May 25, 2013 2:14 AM by Nathan O'Neal
MARANA - The joy of graduation night is tarnished for one family on the northwest side after a tragic accident near Mountain View High School claimed the life of an 82-year-old woman and critically injured her adult nephew.
Dorothy "Dottie" Penrod and her adult nephew were hit by an SUV while crossing the street following the graduation ceremony Thursday night.
"She was a light when she entered the room. She was the matriarch of our family," said Amanda Borquez, Dottie's granddaughter.
The wounds are still fresh for Amanda Borquez and Shelby Penrod, as the accident violently ripped their grandma from their lives.
"I woke up hoping that it would be a dream... but then reality struck and it was just the worst feeling," Shelby said.
For Shelby it quickly turned her graduation celebration into overwhelming heartache.
"No child should have to see that of their grandmother, especially on a night that is supposed to be so special for them," Amanda told News 4 Tucson.
And now, they face a financial burden with the expensive costs it will take to get her back home to Texas, so Dottie can be buried next to her husband.
"We're just trying to have a yard sale and doing everything that we can to come up with the money so we can get her back to Texas," Amanda said.
But in this dark cloud shines a silver lining: a community stepping up to help out.
"It's helping your neighbor, it's very important. It always has been and always will be," said Clint Peek, of Copper Creek Cookies.
The bakery, located on Ina Road, vows to help this family out as much as they can.
"Tomorrow we're going to donate all sales at Copper Creek Cookies to this cause and next week we're going to donate the entire sales of cinnamon rolls to this cause," Peek said.
As for Shelby, the outpour of support from the community that is astonishing.
"I really didn't expect this much support. It's very overwhelming but it's very much appreciated," Shelby said.
If you would like to help out there are many ways to do so:
Donations can be made to the Dorothy L. Penrod memorial fund at Wells Fargo Banks.
Copper Creeks Cookies is operating a donation box and will donate all its proceeds from Saturday 5/26 to the family as well as all the cinnamon roll sales for the following week.
The family will hold a yard sale at 7129 W. Autumn Gold Ct. Tucson, AZ 85743 on Sunday 5/26 beginning around 8 a.m.