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Local business hopes to help girl’s wish come true

Various activities, vendors, entertainment available at opening
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A grand opening celebration will also benefit a local 6-year-old suffering from a brain tumor. Auburn Autohaus, which opened its doors in September, is an automotive repair shop. The store is celebrating its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday with a street fair. The event will include various local vendors, a raffle for gifts from community businesses, a small hot rod show, a bounce house, the Placer High School jazz band, Penney the clown, live music by the band “2 Days Away,” a car wash and more. There is no entry cost, but proceeds from all other purchases will go toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Sacramento and Northeastern California account of 6-year-old Rocklin resident Trinity Upton. Trinity’s wish is to go to Disneyland and have tea with the Disney princesses. Tiffany Upton, Trinity’s mother, said she is really grateful for the fundraiser. “I was really surprised,” Upton said. “I think it’s awesome. I was on the verge of tears when I heard that, because it’s really special.” Upton said this would be Trinity’s first chance to go to Disneyland. Scott Lance, co-owner of Auburn Autohaus, said the shop is committed to raising $5,000 to make Trinity’s wish come true. Lance said Make-A-Wish was a natural beneficiary choice for him and co-owner Russ Melendez, and Trinity’s condition really hits home for him. “On a personal level … I just had a very close family friend pass away with a brain tumor,” Lance said. “We chose Make-A-Wish, because we feel like it’s a really important charity. The thing that is most exciting is I want to send her there. Obviously, my partner Russ and I are very excited to do business in Auburn, but that takes a back burner to Make-A-Wish.” Lance said he was told there are two other children in Placer County who participate with Make-A-Wish, and the company will strive to raise $15,000 for all three if possible. Lance said he has been impressed by how much the Auburn community wants to get involved in the fundraiser and the company already has a list of businesses signed up to participate. Tamika Soto, wish coordinator for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Sacramento and Northeastern California, said events like the grand opening celebration help the nonprofit organization achieve wishes made by children. “It’s just really nice when a community can come together, because that is really how we can do what we can do,” Soto said. “It just pulls people together all for a great cause. Soto said $5,000 would pay for Trinity to visit Disneyland, stay in a hotel at the park and live out her wish, including meeting the princesses. Soto said this trip could be very important for a girl who has spent years going in and out of the hospital for treatments. “Giving her a wish will just give her something else to look forward to,” Soto said. Upton said Trinity feels like a princess, and is excited about the fact that Auburn Autohaus is having a limousine take her to the event. “I think just the whole idea of it is really exciting for her,” she said. “She is really excited about the limo, because she’s never been in a limo.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------ Auburn Autohaus Auburn Autohaus opened its doors Sept. 1 at the former location of Cross Roads Auburn Volkswagen. Scott Lance and Russ Melendez are the owners. The facility specializes in repairs for Volkswagens, Audis and General Motors vehicles, but works on all makes and models of cars. It also services boats and jet skis. Both Lance and Melendez have over 30 years of retail automotive repair experience. Lance said he thinks the close-knit feeling of Auburn is something unique to the foothills area. “Our customers are … very sincere about supporting our local businesses,” Lance said. “Honestly, you just don’t find that everywhere.” The facility is located at 2855 Grass Valley Highway. For more information, call (530) 888-7200 or visit auburnautohaus.com.