Funding Hope: A Concert and a Car Wash Aid Celis Family

Singing and soap suds helped combat helplessness this weekend as the community stepped up to do what they could to support the family of missing 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis.

Members of the Arizona Opera Chorus held a Voices of Hope choral concert in the Scottsdale area over the weekend, raising $2,900 for a support fund established by Tucson Medical Center, where Isabel’s mother works as a nurse.

Isabel’s father has been a tenor in the chorus for years, so local singers wanted to do what they could to help, said Amy Street Williams, a soprano. “It’s just such a tragedy,” said Williams, 38. “When you sing with people, you travel together and perform together and you become almost like a small family.”

“We’re artists. None of us are rich, but the one thing we can give is our voices,” she said, adding about 100 people came to the show.

Without much time to plan, she said, the singers had just a few hours to practice before the 7:30 p.m. show on Sunday.

Williams said Isabel’s father asked the group to videotape the performance so he could show it to his daughter when she gets home.

Williams said the group hopes to organize a Tucson concert soon as well.

In Tucson over the weekend, a car wash at a midtown AutoZone raised $2,200, splitting the proceeds between TMC’s fund to support the family and another fund designed to continue funding the search itself.

Tammy Frayser helped spearhead the event because a member in her own family was abducted in 2009. It all turned out OK, she said, “but I understand the anguish the family must be feeling. A million things go through your mind: Is she eating? Is anyone hurting her? Is she OK?”

“When you hear something like that, you can’t sit down. You just feel as though you need to do something to help,” said Frayser, wearing a button with Isa’s photo on it.

Frayser said it was “amazing” to see the wellspring of support, noting while there were a significant number of Tucson Medical Center employees, strangers also showed up to help the effort, from waving signs to washing cars. “There’s a lot of hope out there.”

Anyone inclined to make a contribution to support the family in this difficult time are invited to visit

Under “Gift Options” in the dropdown menu, please select the “Isabel Mercedes Celis Fund.”


  1. Tucson Voice of Hope Link. A benefit concert for Isabel Celis.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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