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Dec 9, 2012 8:33 PM by Erika Flores

Celis family continues Isabel's holiday traditions

TUCSON-It's been nearly eight months since Isabel Celis disappeared from her Eastside home.

Sunday family and friends held a car wash to keep her case in the spotlight.

They remain hopeful of finding the 7-year-old girl.

Her family is carrying on her favorite holiday traditions in hopes that she will come home soon.

This holiday season is the first the Celis family will have without Isabel.

He father Sergio said it's been tough but prayers have helped the family keep their hopes up.

Volunteers spent the day washing cars to keep Isabel's disappearance in the public eye.

Bertha Quintero brought her car in to get cleaned.

She said Isabel's disappearance hits home for her because she has a little girl of her own.

"I make sure I lock all the doors in my house. I guard my security system at home, and I just got a dog because you just don't think of these things happening to you," said Quintero.

She said she constantly role plays with her daughter to increase her awareness about strangers.

"I don't see how her parents can stay strong and every day wake up with hope, and I feel me being here contributes to that hope," said Quintero.

Sergio said his family keeps praying for her return.

"It's extremely difficult, but our hope is higher than ever right now," said Celis.

Sergio said the family is following Isabel's favorite traditions this holiday.

"Seeing Santa Clause and getting pictures taken with him of course and seeing all the Christmas lights. We usually take a hay ride through Winterhaven," he said.

Sergio said in keeping with holiday tradition, the family is even looking for Christmas gifts for Isabel.

"We don't want her to come home and then not see that we haven't you know got everything going the way we usually do and everything that she expects from us," said Sergio.

Before arriving to the car wash, Sergio said he spent the morning at church.

He said praying has helped a lot during this time.

As for the car wash, volunteers collected 750 dollars and will use it to keep up billboards with Isabel's photo.

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