Southern California Firefighters Car Wash
to benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation
30 July 2005
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Renee participated in the Southern California Firefighters Car Wash to help raise funds for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. The car wash raised $2000 (and washed 400 cars) with $1000 (after expenses were taken out) going to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
Ro has created a music video - a compliation of photos and video set to the song Sugar Sugar of Renee at the Car Wash
Date: Saturday, July 30, 9am - 3pm
Report by Marilyn, with Annie and Chieko
We arrived at Noah's Bagels on Saturday morning around 8:45 and got bagels and went next door to Starbucks to get our coffee. We sat outside chatting and watching them start setting up for the car wash which was to start at 9:00.
It was a beautiful day, with the temperature down and the wind blowing, reminding us of the Bay Area rather than Southern California. Sharon Delaney joined us around 9:30 and had her coffee and danish and we chatted about various things and heard a little about her lapdog. She left us after a bit and went to help with the set up for the car wash, which was starting to get under way.
A few minutes later I looked over towards the area of the car wash and saw Renee walking past wearing the cowboy hat she wore in "Talking With" in Burbank. She was also wearing a baby blue tank top and a short brown skirt which reminded me of the skirts the cheerleaders wore when I was in high school. She was also wearing thong sandals on her feet and had on wraparound sun glasses. We noticed later that she was wearing a bathing suit underneath...smart girl!! Needless to say, as you may have seen by the pictures, she was absolutely adorable and looking healthy and fit and was sporting a tan.
She handled the fire hoses with one of the fire fighters standing behind her helping, and you could see by the muscles showing in her arms and shoulders that it took a bit of strength to hold on to those hoses. They were very powerful and were being used to hose down the cars before they were soaped up and then she would help wipe them down with the aid of volunteers. Sharon was also sporting a wicked wiping towel.
Renee chatted with the fans and all the people standing around, including the fire fighters. Most of this was during the lull between cars arriving and getting hosed down. She also signed autographs, posed for pictures and had some taken with fans.
At one point she took a towel and went out to the curb and was trying to flag down cars to come in for a $5.00 car wash. Reminded us very much of Gabrielle when she was trying to hitch a ride in "The Prodigal". Renee even used some of those moves trying to get the attention of the drivers, all that was missing was the staff!
Annie asked me to take our rental car through the wash, so Chieko and I saddled up and started the car through the process. It is quite an experience to have a fire hose turned on you when you are looking out the windshield! It was more like a wave hitting the car, which I have experienced in my youth while crossing the floating bridge in Seattle. After the hose down, the fire fighters used soap and rags and washed us and then hosed us down again and then had us pull forward to be dried. I turned on the windshield wipers and then started to move forward and one of the fire fighters hit us again with the hose...we thought that was pretty funny because we didn't expect it at all...certainly got a jolt out of us though!
After we pulled forward again, we were met with a few people to wipe the car down and one of them was Renee. She made faces at us through the windshield and smiled and gave us thumbs up...I think she knew we were fans because Chieko was wearing a Double Dare t-shirt and I was wearing the one of Xena that Renee had painted...think that might have given us away. At one point Chieko rolled down her window and we asked Renee if she was wearing sunscreen because she was going to get quite sunburned if she didn't have any on. She said she was covered and we decided to stop playing mother and pulled away when they were done and parked the car again.
As time wore on, both Annie and Chieko decided to pitch in and help dry cars and I watched. Wish I could have helped but having severe arthritic knees kind of limits my standing time. So, Tiger and I sat and watched and chatted and Marilyn Edwards stood near the cars and took many pictures. Renee did her curb thing a couple of more times before the day was over, not sure how many she lured in, but it crossed our minds that maybe someone should have put a $5.00 sign on her and maybe that would have drummed up more business for charity.
Around noon or so we saw Renee walk away towards her car carrying some items the fans had given her. She came back a while later sporting a Xena shirt, it was a Memorial Crew shirt. We figured she must have been getting more sun than she anticipated, even with the sun block. She chatted some with fans and signed more items and had more pictures taken with individuals. Tiger asked her if she would sign my shirt and she did, on my right shoulder. Now I have to figure out how to frame it with the signature showing.
At one point I asked her how Miles was doing and she said he was supposed to be there soon and how much he had enjoyed riding in the fire trucks during the Burn Relay. She also mentioned going to the Comic Con with them dressed up in Batman costumes. I think someone mentioned she had discussed developing her website but didn't hear any time frame on that.
I would have loved to have seen all of the pictures that were taken, a good many cameras were in sight and Anne had her video camera going. I saw the ones on MaryD's by Michelle and they are very good. There will probably be more to come since everyone had a good three hours of Renee in which to shoot pictures.
Miles did show up around 1:00 when Renee was supposed to end her time with the car wash. He looked as if he had just woken up and she was carrying him in one arm and wiping down cars with the other. For a 3-1/2...going on 4, he is a very big boy and also very adorable...just like his mom. Renee called everyone over for a group photo before she finally left with Miles in tow, and they went into Noah's to get something to eat. We continued to watch the cars coming through and getting washed and Annie and Chieko were still helping with the drying.
About 2:00 they decided to call it a day! Charlie from the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation said they had taken in much more in contributions than they had expected so that is why they closed up an hour early. He went around thanking everyone for showing up and helping out and was really surprised by the amount of volunteers. This helped free up the fire fighters and let them do the washing while everyone else did the drying. He said Renee had been helping them for about 4 years and the donations had been increasing every year, but this has been the best year for contributions and the most contributions for a car wash that they have every had.
So, we continued to talk to everyone around us and Brian from Creation showed up as it was ending, with his girlfriend. Very nice people and they were patient and talked to us for a while. Finally, we decided to call it a day and go to a very late lunch with Tiger and Marilyn.
It was a very good day and we would do it again in a heartbeat. We asked Charlie to give us more time when they do the Burn Relay next year so we could drive down and join in the fun. He was surprised that we knew about the car wash and was extremely grateful and impressed by the generosity of the fans.