Kent benefit raises more than $3,000 for child whose eyes were eaten

Car washers in Kent raised approximately $3,300 Saturday to help a 4-year-old California boy recovering from an attack by his father, who mutilated the child’s eyes with his teeth.

Kent resident Bonnie Bingham organized the car wash at the Eastridge Baptist Church on the East Hill. She heard about the April 24 attack against Angelo Mendoza Jr., and decided she wanted to do something to help the boy. Bingham soon discovered a lot of other people wanted to help.

“People who believe in Angelo’s future so strongly they are willing to give all they have to help him recover,” Bingham said in an e-mail Monday.

One man dropped by the car wash with a check for $1,000 from his daughter, Bingham said. The daughter could not make the fundraiser, but wanted to make sure she donated to Angelo’s fund.

The first person to show up at the car wash donated $100.

“He thanked me for doing what we were doing and didn’t even want his car washed,” Bingham said.

A couple brought in both of their cars and donated $50 per vehicle.

A co-worker of Bingham’s at Boeing told her Monday that he is going to organize a motorcycle ride next month on Vashon Island to help raise money for Mendoza.

Mendoza survived the attack, although he has lost his left eye and has limited vision in his right eye, according to The Bakersfield Californian newspaper Web site, www.bakersfield.com. The state of California has picked up some of the medical costs for surgery and counseling for the child, but not all of them. He is living in a foster home.

More than 30 friends, family and Eastridge church members helped Bingham run the car wash.

For more information about Mendoza or to donate money, go to www.imforeverchanged.com, www.babyangel.moonfruit.com or visit any Wells Fargo bank and ask about the Baby Angel fund.


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