over $16,000 has been raised.

The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is also hosting a fundraiser at the Villa Maya restaurant in Rock Creek Village shopping center Dec. 12. Fifteen percent of all bills paid by credit cards will be donated to the family as well as 20 percent of all bills paid in cash.

The crash occurred around 7 p.m. as the Ortiz’s were traveling westbound on Norbeck in their Ford Focus. A Ford E-150 van making a left turn from Westbury Road onto Norbeck collided into them. The Ortiz’s car then crashed into a brick “Flower Valley” neighborhood entrance sign, according to a Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) Nov. 23 press release.

The five passengers of the Ortiz’s car all had to be extricated and rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. The lone driver of the van was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. Each of the girls has shown signs of improvement since Friday, principal Billie Jean Bensen said in a Nov. 25  email to parents.

Students seeking support can visit the counseling office. There are also Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) psychologists available to talk to in the counseling office.

”It’s important to talk about it,” counseling head Alejandra Crawley said. “We don’t know what students might be feeling, so it’s good to have communication and be able to let out feelings and not just bottle them up.”


In order to donate to the GoFundMe campaign click here