Funds raised for retreat |

Funds raised for retreat

Court Leve/Sierra SunLupita Hernandez enjoys some corn during Sunday's kermess fundraiser for Creciendo Unidos.

Creciendo Unidos netted more than $1,500 at its first fundraiser as a community group on Sunday.

Most of the funds raised at the event will go toward a spiritual retreat for youth, which will be organized by the 9-month-old organization based in Kings Beach.

“It was a good event because we get good money to make more events for teens,” said Graciela Sarmiento, a parent member of Creciendo Unidos.

The kermess, or Mexican fiesta, brought out more than 200 community members for food, music and a drug- and alcohol-free event. Parents made all the food for the party, which included 400 tamales, many flautas, tacos, flan and more. The $1,645 raised will go toward future events for teens.

Emilio Vaca, a facilitator of Creciendo Unidos, said the group is raising funds for a weekend retreat in the fall for teens in the community. The point, he said, is to have the teens connect with a God to help curb drug and alcohol abuse.

“We’re not a religious group, but we will seek all avenues,” Vaca said. “No matter what religion you are or what God you have, the end result is to help these kids.”

Creciendo Unidos, or Growing Together, aims to promote healthy activities for youth, increase parental awareness of issues affecting their children and ensures a safe place for generations to come.

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