‘Tito’ Martinez fundraiser takes place this weekend | SierraSun.com

‘Tito’ Martinez fundraiser takes place this weekend

The Pascual “Tito” Martinez Memorial Foundation is holding its sixth annual scholarship fund- raiser picnic/fiesta at the Truckee River Regional Park on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 1 to 7 p.m.

In 1994, 16-year-old “Tito” Martinez sustained shoulder injuries while playing football on the Tahoe-Truckee High School team. On June 25, 1994, during routine shoulder surgery, Tito suffered a heart attack and died. He was survived by his parents, a younger brother and two younger sisters, as well as a large extended family, who have remained in the Truckee area.

Shortly after Tito’s death, the Pascual “Tito” Martinez Memorial Foundation was formed informally by friends and extended family members who wished to help the family pay Tito’s medical expenses.

The first fundraising event generated more than $10,000 and Tito’s family decided to give back to the community in the way Tito himself would have done.

As a result, two seniors graduating from his school received $1,000 scholarships established in Tito’s name.

The foundation became a formal organization when friends and family decided to establish an annual tradition of giving in Tito’s honor.

“He really went out of his way to help people, people he didn’t know or those he could see needed a helping hand,” Tito’s aunt Maria Martinez said. “He opened his arms and his heart to everyone. The annual fundraiser helps keep his name alive in people’s minds and hearts, to remind people of the type of person he was. Because he was very giving.

“And it helps us all get through it,” she added.

In addition to serving plates of traditional Mexican food – carne asada, carnitas, beans, rice, salad, tortillas and a soft drink – the foundation’s annual picnic activities include free carnival games, cake walks, face painting, clowns, magic tricks, balloons and sweet treats like cotton candy and ice cream.

A deejay will provide musical entertainment, as will the all-female Mariachi Las Aguilas.

This year’s raffle offers electronic equipment, trips, dinner and show giveaways, and more. A silent auction has been added to this year’s list of activities as well.

The Pascual “Tito” Martinez Memorial Foundation not only provides two scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors, but also provides sponsorship for the Brian Traub Firearm Safety Class, the Truckee Rodeo Queen, the Sierra Mountain Middle School Girls’ volleyball team, a Little League baseball team, the Buddy Warner ski team, Tito’s Grove at Tahoe-Truckee High School, and the Adopt-a-Family Christmas Program.

For more information on the foundation or this upcoming event, contact Maria Martinez at (530)582-6859.

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