On March 1 our community came together to remember Graciela Carbonell, who passed away on January 31. She was the Mount Rainier Television director and Call-a-Bus driver and the longest-serving city employee after Captain Stoots of the police department. The great turnout and contributions of local businesses, entertainers, public officials, city employees, and other friends reflected the impact Graciela had on us. Graciela’s family deeply appreciates the messages and sorely-needed financial help they received as a result of the event. Donations are still being accepted through Bank of America account number 4460 3020 4867, and in person at Mount Rainier City Hall.
All food and drink, music, labor, and organization was donated, and 100 percent of the proceeds went directly to the family. I would like to recognize specifically the many hands that contributed to the success of the benefit — especially Ms. Janis Lomax, Mount Rainier city clerk and long-time friend of Graciela and her family. Ms. Lomax was the impetus and organizing mind behind the event.
I recommend patronizing all of the businesses that donated their goods and services, because they have demonstrated real commitment to our community.
The venue was generously made available without charge by Mr. Mutchler and Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue, 3716 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood. The Town of Colmar Manor also volunteered its beautiful facilities. Also, the Gateway Arts Center Building Fund adjusted its fund raiser schedule to accommodate us, which we appreciated very much.
Generous donations of food came from:
Circle Deli and Grill, 3405 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier
Joe’s Restaurant, 3185 Queens Chapel Rd., Mount Rainier
Aladdin Sizzler, 3231 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier
Drinks provided courtesy of:
Party Time Liquors, 3307 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier
New Kaywood Liquors, 2205 Varnum St., Mount Rainier
Chuck’s Liquors, 3416 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier
The evening’s entertainment was provided by:
Mr. Andy Torres and the Rhabb Sisters
Dave MacMillan & Friends
PatchWork Da Band and Show
Comedian Gloria Industrious also volunteered to perform, unfortunately after the time slots were full.
Security was provided by the Mount Rainier Police Department – specifically, Officer Eddie Murphy.
Photography was donated by Diane Vance of Digital Arts, 3900 38th St., Brentwood
Flowers provided by The Basket Gourmet Shop & Tiger Lilly Florist, 5126 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville
Bartending and drink mixing by Susie and Andrew Rhabb
Hands-on help donated by Usha Suryadevara (who also provided food), and Mount Rainier Public Works employees Michael Barnes, Ruth Sandy, and Charles Stewart.
The greeting table and donation collection was handled by Sarah Christopherson.
Public officials who attended to support Graciela’s family included:
Senator Victor Ramirez, Delegate (and lieutenant governor candidate) Jolene Ivey, Delegate (and Mount Rainier resident and Prince George’s County Council District 2 candidate) Doyle Niemann, Mount Rainier City Manager Jeannelle Wallace, Colmar Manor Town Council Members Vivian Jackson and Doreatha Epps, Mount Rainier City Council Member (and candidate for District 47A delegate) Jimmy Tarlau, and Council Members Brent Bolin and Ivy Thompson, Prince George’s County Television Cable Commission Chair (and candidate for District 47A delegate) Malcolm Augustine, former Colmar Manor Mayor (and candidate for District 47A delegate) Diana Fennell, and former Mount Rainier Mayor Fred Sissine.