Arredondo backpack giveaway

The Limones family shows up on time to receive free backpacks Saturday afternoon at Family Motors Acura, 4625 Wible Road. From left, sixth-grader Vicky Limones, fifth-grader Ruby Limones, Connie Limones, 10th-grader Joseph Limones and Cornelia Limones, seated.

Two hundred free back-to-school backpacks went fast at Family Motors Acura on Saturday as the family of late car dealer Jose Arredondo worked to carry on his tradition of generosity and support for educational attainment.

The giveaway was scheduled to run from 3 to 5 p.m. but families started forming a line outside the car dealership at 1 p.m., said Arredondo's sister, Laura.

"By 3:30 we were done," she said.

The Limones family was lucky enough to pick up three backpacks: one for South High 10th-grader Joseph Limones, and one each for his cousins at Horace Mann Elementary, sixth-grader Vicky Limones and fifth-grader Ruby Limones.

Joseph's mother, Connie, said the event reminded her of the time she was in high school and Jose Arredondo spoke at an event to encourage young people to stay in school, which he called "the ticket to a better lifestyle."

"He's able to bless even though he's not here," she said. "And his legacy will continue because it's a remembrance of him."

Laura Arredondo said the family hopes to carry on her brother's legacy by keeping up the annual backpack giveaway.

"We're thinking of doing it every year on his birthday," which was July 29, she said.

There's also a plan to continue Jose's tradition of giving local youth college scholarships, she said, adding that details have not yet been worked out.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf.

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