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Soccer match helps raise thousands for Garnicas

Posted: July 21, 2010 10:04 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2010 6:30 a.m.

On Wednesday over 175 children participated in a soccer tournament raising 3,400 dollars for the Garnica family.

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The pick-up soccer game Wednesday at Central Park was a fun game for a good cause — and a sobering reminder not to take for granted the pleasures of everyday life, an organizer of the event said.

“This accident makes us realize that we’re all pretty blessed to be able to run around and play soccer,” said Joel Govea, referring to the charity soccer match that benefited the Garnica family of Newhall.

The family lost their wife and mother July 4 when a car careened into a crowd of spectators watching the grand finale of the Valencia fireworks show.

Matilde Garnica, 47, of Newhall, was killed instantly, and seven members of her family were also injured in the crash.

One of her sons, 12-year-old Joel Garnica, was on hand for the tournament Wednesday, which raised $3,400 for the family, said Govea, director of player development for the SCV Magic Soccer Club, which sponsored the event.

However, Joel was unable to play due to a leg injury suffered in the crash.

About 175 participants from 10 different soccer clubs put aside the normally fierce competition to play a no-stress game to help their neighbors, Govea said.

“Any time there’s a tragedy involving one of our local families, it’s tough on everyone. When tragedy strikes, it brings everything we do into perspective. It (soccer) is just a game,” Govea said.

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