Michael Juarez Fundraiser Donations
$1,920 of $3,000 goal
The purpose of Michael Juarez Silent No More Project is to raise funds for the plaque to commemorate the life of Michael Juarez as well as assist in any costs for the community fundraiser that will take place Saturday, December 16th , 2017. Our hope is to create a community event that will draw as many people as possible to remember the life of one of our towns residents, unite the community, inform, and bring assistance to the homeless community in this city and further. This is just the beginning of something amazing. We want to make an impact and create change and it takes us all to make that happen!
Let us know you are coming to the event here:
Written by Dennis Rigdon, Michael's best friend growing up:
I’d like to set the record straight on a few things. Mike Juarez and I were best friends from the minute we met when I moved in across the street from him on 119th Street at Prairie Ave.
We were both around seven years old then. Mike was an all-around great guy. He taught me everything he knew about playing sports and was a natural at any sport he played. He loved playing football the most, and was a star of his Hawthorne Jr All American Football teams.
He always stuck up for the underdog and had no tolerance for bullies. He was pretty shy, but still did very well with the ladies. Sometime during Freshman/Sophomore year at Hawthorne High, he moved to Hawaii to live with his mom.
The next time I saw him, a few years later, he was not the same Mike. His brain had clearly been scrambled. When asked about what happened in Hawaii, his only response would be, “bad drugs” as he shook his head. He never served in the military as you’ve been told. And was definitely way too young to have fought in Vietnam. It’s possible that he had some type of PTSD, but it wasn’t from the war.
He never married or had a family to lose. He was one of the last people I saw before shipping off to Basic Training myself in 1980. At that time, Mike was having a real hard time finding a place in productive society. I lost track of him after that for the next 10-15 years.
When I found him again, he was living at his spot on Hawthorne Blvd and 166th. I would stop to talk to him whenever I was in the area. Always hoping that seeing me, his best childhood friend, would make him snap out of it. Sadly, most times he acted like he couldn’t remember me.
One time my sister Dawn and I stopped to visit him. He lit up when we started talking about the old football playing days. But, sadly, he quickly went back into his shell. I’m sad that my brother is gone. But, happy that he gets to be his old self again. I’ll bet he is loving it!