CLEWISTON

A small town in southwest Florida has experienced a lot of heartache and pain in the past few weeks. Despite everything, the people of Clewiston come together during these troubled times.

Over the weekend, a high school graduate decided to donate part of her profits to the family who had lost her son in an accident just the day before graduation.

The moment Annette Blanco found out she had won an Alan Jay Dealership car, she was thrilled. But what she did next might come as a shock to some people.

The dealership has a program that rewards graduates for getting an A. But instead of taking the car, she did something else.

“Annette decided to take the ten thousand dollars in cash.”

She took the money and donated part of it to Julian Avalo’s family. He was a classmate of hers who died in a car accident a few hours before his performance on stage.

“I said ‘you know I doubt I’ll win it but if I do I’ll be more than happy to give him something’ and you know I have it,” said Blanco.

Blanco says, even though she wasn’t close to Julian, that you don’t have to be close to feel the pain.

“I think I was hit hard because I lost my cousin just as he did or as we lost him. I think it hit me a lot more than I would think. You know, I couldn’t really do much for my cousin, but now that I’ve been able to help his family, you know I did, ”she said.

David Garcia is General Manager at the Alan Jay Dealer in Clewiston.

“It was just very heartwarming to know that she wanted to give something back to the family,” said Gacia. “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.”

Julian’s parents say that because of Annette’s donation and the donations of many others, they can give Julian the funeral he deserves.

Carlos Avalo is Julian’s father. “I mean, no parent should go through this ordeal. To bury their child, I keep hearing from everyone that time and time will pass and you will feel better. But this community was very special and they were behind Julian because of his nature, ”said Avalo.

Originally, Blanco offered to give half of the money, but the family couldn’t accept that. They knew she needed money to go to college too. So she decided to give them $ 1,000.

Blanco hopes that her selfless act shows others that a little kindness can go a long way.

And their selflessness will continue. Blanco wants to go to college and study medicine.