Dia de los Muertos: An evening of altars, dance, family and food

Amy Edgett
Sierra Sun
Amy Edgett / Sierra SunFireside Pizza Co. presented a $10,000 check to the Family Resource Center of Truckee at the annual Dia de los Muertos event. Fireside staff donated change and a percentage of their tips, with a Fall Fundraising Feast culminating the year-long philanthropic effort. From left: Rosa Davis, FRC; Ray Villaman, Fireside; Adela Gonzalez Del Valle, FRC; Danny Scott and Wrenn Johns, Fireside.

TRUCKEE and#8212; The annual Dia de los Muertos celebration boldly moved this year to the Community Arts Center in Truckee, drawing a record number of altars and attendees.

One room was and#8220;deadicatedand#8221; to altars honoring those who have passed on. These were created with the greatest of care by students and community members to honor the family pet, a grandparent, loving mothers, and Max. Sugar skulls, a bottle of spiced rum, candles, photos, food and one dear Santa hat were among the offered treasures.

Children had the opportunity to paint sugar skulls, get a twisted animal balloon, and use glitter and clue for crafts.

The stage was replete with the Glenshire Elementary School choir and a multitude of Sierra Expeditionary Learning School students, who performed to a jam-packed auditorium of parents, friends and family dining on homemade Mexican treats.

The event, produced again by the Family Resource Center of Truckee, brought a multitude of community members together. The FRC did a little honoring of their own, presenting the 2011 Local Champion Award to Frank Schneller and Alex Graham, who as tax aide volunteers since 2008 have helped 188 households with taxes and generated about $80,000 in Earned Income Credits.

Ray Villaman, owner of Fireside Pizza Co. in Squaw Valley, honored the FRC with a $10,000, yep, a $10,000 check as their fundraising beneficiary. Wrenn Johns, an employee, approached Villaman a few years back to raise money and awareness for nonprofits. and#8220;It really is Ray’s generosity that has made this possible. He tries to instill the spirit of volunteerism and community involvement in his employees,and#8221; said Johns. Past recipients include Adventure Risk Challenge and Tahoe SAFE Alliance.

For more informaiton about FRC, 530-587-2513 or visit

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